Mark Gottfried, Scott Wood and C.J. Leslie Press Conference
Mark Gottfried Opening Statement:
Let me start off saying I think it was a
good win for our team. I think our team is beginning to find,
you know, that “groove”, I like to use that word. I think we’re
gettin’ in a good spot.
Defensively, I think we’re improving,
getting better and I thought today, you know, Virginia missed
some shots but I thought our defense had a lot to do with it, I
thought we defended them well, Scott did a good job on Joe
Harris, not letting him get free looks, our help was better and
defense was better and offensively we moved and shared the
ball really, really well.
Good, good team win for us, now we got
to get ready to play a really good team tomorrow.
Coach, C.J. and Lorenzo combined 8 for 27 against
a team like Virginia that doesn’t really do the recipe for
getting a big win. What do you think helped you get this big
win with those guys struggling at the offensive end.
First thing, even though we
struggled to score at times we did a good job, shot the ball well
and we thought there was a couple of stretches where Scott
took the game over. You know, it was a week or so ago or few
days, whenever it was, when the voting came out for All-ACC
I was shocked that Scott Wood wasn’t on somebody’s
first, second, third, honorable mention, to me that’s amazing.
When you play our team one of the first thing you
have to do is figure out how you’re going to guard Scott
He stepped up today and not only was he working
hard defensively but he changed the game, changed the game,
period. He’s been doing it all year for us, he’s won games for
us at the end and today I thought he had a couple of stretches
where he was outstanding.
Scott, following what Coach said earlier
about getting in a groove, how do you think this team is
confidence-wise right now? Looks like you’re playing with a lot
I think we’re doing a good job so far,
the main thing is on the defensive end. We know we have a
bunch of people that can score the ball, and anytime we’re in
our stance, guarding our scouts like we know we should, that
makes us a dangerous team.
Coach, you were talk about finding a groove, why
do you think you’re playing that way now?
I don’t know if I know the answer
to that. I think every coach, if you knew how to get your team
playing really well at the end, we would do it automatically. It
sometimes happens that way. I think putting T.J. in the lineup
there six or eight or ten games ago, I think it took time but I
think it’s beginning to help our chemistry.
We had a stretch
there where Lorenzo was hurt, missed three games and a couple
of games he was probably not even 75%. Now I think he’s
much healthier, that’s helping us some and veteran players that
when you get down to the end of the year, you got some seniors and upperclassmen, they want to play differently. I think all
those things contribute to that.
Scott, when you got it going there, especially in the
second half when you made those three straight, what did it feel
like? Did you feel like you can’t miss at that point and do you
ask the guys to get you the ball or do they look for you?
I’m not one to go into the huddle and
say “give me the ball” but it feels good when you’re knocking
down your shots and gives you the confidence to know the next
one is going in. They did a great job finding me to get me easy
ones and C.J. and T.J. and Richard did a good job of setting’ good
screens to get it to me, open.
Scott, follow up to that question. You had 17 in
the second half. Was your mind set any different when you
came out from halftime?
Not really, any time I get an
opportunity to get a good look I’m going to take advantage of
it, my teammates did a good job of setting screens and gave me
a couple of good looks and once I started knocking them down
it gave me confidence.
Coach, Richard got kneed in the leg and he said it
was painful, have you ever seen him grimace so much?
Not really but he’s a tough, tough
guy and he plays through about everything and I asked him a
couple of times if he was okay and I knew he wasn’t but he
didn’t want to come out of the game and he battles like that.
I thought it was interesting because, you know, I think
Calvin is usually good for us and I think there were stretches
where Richard was hunting for Calvin because he was hurting
a little bit and they did a nice job of passing the ball to one
another in there and they kept battling all night.
C.J., it looked like you were trying to set the tone
offensively and defensively, did you feel the pressure to set the
tone, or is that how the offense worked early?
I knew if I got going and got the energy
started early, my team would follow behind me and we would
do a good job of picking each other up.
On any given night it could be a different person,
whether it’s Rich, Scott, or whoever, we piggy back off each
Coach Gottfried, how can you specifically prepare for Miami?
We played ‘em once at home
and they beat us, so first of all, we remember that. They have
proven from start to finish that they have been the best team in
the league so far, their record was that. We have a lot of respect
for them, they’re big inside.
With the three big guys in there,
they’re not just tall, they’re thick. Larkin had a phenomenal year,
and he’s dangerous to guard at the top of the key, or wherever
he may be.
They have guys that can make shots and they have
guys that are built to win, very few teams end up with that many veteran players at one time who are that good and Jim has
done a great job with them. We got our hands full, we know it,
we respect them and they beat us at home and our guys will be
excited about playing them.
C.J., in the game against Miami, there at the end
of the game, and I can’t remember if you were on the court, but
were you what do you remember about that tip in and frankly
are you glad to have another shot?
Yeah, of course I am. That was a one of
a kind game for us and we felt like we had that game under
control and they got us at the end.
One of the things is that we know we have to it’s
a tough team. We have a tough match up with the big guys.
We’re going to come out and be prepared.
Coach, as a guy who hit 48% of your 3 pointers
yourself, when you see great shooters, like Scott, hot today, Joe
Harris cold today, did you see just hot and cold or did you see
more than that to explain those?
I think Joe Harris is
really, really good and he’s proven it, but Scott guarded him for a
lot of the game and Lorenzo had him for some of the game and
we made it hard for him, even when he curled off the screens on
the wings we did a nice job of not allowing him to dribble drive
to the basket, which he does well, he’s strong enough to get to
the rim, we eliminated some of that and Scott had the hot hand
We kept going’ to him and he kept delivering.
When he gets going’ like that I’m not sure there is a
better shooter in the country, I’ve said that many times. I told
him he’s the second best shooter in the gym behind me but he’s
gettin’ close. He is as good as anybody in the country, there is
no doubt in my mind and he was awfully good today.
Coach, early in the season, Brown got injured and
you lost three straight, including the last second loss to Miami,
can you talk about his impact on and off the court?
You can see his impact now.
I’m not sure what our record is from what he came back, but
it’s pretty good and it’s good before he got hurt. He affects
the game defensively, he settles our team down, we have
great confidence in him, he finds guys with his passing, he can
score when he needs to.
He affects the game in so many ways
and obviously we’re a different team when he’s healthy and
hopefully he’s getting close to 100% now.
You played five starters 30 minutes, you didn’t have
the bye, are you worried about fatigue or not an issue?
No, that’s a rule we have, you’re
not allowed to get tired. Our guys will be fine. That’s the rule
we have. They will be anxious to play tomorrow and ready to go
and we will find strategic ways throughout the game to rest our
guys, which we have and they will be ready to go.