NC State head coach Kevin Keatts talked to the media today heading into tomorrow’s matchup against rival UNC. You can watch it in full here, but here is what he had to say in BULLETED form.
- Stats he looks at are rebounding stats, deflection stats (which are never on stat sheet), steals, and forced turnovers. Offensively looks at fast break opportunities, offensive rebounds, assists, paint touches,PI Note: This is a very important take right here. This gives you insight into what he values as a coach. Most everyone focuses on FG% numbers, but Keatts does not mention that. In the analytics-era, most have gravitated toward the Ken Pom deep-stats, but NC State continues to prove a lot of those wrong by winning games they predict they’ll lose. Is Keatts on to something here? We’ll go in-depth on this in the coming weeks.
- Needed Batts against Syracuse. Freshmen need to come in and figure out where they fit in. Needed his defense against those 2 guards. Kept them out of the lane. Braxton didn’t do a great job defending the ball and Lavar came in and gave a great spark.
- Rewatched the Wake Forest game. I don’t think we played well. It was a one possession game with a minute-and-a-half to play in the game. Too many breakdowns. We are a better team now, so are they. Coming off a big win over Georgia Tech. Moore is playing unbelievable basketball. Different team on their home floor.
- We are a better group than we were a month ago. That was when Markell was just getting back. We share the ball better now. Roles are more established. We are more confident. That doesn’t equal wins. Still have to play the game.
Andy Katz Ranks NC State’s Markell Johnson as the #4 Player in the ACC
NCAA.com’s Andy Katz released a podcast two days ago previewing the 2019-20 ACC Men’s Basketball season, and he thinks that NC State Senior Point Guard Markell Johnson is the 4th best player in the conference.
Here’s what Katz had to say about Johnson in the Top-10 breakdown on the podcast.
“He’s a stat stuffer. If NC State goes to the NCAA Tournament, Markell Johnson will lead them. At ACC Media Day told me that he needs to come more out of his shell. He knows that. To be much more demonstrative. Kevin Keatts is putting it on him to become a player like that.” (Katz)
NC State Being Sued by N&O, WRAL, ABC11 & NY Times
According to Will Doran of the N&O, the News & Observer, WRAL, ABC11, and the New York Times have filed a lawsuit against NC State for refusing to turn over records related to Dennis Smith Jr. and the NCAA’s investigation into the Men’s Basketball program.
The article claims that for the past two years, the university has been “knowingly and intentionally violating the law by refusing to turn over public records.” Specifically, documentation of electronic communication and phone records have been denied according to the report.
After the release of the article, a spokesperson of the university reached out to Doran last night to inform him that they had “not seen or been served with the lawsuit and would wait to comment until officials have reviewed it.” The spokesperson also had this to say in a statement:
“N.C. State has released thousands of pages of documents and has acted in good faith and transparency throughout the federal and NCAA investigations,” the spokesperson said. “In addition, the university was prepared to release extensive phone records, but that release has been blocked by a temporary court order.” (N&O)
You can read Doran’s article in full here.
3 NC State Women’s Basketball Players Earn Preseason Honors
The Blue Ribbon Panel and Head Coaches released their Preseason All-ACC Teams today, and NC State Sophomore Center Elissa Cunane and Senior Guard Aislinn Konig both earned honors.
Cunane made both teams, while Konig only made the Head Coaches team.
In her first season, Cunane averaged 13.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, and was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team. Konig averaged 10.7 points and 3.8 assists per game as a Junior, shooting 40.1% from three-point range. Her 214 career three-pointers ranks 5th in program history, and her 93 three-pointers made last year broke her record from the year before (91) for trifecta’s made in a single season.
NC State has had at least one player earn 1st Team All-ACC honors at seasons end the past three years.
Freshman Guard Jakia Brown-Turner made the Newcomer Watch List for both the Blue Ribbon Panel and the Head Coaches.
Brown-Turner was a McDonald’s All-American, and the #15 player in the 2019 recruiting class according to ESPN.
NC State Women’s Basketball Picked to Finish 2nd in the ACC in 2019-20
The NC State Women’s Basketball team was picked to finish 2nd in the ACC in both the Blue Ribbon Panel and the Head Coaches 2019-20 Preseason Polls.
The Wolfpack picked up 8 first place votes in the Blue Ribbon Panel poll, and 2 in the Head Coaches Poll.
The last time NC State finished 2nd place or better in the ACC was the 1989-90 season, when the Wolfpack won the regular season. They finished tied for 2nd in 1997-98 and 1990-91, but were #3 seeds in the ACC Tournament.
Wolfpack Head Coach Wes Moore has either matched or exceeded expectations in all 6 of his seasons thus far in Raleigh. If he were to do so for the 7th consecutive season, he would take NC State to places it hasn’t been in almost 30 years.
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