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February 15, 2013

Wolfpack's defense faces stiff test vs. VT's Erick Green




NC State coach Mark Gottfried knows his team will have a challenge Saturday in trying to slow down Virginia Tech senior guard Erick Green.

NC State hosts Virginia Tech at 2 p.m. Saturday at PNC Arena. The Wolfpack (17-7 overall, 6-5 ACC) have had the week off since defeating Clemson 58-57 on Sunday. Virginia Tech brings a 11-13 overall mark and 2-9 in the ACC.

The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder is leading the nation in scoring at 25.2 points per game for the Hokies. He has improved by nearly 10 points per game from last year, when he averaged 15.6 a contest.

Gottfried has been impressed with how much Green has improved over the last year, and how efficient he is at scoring 25.2 points per game.

"They have done a nice job this year of really finding ways to go to him," Gottfried said. "He obviously has the confidence in his mind and the knowledge he has the green light, which changes the way a player plays.

"He brings the ball on the break and if you don't corral him or stop him, he's looking to score quick. He has the ball in his hands."

UNC-Greensboro, BYU and Virginia (this past Tuesday) have been the only opponents to "slow" Green down. He struggled from the field in each of those three games, including going 4 of 17 against the Cavaliers, but still managed to score 22 points thanks to going 11 of 13 at the foul line.

"We watched the game [vs. UVa] and everybody is a little different bit different, and the way Virginia guards is a little different than what we do," Gottfried said. "Virginia did a pretty good job although Erick had some really good looks and just didn't make them. It was a little bit of a snowball effect."

Gottfried also discussed during his weekly press conference about officials workload, the new expectations of freshmen Tyler Lewis, T.J. Warren and Rodney Purvis, and how veterans Lorenzo Brown and Richard Howell have performed this season.

Click below to listen to Gottfried's press conference:


Mark Gottfried audio press conference (17:33)



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