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January 24, 2011NC State coach Sidney Lowe was proud of the Wolfpack's victory over Miami on Sunday, but just as quick to turn the page and start preparing for playing at Clemson on Tuesday night.
Below is a transcript of Lowe's Monday teleconference:
"It was a good win against Miami at home. We definitely needed it and our guys played hard and I think we played two consecutive games where we came out with great energy, and we'll need the same type of effort down at Clemson."
How long did you enjoy the win over Miami before starting to think about Clemson?
"I started thinking about Clemson last night after an afternoon game, a Noon game. We had enough time to kind of relax for a few hours, and then get right back to watching film and getting ready. It's not long at all. It's a quick turnaround and we were watching film yesterday."
How important is it to get that kind of energy on the road?
"It is very important. It's crucial that you have that energy. You have to have that if you want to win on the road. Having said that, it's difficult for some teams or certain kinds of players. You have to understand the mental toughness to win on the road as a player. Sometimes lack of experience can prevent that unless you have some people that have a great game for you because you don't have your fans behind you. When you make a run, you know they are going to make a run at you. You have to be able to handle that. You have to be able to be poised and in control of yourself and of the game. Sometimes on the road, it's a difficult thing."
How much has C.J. Leslie has learned about the game and what has surprised him this season?
"I think he found that there are players out here that are definitely capable of being better at times. I think he found out that there are players that he can't just walk out on the court and decide he is better than like he did in high school. He has realized that guys are bigger, that guys are stronger than he played against in high school. He has to continue to get better and learn, and get stronger himself. There have been a number of things, like I know getting to the basket and getting his shot blocked, and realizing that he has to go in there a little bit stronger than he did the first time, which he will do. He is learning a lot."
How responsive has Leslie been to that reality that it isn't the same game at the college level than in high school?
"I think he hears what we are saying and he can see it. There is something about young players, especially the talented ones and that is what sometimes makes them good, they feel that no one can stop them. Even if you stop them, they say that you can't stop me the next time. He understands that he has to go hard. He is responsive to listening and he has watched film with the coaches individually to see what is going on out there and to see where he can gain an advantage."
Why was Richard Howell's minutes lowered during two stretches of the season?
"I didn't necessarily lower his minutes, but it was probably a combination of a couple of things. No. 1, at that particular time, he and C.J. were playing the same position. C.J. was playing well, so he was able to get a few more minutes there. When you are playing the same position of a guy that can play, and you share the minutes, then you are talking about 20 minutes per game. If one of the guys is playing a little bit better that day, and your team is playing better that day, that 20 can go to 24, and that is going to knock the other guy down to 16. The 24, that extra four minutes is a lot, but it isn't a major difference, but it is certainly enough time for guys to be effective.
"I didn't drop his minutes, but it was more or less of C.J. playing well. Now, Richard is playing well and that is the reason we tried the big lineup, not only because of the foul situations with Scott Wood, but because Richard has been productive. That's why we went with the big lineup."
Do you see any similarities to getting Tracy Smith on the floor during his sophomore season to Howell this year?
"At this time of the year, I'm not really concerned. When we started, we started with not really a rotation but a lineup and played off of that. Now, we are in ACC play and we have to have our best players on the floor. The substitution patterns will change a little bit, but we have to have your most productive players on the floor. I'm not hesitant to play Richard and C.J. and Tracy together, even thought it's three of our top five big men on the court at times.
"You just have to watch the rotations and substitutions. You don't want them all in there and they all get tired at the same time. Now, you have one or two in there when you bring another big off the bench, and the other two are in the game tired. They can't give you anything in the game when they are tired. I think we have to be careful with the rotations."
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