Sidney Lowe met with the media Friday morning to discuss Sunday’s regular season finale against Boston College and the ACC Tournament. He even chimed in on the ACC Player of the Year discussion.
By Sunday you will know what seed you are in the ACC Tournament and what you have to do. Do you care where you are or who you play in that first round next week?
Not really. No. It doesn’t matter who we play, it’s going to be a tough game and it’s going to come down to how well we play, limiting our mistakes so it really doesn’t matter. We’re going to have to play well to beat any team in this conference.
Do you feel positive about the teams you could play because those teams from 4 or 5 through 9 have all had ups and downs? Is it a little different because of the parity in the ACC?
I don’t think any of them are going to be easy. These teams in this conference have knocked each other off, in games you didn’t think they would win. We beat a very good Duke team so you feel good about that. I’d like to say we’re going to have a chance against whoever we play, that is just the way it’s been this year. It’s a matter of who is coming out to play that day and the team that is going to limit turnovers and make shots. That’s going to be key.
What will it be like for the younger guys going to the ACC Tournament for the first time?
It will be an eye opening experience. It’s a special time, it’s a special tournament. The crowd is incredible, the atmosphere is incredible and the media attention is incredible. It will be something that they haven’t seen before and I’m sure some of them will be like a deer in headlights looking at everything but it’s also great. It’s a great experience and it’s something they should embrace early in their careers and understand. We tell them all the time what NC State is all about and what this conference is all about and I think they are going to see it now in one setting from all of the schools.
Does the team understand that what they do in the next week or two could really propel them into the offseason?
They do. We’ve talked about that. We’ve talked about trying to control what we can, and that’s us. Certainly there is a lot of basketball still to be played for this team. It’s just a matter of what we do in this next few weeks. How bad do we want to continue playing? That’s the most important thing.
What can Dennis Horner show the younger guys? He’s certainly seen both sides of the spectrum with regards to the ACC Tournament.
He can certainly understand what to expect but it’s nothing like going through it. I’m hoping that he can express to them his feeling of playing in the ACC Tournament and being eliminated and the season being over and how it felt. That is something he can certainly explain to them. How it feels to have a last game. Anytime you have a last game and it’s not the National Championship winning it, it’s just not a good feeling. He can certainly talk to them about that. He’s been through it.
Dennis’ effort was noticeable Wednesday night against Virginia Tech. I know you wanted to get Richard some more minutes and do some of that but it seems like Dennis has asserted himself and made that impossible.
He has. Part of that is that he realized that this is it. At some point in the next month or so my college career is coming to an end and what am I going to do with it. He’s just been playing hard. Even if he’s not making shots he’s going to the offensive glass, defensive glass, playing defense and it’s shown a little leadership without talking. We need that.
What does it mean that both Dennis and Farnold Degand will end up with their degrees in May?
It means everything. It means everything in the world. That’s something that we really are proud of that every senior we’ve had since I’ve been here has graduated – every last one of them. That’s more important to me than anything. Not more important because it helps me, it’s more important because it helps them. That’s not talked about a lot. It would mean everything to them. I know Dennis’ grandmother and mother are proud of him along with Farnold’s mom.
We’ve talked about scoring droughts a lot this year, but a couple of recent ones have been different because you have been getting stops on the defensive end.
That ball game the drought came became of turnovers instead of missed shots. We turned it over so we never gave ourselves a chance to score. We were solid with our defense for the most part with the exception of Delaney hitting those couple of shots. I know that we’ve made progress; there is no question about it. Just watching us and seeing us be a little more patient with it and not taking as many bad shots. We’re moving the ball and moving bodies and that’s a process. We’re going to get there. I can see it coming. If we get that down to understanding good shots and taking care of the ball we’re tough.
What do you expect to see from Boston College Sunday? They’ve played well here lately.
They are very physical. When you look at their players they are all big. The wings are big, the guards are big and thick. They are going to run their offense, their going to bang you. Trapani is going to do his thing shooting the ball. I see a very confident team and a very physical team. We have to be ready to play against that type of physicality and stay within what we’re trying to do.
Who is your player of the year in the ACC?
I tell you it’s hard to go against Greivis Vasquez. Certainly Maryland has other players who have stepped up but that young man is just special. He has got a mindset of just about winning. But he does it in the right way. I would have to say Vasquez.