Monday, January 19, 2009

Q&A with Sidney Lowe

Excerpts from N.C. State coach Sidney Lowe’s news conference as the Wolfpack prepares to visit Duke at 8 p.m. Tuesday:

Q: Can you talk about what winning on Saturday (vs. Georgia Tech) did for this team in terms of the emotional lift that you needed?
A: It was definitely one that we needed. I think the way that we did it probably even helped a little more. The fact that we were down and fought back and got in the ballgame and took it into overtime. And just being really solid in that overtime, only allowing one basket, I think psychologically it was good. And we talked about that after the ballgame, remembering that and exactly what we did and try to duplicate that every time we play. The thing we are talking about is how hard we played. How aggressive we were. We matched our opponents on that day. They were aggressive. They (referees) were letting us play, which is great. And we told our guys to go out and play as hard as you can. And we did. . . .We never gave up. Even when we were down, we felt we could come back.

Q: How much of a difference does it make when Ben (McCauley) plays like that?
A: I’ve said it before, and that’s not to put pressure. But on every team, you have one or two guys or three guys that you have to have play well to win. And Ben is one of our guys. And he did it. He was unbelievable. ... He came through big in that ballgame, and not just from his play, but his leadership.

Q: How big of a challenge is Duke’s defensive pressure for you guys?
A: It’s just something you have to deal with. I think it’s a challenge for anybody that they play. And it’s not what they do. It’s how they do it. It’s how hard they do it. There are other teams that try to do it, but these guys just play hard. And that’s what it’s going to come down to. Just like our last ballgame, we’re going to have to be tougher. We’re going to have to be more aggressive, more physical and just play harder.

Q: What challenges does Kyle Singler present?
A: Obviously he has the ability to shoot the ball from the three at his size. And also he can put it on the floor. He’s a good passer. So you’ve got to play him tough. You can’t give him anything. You have to be on him. He’s a very good basketball player. He can hurt you inside, outside. I think we have a guy (Brandon Costner) similar to that. Hopefully we can play better.

Q: You didn’t want to use Trevor (Ferguson on Saturday), that’s kind of the idea I got Friday. Then you ended up having to use him, and he played great. Do you still wish you didn’t have to use him? Do you have to use him? What’s your outlook going in?
A: We had to use him. And Doc (Charlie Rozanski) told me he was going to change the padding on his hand to make it a little easier for Trevor. Because the one he had before, he really couldn’t handle the ball, really couldn’t get it set. And we had a situation where we had to use him. Wasn’t sure if he was going to knock down shots. We were looking at it more where he’d at least be able to run the offense, defensively he would know exactly what we’re doing. He sets good screens from an execution standpoint. We didn’t know he was going to knock down the shots. He came up big for us, and the fact that he kept himself ready, too, he came in the ballgame firing and ready to go. So now I guess we can use him.

--Ken Tysiac