UNC-NCSU: Wolfpack PC (w/audio)

Inside Carolina
Posted Mar 11, 2007

TAMPA, Fla. --- NC State coach Sidney Lowe and players Engin Atsur and Courtney Fells addressed the media following the game. Read and listen to what they had to say.

(Inside Carolina audio is available to IC premium subscribers. To listen to the audio, you'll need an updated version of Windows Media Player - click here to download the software.)

Listen to Audio Part I (6:56)
Listen to Audio Part II (7:24)

Sidney Lowe

Opening remarks -

We just played against, obviously, a very good basketball team. They made some big shots down the stretch. They’re tough inside, they’re tough outside and obviously they play hard. But I’m so proud of our guys and the way we performed this entire weekend, how we came out and played and got to this point. It was a great effort by our guys. We missed a couple of shots down the stretch there that we needed, and they were able to knock theirs down. But by no means am I disappointed. I told our guys you can be hurt, but don’t be disappointed. Because there’s nothing to be disappointed about.

On Atsur’s performance despite injury -

He’s going to be a little modest about this thing. What he did today and how he played with that thing bothering him just tells you what kind of young man this is. He didn’t complain, I know it was hurting him, but he wanted to stay in there. With him on the floor, at whatever percent it is - 50 percent, 70 percent - we’re still a better ball club. Just his presence on the floor allowed us to do what we did in this ballgame today.

On whether fatigue was a factor late in the game -

It could have been. I don’t know. Certainly we had a good look at it (Grant’s late missed shot), that’s what you try to do, you try to run the set and be patient enough to get a good shot. Those were certainly opportunities for us. I don’t know if it was the legs or not. Gavin doesn’t normally shoot airballs, I can say that. Maybe he rushed it a little, he was wide open and he still rushed it, I don’t know. He just missed the shot.

On what he said/did to spur the comeback -

Well, we started to do a little better job of being patient and reading what they were doing. Early we were just coming and taking shots and forcing things and not being patient. This is a good ball club, Carolina, they’re not going to just allow you to run where you want to go. They’re going to deny you, they’re going to force you to change directions, they’re going to fight you in the post. But, if we’re trying to get something inside, then we have to be patient with it and swing the ball and force them to make adjustments. Then we can get it back. Early in the ball game we kept holding the ball on one side of the floor and trying to force it in there. During that stretch, I think you saw the ball moving a little better from side to side, and we got those guys to move some. We were able to get those open looks.

Engin Atsur

On rallying from a 16-point deficit -

I think our defense was pretty good in that stretch. We had that run and I think our bench did a great job stepping up, especially Dennis Horner who gave us a big lift. Bryan Nieman and all my other teammates hit some big shots. Courtney, Gavin, Ben and Brandon, they did a great job. We had that run and cut the lead, I believe, to one. We had the ball game there.

On his physical condition -

Obviously I don’t feel great, but I was out there just to try to compete and do whatever I could to slow the tempo down, be a leader on offense and just be a leader out there. That’s what I was trying to do. I was trying to be mentally tough.

On struggling with his shot -

It was my physical thing; it had nothing to do with the defense. Actually I knew that coming into the game. Coach told me just to set up some shots for my teammates and that’s what I was trying to do. I wasn’t in a position to where I could just go out and score, so I was trying to find my teammates.

Courtney Fells

Would tying or getting the lead have made the difference in the game?

I think we would have won the game. Every minute I’m out there on the court I believe we can win the game. We’ve got a group of guys that stick together, we play hard and as long as we listen to coach, we’ll be fine.

On Terry’s late three-pointers -

Terry is a great player. We played great defense in that possession but he hit a key shot for them that put them up. It was a dagger for us but we just stuck with it and kept trying to fight and fight and hopefully got ourselves back in the game to win.

On Brandon Costner -

Brandon Costner is a great player. Our offense is set up where he can play inside or outside. What he did for us, he just stepped up and made big shots. He wasn’t selfish at all and took good shots.

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