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NC State’s Kevin Keatts Talks Before Season Opener: BULLETED

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NC State Head Coach Kevin Keatts spoke with the media today before the men’s basketball team kicks off the 2018-19 season tomorrow night against Mount Saint Mary’s. You can watch it here, or read a BULLETED breakdown below.

  • Excited for some of our players. I’m sure there will be a lot of nervous energy. Was thinking about it today…we’ve got 3 guys, really 2, CJ Bryce and Devon Daniels, who haven’t played in over a year.
  • Tried to improve on some things that we didn’t do well in the Chowan exhibition. Our guys are obviously tired of practicing against each other. They’re all excited about playing basketball tomorrow.
  • We’ll play a very good team that’s got a lot of tradition, Mount St. Mary’s. Last few years they’ve done a tremendous job and they play a very similar style to us where they try to get up and down.
  • I’m looking for chemistry and I’m looking for a lot of different lineups.
  • From exhibition, I wanted us to do a better job of blocking out. I thought we gave up a few more offensive rebounds that I would like. That being said, when you give up offensive rebounds, you don’t get a chance to get out and run as much. I know we scored 111 points, but I want to try to get out in transition a little bit more.
  • In recruiting, I think you have to, #1, obviously sell your program and your system. Obviously we’ve got a tremendous program that I think that fans obviously love and players love to play in. You talk about a great university and we certainly have that…academically and also a great place to go to school in Raleigh.
  • Braxton Beverly is doing better. We actually threw him into one or two drills to try to shoot the basketball. He’s still a ways away and I don’t know that I have a timetable for you guys. I don’t know where he’s at. In my mind, I wish he could play tomorrow, but I’m looking at probably two or three weeks out… hopefully. I’m going to listen to the doctors and trainer to tell me when he can play, and I hope it’s sooner than later. We need him. We love his leadership. I know he’s obviously a good player and can make shots, but I think we miss the leadership more than anything.
  • The two guys who played for me last year have to do a great job shooting: Torin Dorn and Markell Johnson. CJ Bryce has also played for me for a couple of years and Devon Daniels I would like to see play well. I think those four guys have to play well and I think everybody else has to follow.
  • Wyatt Walker is free spirited, a high-energy guy.  Everybody loves him, and I think his leadership and how hard he plays… everybody could follow that.
  • I told our team the other day, what we did last year was a very special year, especially with some guys who were coming off a year that they didn’t have a lot of success. We don’t take it for granted that we won 11 games in the ACC. It’s hard to do on any given year.That being said, that’s a totally different team and I’m excited about this group.
  • I would say yes, this is more my style of team. We have the pieces to play the way we want to play, but I don’t want to cheat last year’s team. Those guys bought into my system and we actually played our style. What I said earlier was that we probably had about 75 percent of our system in and hopefully now we’ll get up to 90 to 95 percent now.
  • I think the three bigs that I played in the exhibition game, help me sleep a little better knowing that they can contribute in different ways. When you look at Wyatt, he did a tremendous job rebounding the ball, and he’s a great passer. You can’t ignore the way DJ played. DJ did a tremendous job going 7-for-7 from the field.
  • In college basketball, if you can stay older or in this situation you can stay experienced, I think that’s better. We have some older guys but what we don’t have is game experience, so having him (Torin Dorn) as a guy who’s been through the wars and obviously played in the system… is huge for us because his leadership is going to be important for guys that have never really went through a season of NC State basketball.
  • I know we want to be an uptempo team and we want to get out and transition, but unfortunately the other team has scouting reports. We know we’ve worked really hard trying to be efficient in the half court and we expect to see early on, especially with Braxton out, a good dose of some zone sometime and then some man-to-man. So we’ve worked on trying to be better in the halfcourt.
  • No, I just want him (CJ Bryce) to play.  If he can average 17 points a game at this level, then I’m great with them. I try to create an atmosphere where our guys can play loose. I give them tremendous offensive freedom without getting crazy. I hope he just plays the way he plays.

NC State Basketball

VIDEO: Kevin Keatts Talks Before #19 NC State’s Matchup vs. #23 Louisville

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#19 NC State head coach Kevin Keatts spoke with the media today before Thursday’s road game against #23 Louisville. He broke down the latest on Junior Point Guard Markell Johnson’s availability…

The video is ABOVE (Via TheWolfpacker), and a bulleted breakdown is BELOW.

