CLEMSON, S.C. — NC State coach Mark Gottfried went for the win and had the perfect play for senior wing Scott Wood, who delivered with a three-pointer for a 58-57 win Sunday at Clemson.
Gottfried and Wood both had their interviews aired on the Wolfpack Radio Network following the game. Here is a transcript of what they said:
How does this win stack up?
"Well, I think they are all big. You get into February, you have to keep winning. That's something we haven't done lately. Our guys feel good right now and they really should.
"This was a game where we struggled early. We got the ball right around the rim early in the game and they are blocking shots, and we are missing shots and we just aren't very effective early in the game. I think the lesson for our guys to understand, if you keep playing hard and keep battling, and fight through all that even if you are not playing well, you can still have a chance to win the game.
"We executed the last play perfectly. Defensively, we were really good the last couple of minutes. We got that shot clock violation there where we really defended well. We did some things really well late in the game, so we've gotten better there in executing late."
Did you want to go for the win on Scott Wood's three-pointer?
"Absolutely. It was time to sink or swim, and we knew it. We had just went to Calvin [Leslie] the play before. I like going to Calvin, but we with Calvin at the elbow and he dribbled to the basket and had a traveling violation. Those were the two things in my mind on both plays.
"We came right back to Scott. Getting Scott for a three-pointer is just like getting someone else for a two. Again, great screen and good pass by Lorenzo [Brown], good setup and I thought Scott executed it unbelievably well."
How calm was Lorenzo Brown down the stretch?
"Our guys have done well without Lorenzo, but I think [there] is a good point, even on that play right there, he penetrated deep in and sucked everybody in, and he had a great awareness of what the clock was, and it was a great setup from Lorenzo to Scott.
"When you talk about Lorenzo throughout the day, wow. He grabbed me right off the floor and said he needed some ice on my foot. He's going to be a little sore, but we do have a week to hopefully get him back. He played with such great heart I thought today. They all did. Great battle-back win for us."
Do you think Brown played with adrenaline and forgot he was injured?
"A couple of times, even at the break, that is one thing you have with Lorenzo, he's bringing the ball up the floor and has that burst of speed around the halfcourt line to the top of the key, and he can go right in and get a layup. I thought those, as he was making those plays, I was nervous a little bit as to 'Can he get up off the floor?' I was afraid for him a little bit. 'Are you all the way healthy?' When your adrenaline is going, he just took it right to the rim a couple of times and made some great plays there on the break."
"It was really good and Calvin did too and Calvin had him some. Both those guys did, and they played a lot of minutes. They were very, very good. He's a hard player to defend because he's so big and strong. They go to him.
"I thought collectively our team did a much better job. We had active hands when the ball was on the perimeter when they tried to look in there. We kept it out of there more than we did in the first game we played them with good ball pressure and good post defense, much better than I thought than we did in Raleigh."
How important was it to get back to scoring inside in the second half?
"It was really important. I like the fact, I thought early in the game, we did get the ball at the rim, we just couldn't get a basket. We had a couple blocked and we didn't take it up nearly as strong as we should have.
"Even in the second half, we had a couple that were right there that were great looks. Calvin had a great move and he's one inch from the rim and just missed it. That's going to happen. We did want to get the ball around the rim and be aggressive and see if we can get those guys into some foul trouble, and we can get some shots close in to the basket."
Is it a good time to have a week off?
"Yes it is. Lorenzo needs to heal up. It gives us some time with Tyler [Lewis] playing a lot more now, and Rodney [Purvis] and T.J. [Warren] are going to be valuable. They didn't play as much today or do as much, but we need to get a few days and integrate all of this together because we kind of have an additional player with Tyler. I think this week comes at a good time for us."
What was the last play like?
"I was just going to come off some single screens, and Zo [Lorenzo Brown] and C.J. [Leslie] did a good job all night of getting me open and setting good ones. Tyler [Lewis] and Zo did a good job of finding me all night. They don't get enough credit. I might make the shot, but they are the ones that got me wide open.
"It was a good team effort, we kept fighting, and at the end, got the result that we needed."
How did it feel coming off your hand?
"It felt like it slipped a little bit, but once I saw it up, I thought it had a good chance. I had a couple of rattlers today, so I didn't really know what to expect. Once it went in, it was a good feeling."
Was that the biggest shot of your career?
"I'd say so because of the time we needed it. We are on a little [losing] streak here. We need to turn things around. I'm just glad we are back on our winning ways."
How big of a screen did Richard Howell deliver on the game-winner?
"He does all the dirty work that he doesn't get acknowledgment for. Even C.J. was out there setting some great screens. They just do a great job for me setting screens. They know if they get me open and their man has to help, then I can throw it back in there and they get a mismatch. They did a great job all night. All the credit goes to them."
Can this game help propel NC State to go on a run?
"I hope so. We have some tough games here coming up, a couple of home games, so that will be nice. We have to win some games here in a row, and that's the main thing."