Feb. 9, 2003
VIRGINIA COACH PETE GILLEN
Today was a hard fought game for both teams. I though our defense was verygood against a very good offensive team. They spread you our and carve youup. … Our offensive execution wasn’t very good, but our defense was solid.
Free throws win games, and today we made some big ones.
(On the last N.C. State play) We just said, ‘Hey, don’t let [Julius Hodge]hit a three.’ We put Jason Clark on him. When Hodge scored his points, not alot were against [Clark]. We actually wanted to foul, but they weren’tlistening to us. We wanted to give a foul, but we froze a little bit. We justdidn’t want them to hit a three. … A three-point shot is not a difficultshot. We’ve [fouled] in the past, and it’s helped us.
(On Travis Watson’s play) He was spectacular. He did some great things. Buthe hasn’t practiced … so he wasn’t in sync. The reason he loses the ballwas because he wasn’t in sync.
(On Jermaine Harper’s three pointer) He’s not afraid. He’s a tough guy. Thatwas a big three — a giant shot.
We have great competition [in the ACC]. We have a good team that I think hasa chance to be very good. … We just need to keep improving. If we focus on’we’ and ‘us’ and ‘our,’ we have a chance to be a pretty good team down thestretch.
NC STATE COACH HERB SENDEK
I was proud of our effort. I thought we competed terrifically. I could beany more proud of the way they battled.
(On N.C. State’s last shot) Virginia did a good job defending us. Theirdefender was draped all over Julius [Hodge], and he was off balance.
(On the confrontation between Marcus Melvin and Travis Watson) It was just afiercely contested game on both sides. The effort level and competitivenesswere terrific.
(On N.C. State’s second-half offense) Nothing changed with our offense. Theball didn’t go in the basket and some circumstances didn’t go in our favor.
(On N.C. State’s defense against Virginia’s three-point shooting) They have anumber of guys who can hurt you from three-point range. We were aware thatTodd Billet was averaging 18 points a game, and he didn’t make a three. Thatjust shows you how hard we played on defense.