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NC State’s Kevin Keatts Talks Seton Hall: BULLETED

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NC State head coach Kevin Keatts spoke with the media today about the Wolfpack’s upcoming trip to Wichita to face Seton Hall this Thursday. You can watch it here, or check it out in bulleted format below.

Opening

  • Excited about the opportunity. NC State hasn’t gone the past couple of years. Huge for us. Most of the guys on this team haven’t played on this big of a stage. Al Freeman played three years in the dance, Malik and Lennard once as Freshmen.
  • We have our work cut out for us with so many inexperienced guys.
  • From a coaching and staff perspective, this will be their third NCAA in as many years. They’ve done a tremendous job.

Seton Hall

  • Seton Hall gets out in transition, and shoots the ball well. Elite big guys. Mix up defense. Swagger and toughness.
  • They start 4 guys who have played in back-to-back NCAA’s. They’re hungry.
  • In the press conference they said Desi Rodriguez’s ankle was 75%, which means he will be 95%. I expect him to be at full strength. He’s good. Matchup problem. He has great size and will post our little guys up. He can get to the basket and is the emotional leader.

NC State

  • We are going to go and have more fun than the other 67 teams this week. We will prepare, and I want them to be excited. Want them to do what they have done all year: play hard and compete.
  • It means a lot to do this in the first year. If you look at how we started, picked 12th in the ACC, the way we started ACC play, and then finished tied for 3rd.
  • You could have your best team here at NC State and may not win 11 conference games. Excited about what these guys did in a short period of time.
  • This means everything to Sam Hunt. Such a wonderful and humble kid. NC kid that grew up an ACC guy and is playing with NC State in the NCAA tournament. Hope he’s so excited that he hits 6 threes in a game.
  • We have to compete like it’s your last game. Leave it all on the floor for 40 minutes. Don’t worry about the next game. Don’t worry about rest. Live in the moment.
  • Against BC we didn’t play well in the first half, but 2nd half was more of our identity. Played well. We didn’t fly around enough on defense. We didn’t hit shots at the beginning, and weren’t able to get in our press. I thought we just missed shots. Omer missed chippies. Don’t think it was the big stage. I know I’m fighting the NC State Stuff. This wasn’t STUFF. We missed shots. Give BC credit. They played good.
  • Georgia Tech was a game of different styles, & they played good basketball.
  • Gave the guys a couple of days off. Practiced for an hour and fifteen minutes yesterday. They were business like. Played hard. These guys have moved on from the loss. From a coaching stand point, it’s harder to move on.

NC State Baseball

Trea Turner’s power / speed combo puts him in MLB history books

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Former NC State (and current Washington Nationals) SS, Trea Turner, is having what has become a historic season.

So why hasn’t there been more hype around the 25-year-old?

Well, last year in an injury-shortened season (412 ABs), Turner was on an even torrid pace. He batted .284, hit 11 HRs and stole 46 bases. That was coming off a 2016 season where, in just 324 ABs he hit an insane .342 with 33 HRs and 33 steals.

Those type of numbers have made some see his 2018 numbers as a sort of letdown.

After last night’s big game (2-5, HR, 3 RBIs) Turner is hitting .268 with 15 HRs in 504 ABs. He’s also stolen 32 bases. While he’s shown a better pace in the past, the current pace is actually good enough to land him in the MLB record books.

Trea Turner is already showing historic power/speed combo numbers, but his past numbers show, this might just be the beginning of what is possible for the young SS.

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Detroit Tigers promote Brock Deatherage to A-Advanced & he keeps raking

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We told you just a few days ago that former NC State OF Brock Deatherage was lighting up the minor leagues.

Well, we weren’t the only ones who thought so.

Yesterday, Deatherage was promoted by the Detroit Tigers from Class A to Class A-Advanced.

 

It seems as if the Tigers are fast-tracking Brock at this point. If he hits well for Lakeland, he could start next season in AA, and if that happens, he could see the majors by the end of next season. But again, it all comes down to him continuing to hit like this.

The good news is, in his first at-bat with the new club, Deatherage hit a laser-beam of a triple into the right-center gap.

We’ll keep you updated on how he fares in the coming weeks.

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Former Pack star Brock Deatherage off to fast start to pro career

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Brock Deatherage might have the coolest name in the pro baseball ranks, but he’s not resting on his laurels.

Instead, the former Wolfpack OF is eating pitchers alive in his first season of pro ball.

Deatherage started in rookie ball where he logged just 9 ABs. That’s because in those 9 ABs he had 5 hits and 4 of those were HRs.

So the Detroit Tigers front office quickly moved him up to A-ball where he’s continued to rake.

In 42 games, he’s tallied 162 ABs. He 51 hits (good for a .327 average), 2 HRs, and 12 walks. He’s also swiped 15 bases. Check out his first HR here

It’s likely that if Deatherage continues this pace that he’ll start next season in AA. And if that goes well, and MLB ETA could be September of next season.

We’ll keep following Brock as he hits his way through the Detroit Tigers minor league system.

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Former Wolfpacker Andrew Knizner making case for call-up by Cardinals

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Andrew Knizner was a consistent producer at NC State. For his career, he hit over .300 and showed a patient approach at the plate. Couple that with the fact that he was versatile in the field and you can see why the St. Louis Cardinals selected him in the 2016 MLB draft.

Fast forward a few couple years and not much has changed for Knizner. He’s still hitting over .300, his approach is still solid and he’s showing he can play multiple positions in the field. The only difference is that he’s now doing that in the high level of the Cardinal farm system.

As you recall, Knizner was promoted to AAA in late May. He then followed with an invitation to the MLB Futures Game during All-Star weekend. Now, the question is, when will he get the call to the big show?

A target date to watch for is September 1st. This is when MLB rosters will expand from the normal 25-man roster to the full 40-man roster.

Now usually, if a guy is not on the 40-man roster, then it’s unlikely you’d see him get the call in September (and Knizner is not on the Cardinal’s 40-man.) However, the Cardinals are only 6.5 games out of first place in their division and just 4 games out of the Wild Card. This means they will likely be in the middle of a playoff push in September. That also means that they’ll need to make sure they have enough depth for that run.

Most teams carry at least 3 catchers when rosters expand, but looking at St. Louis’ 40-man, they would only be carrying their starter Yadier Molina, and backup Francisco Pena.

What we’re getting at is that if the Cardinals can keep pace in their playoff race, then when rosters expand, there is an increasingly good chance that they designate someone for assignment and add Andrew Knizner to the roster, both because his numbers dictate it and because they need an emergency backstop.

The kid has hit over .300 in AA and now after a few weeks in AAA, he’s hitting .314. He’s also being touted as a quality defensive catcher and is even starting to show a little more pop. The Cardinals are looking for a protege to bring up while their future Hall of Fame catcher, Yadier Molina is still around to tutor him. All of this may go into motion a lot sooner than thought, but it’s deserved and very much earned by the former Wolfpacker.

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