Listen to Audio (5:59)
Opening Comments -
"Well we were really good for certain parts of the game, there's no question about that. I thought we were active defensively, got some blocks, got a running game going - we were really for that period there, but at the same time we realize State missed some shots they normally make. And we know we're not going to get that kind of result just by hoping teams miss - we've got to defend well enough that our defense has some factor.
"I thought Z, needless to say, was all over the boards. Reggie stepped up and did a good job defensively and ended up making a couple threes also. Stilman, when he got in there, did some good things until he got a little whacko and shot that three. ...
"We were one shot away from shooting 50 percent, but I don't think we scored the last 5:01 - that was our longest field goal drought, so we didn't finish it off, but I wanted to get those guys out of there because we've got a stretch of three games in six days."
Tyler Zeller has had three straight games on the boards where he's elevated his toughness and seemed like he really played with a purpose around the glass ...
"I think it might be four games in a row ... he's going to the boards more, pretty simple. He's established his spot in there, trying to get to the offensive boards ... we need that. James Michael getting in foul trouble and only getting one rebound, Harrison only getting one rebound, we've got to have those big guys getting as many as they can possibly get. Z is just more consistent getting to the spot and reading the ball off the board."
Listen to Audio (5:21)
The team came out strong tonight and rolled from there ...
"It started on defense. We all made a conscious effort to contribute defensively. Obviously Dex was our best defender, so we have to pick it up there, and I think everyone did a great job ... Up until this point we haven't really been known as a defensive team, but I think that's what we've got to make our staple now in ACC play."
What did you think about Reggie in his first start?
"I know it meant a lot to him. He's definitely been working very hard and always coming off the bench and contributing. For him to come out and start today, with the fans showing him a lot of love, he was able to produce."
Listen to Audio (3:11)
How much of a different team are you with Dexter being out?
"It does change the whole dynamic of the game because Dex has more experience than Stilman and is much quicker with the ball, and then he's great at chasing guys around screens - and Reggie did a fantastic job of that tonight. It does change the strategy and how we do things and we need to get used to playing with Reggie more so than anything ... Reggie has been playing 15-20 minutes a game so we're fairly used to him, but we need to get the point where you have enough confidence he's there without looking and knowing where he is."
You and John pretty much cut off the lane and made them jumpshooters tonight.
"Probably the biggest thing is we tell our guards that we want them to stay out a bit more. In the Virginia Tech game they were crashing in and giving up open wide threes. We do try to create problems at the rim, especially John, and hopefully the shot clock gets down to the game and they need to shoot."
Listen to Audio (2:28)
Was defending Scott Wood your top priority tonight?
"It was definitely my No. 1 priority, to defend him, make shots tough for him, stay on him and find him in transition - that was the main thing I came into this game with."
Did you feel anything extra when you heard your name announced in the starting lineup?
"Yeah, when they said Kinston, North Carolina, hearing that being said in the Dean Smith Center meant a lot to me, as did being a starter and being able to help my team go out and win."
Listen to Audio (2:10)
"In the beginning, yes. But for me I knew all it was was getting comfortable out there and my confidence will grow. ... It was really good to get out there for the first time in that type of situation and get it off my chest. "
Did that first assist to Zeller help get you settled?
"Just playing for this team is so easy because the players around you are so good. You can just throw the ball to someone and they can make you look good."
That three-pointer that you hit, as the crowd erupted, how did that feel?
"It was just a huge energy surge. It's something you can't really explain. Everyone was excited, and you get a little more amped to play defense - it's a good feeling ... That's what you come to a place like this for. With 20,000 fans screaming and you get to hit a big three."
NCSU COACH MARK GOTTFRIED
Listen to Audio (4:18)
Opening Comments -
"First of all, you have to give them credit. I thought they were really good. I think the time they had to prepare for our team, they did a great job with it. I thought they were really prepared. They played really well. First time I thought our team, this year - we've played 21 games now - where I thought that their defensive pressure, whatever it could have been, we did not have the poise offensively. They took away one option and we didn't have the wherewithal to stay with our offense and really grind out good shots. Their size around the rim, they scored around the rim all night, whether it was off the break, in the half-court offense, or off of offensive rebounds. We did a terrible job there. It's a game we have to learn from, but at the same time, we have to get ready to play real quick."
On Carolina's defense inside -
"They're good at blocking shots. They're bigger than we are. We didn't do a very good job of drawing fouls inside. I think that's where we got frustrated. Even if it was on the block, we stopped and stood around rather than continuing with our offense. That was the frustrating part of it for me."