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January 18, 2013

Mark Gottfried loved effort, defensive adjustments




NC State coach Mark Gottfried doesn't worry about the "what if" game at the end of the Wolfpack's 51-50 loss at Maryland on Wednesday.

Gottfried knows the shot that Maryland junior point guard Pe'Shon Howard put up "an awful" field-goal attempt in the waning seconds of a close game. Gottfried was fine with not using an extra foul on the play, but simply said Maryland sophomore center Alex Len was in the perfect position to put in the miss for the game-winner.

NC State's switch from a man-to-man defense to a zone helped slow down Maryland's penetration into the lane. Gottfried also credited Len for being quick enough and using his 7-foot height defensively in guarding NC State junior power forward C.J. Leslie.

Gottfried appreciated how hard his players played in a physical "Big Ten" type of game against Maryland, and anticipates another strong battle in the next game.

NC State took Thursday off and is now concentrating on Clemson in front of a sold-out crowd at PNC Arena on Sunday.

The Tigers are off to a 10-6 start with back-to-back wins against Wake Forest and Virginia to improve to 2-2 in the ACC. Clemson's frontcourt of seniors Devin Booker and Milton Jennings and sophomore small forward K.J. McDaniels, all bring size and shot-blocking ability. McDaniels has an impressive 36 blocked shots.

Sophomore guards Rod Hall and Damarcus Harrison, a BYU transfer from Arden (N.C.) Christ School, round out the starting lineup for Clemson.

Click below to listen to Gottfried's press conference:

Mark Gottfried audio press conference (14:53)



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