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January 25, 2013

Big weekend awaits NC State

The NC State players had a great day of Thursday and are expected to be ready to play their best against North Carolina at 7 p.m. Saturday.

ESPN College GameDay will kick things off in the morning around 9 a.m., and the buildup to tipoff will take place all day. It also doesn't hurt to have Rivals.com No. 2-ranked senior Julius Randle of Plano (Texas) Prestonwood Christian in town for his official visit today.

"It's a big weekend for a lot of reasons and hopefully, it will go well," said NC State coach Mark Gottfried during his weekly press conference Friday. "We are excited GameDay is here. I think it kind of says where our program was, where we are and where we want to get to, which we aren't there yet. We are still a program that is just kind of beginning to come back. I think the fact that ESPN chose to be here says a lot. Things have changed quickly here in a year, and that's a good thing."

Gottfried said he did listen during the players meeting Thursday and said it shows how much they care to have one, but downplayed its significance.

"Guys sit down and talk a lot of times, and sometimes I think that is healthy," Gottfried said. "I'm not one of those that thinks a team meeting solves every problem. I'm not even sure how much of it was a meeting, but more guys talking about our team."

Gottfried said the discussions centered around how the Wolfpack played in the second half of Tuesday's 86-84 loss at Wake Forest. NC State allowed 51 points to the freshman-dominated Wake Forest squad.

"It's a myriad of things that didn't happen in the first half, and really haven't happened all year," Gottfried said.

Gottfried also addressed the tweets this week from former sophomore power forward Thomas De Thaey, who left the team after playing in three games. Freshman forward T.J. Warren retweeted De Thaey's criticisms of Gottfried, but then later tried to explain the situation.

Gottfried said the players will still be able to use Twitter to express themselves in the future. He has family members who are on Twitter too, including his sons and daughter.

"I think it's the world we live in sometimes, where you learn the hard way that things travel fast and quick," Gottfried said. "That's something we did talk about and we move on from there.

"Twitter, Facebook, it's part of learning how to be responsible. I have five children and I've told my own children to be careful with what they tweet. They sometimes tweet before they think. It's just part of learning about the world we live in."

Mark Gottfried audio press conference (15:21)

N.C. State NEWS


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