  • I think I said it the other day, he’s (Markell Johnson) a guy that could play on Thursday, or could play three or four weeks from now. I’m not going to play him until he feels mentally and physically ready to play.
    • There won’t be any pressure on our end. We’re prepared to go into every game without him. If he’s able to play…feels he can play…and the doctors and trainers say he can play…we’d definitely love to have him back in our lineup
    • He’s getting shots up with no contact at this point. He’s not moving really fast, but anything we do at the beginning where we get shots up and there is no contact, he participates in that.
    • I think he feels better each day. I typically get a report from our trainer right after practice and every night, and the report last night was he felt better after working out yesterday.
    • He took a pretty nasty fall. He doesn’t have a lot of meat in that area. He’s really, really sore.
  • DJ Funderburk’s been great. He’s long and athletic, and can get to a lot of offensive rebounds. He’s been great in that area, but he’s also done a great job with defensive presence.
    • Against Pitt he had to play a lot of minutes and did a tremendous job without getting into foul trouble. Made some shots. Ran the floor.
    • He gives us the ability on the defensive end where we can switch all screens if we have to, because he’s the only guy on our roster who can guard all five positions on the floor. He’s been very valuable to us.
    • When he’s in the game, we typically don’t have a true center. Wyatt Walker is the closest we have to a true center. We have two power forwards or two forwards when he’s on the floor.
    • At Hargrave, he was always on the front of a press. Played with energy. He played hard. Affected every aspect of the game.
    • Went JUCO and some projected him as the No. 1 JUCO in the country. He’s only going to get better as the years go on. He’ll continue to put on weight. Next year I’d love to see him add 20 more pounds to his frame.
    • It’s a couple of different things (On why he doesn’t start). I don’t like him getting into early foul trouble. He’s also played so great off the bench. Gives us a great lift. He will start games before the season is over. Don’t know when that will be, but he’s so valuable to our program.
    • I felt we had a little bit of advantage (recruiting Funderburk) because AW (Hamilton. Former Assistant Coach who is now at Eastern Kentucky) had coached him. A lot of schools backed off because they thought if NC State wanted him, we’d get him because of his relationship with AW at Hargrave.
  • I think we have to play high-level basketball to win there (Louisville). They are playing as good as any team in our conference. After the Pitt loss, I don’t think they’ve had a game closer than 10 points. They had an unbelievable win at Carolina and on the road with Georgia Tech.
    • (Jordan) Nwora is playing very good basketball. He’s shooting the ball extremely well. They are talented and play hard.
    • Chris (Mack) is doing a great job with the program.
    • My emotions are I’m hoping we can go there and get a win. I’m the NC State coach and excited about our guys. For me, it’s another great opponent on their floor. It’s so hard to win in the ACC on the road.
  • We have to be there on the catch (On what you have to do to stop Nwora). He’s really good. He reminds me so much of Cam Johnson with how he can shoot the ball with his height.
    • He’s very good around the NBA line, but he can also step back and take shots. Right now, he’s shooting into a big rim.
    • The only game in the ACC they didn’t win (Pitt), he didn’t have a great game.

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NC State Basketball

NC State Women’s Basketball Stays Put at #8 for 3rd Straight Week

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The NC State Women’s Basketball team stayed put at #8 in the Week 12 AP Poll, after defeating Virginia Tech 70-61 in overtime this past Sunday in their only game of the week.

Need I remind the voters that the Wolfpack is 18-0, and the only remaining undefeated team in all of Division-I College Basketball…Women or Men.

The Wolfpack will host the Clemson Tigers on Thursday night at 7pm.

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NC State Basketball

Remembering when Martin Luther King Jr. Spoke in NC State’s Reynolds Coliseum

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On a day when we remember Martin Luther King Jr., you might not realize that the country-shaping Civil Rights leader once spoke in NC State’s legendary Reynolds Coliseum.

On July 31st, 1966, Dr. King spoke to an integrated audience of an estimated 5,000 people in Reynolds Coliseum. Simultaneously, the Ku Klux Klan was marching the streets of Raleigh in protest to his presence. Much of Raleigh was in an uproar with King in town. Numerous churches in the area took out ads in the News & Observer inviting people to their church that week to denounce him, and oppose integration.

The night before King’s speech, there was an event in the iconic Memorial Auditorium portraying King as a communist.

Rather than a representative from NC State introducing King on their own campus, the President of Shaw University, Dr. James Cheek, introduced him.

King’s presence in North Carolina through the years wasn’t isolated to this one speech. In fact, his first “I have a dream” speech was in Rocky Mount.

As a pastor, I grieve that there were churches that denounced King that week. The integration they opposed is integral to the Gospel of Jesus. We needed to do better then, and we need to do better now. In my opinion, reconciliation, and the fighting of injustice is not optional for anyone that wants to call themselves Christian.

While we have a long way to go in our our society, I’m thankful that Raleigh and NC State aren’t in the same place they were back in 1966.

Check out all of the work and activities going on at NC State surrounding the impact of Dr. King. 

Also, please make sure to read W. Jason Miller’s article at the News & Observer, which shaped this entire piece. It’s wonderful piece of journalism. 

 

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NC State Basketball

NC State Remains in Top-20 in Week 12 Coaches Poll

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The Week 12 Coaches Poll is out, and after another 1-1 week, NC State remains in the Top-20, falling back 3 spots to #19.

ACC Teams in the Week 12 Coaches Poll Top-25

2) Duke (-)
3) Virginia (-2)
8) Virginia Tech (-1)
12) UNC (+3)
19) NC State (-3)
23) FSU (-12)
24) Louisville (+2)

 

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