NC State defeated Western Carolina 100-67 last night, improving to 8-1 on the year (Highlights). Wolfpack head coach Kevin Keatts met with the media in his postgame press conference after the game. The video is ABOVE and a bulleted breakdown is BELOW.
- What an honor to have Pam Valvano and her daughters here for the special dedication for Jimmy Valvano. It was a great night and I’m glad that we could be apart of it.
- Every time his speech comes on, I can’t turn it off. I have to listen to it. I’ve probably listened to it 2,000 times. It’s probably one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard. The reason: during his times of struggle, all he could think about was helping someone else.
- As a basketball coach, we love to win. Yet we have to ask ourselves this: when you’re gone and no longer on Earth, how do people look at you? When you think about what he did, what he said, and how’s he helped raise so much money even though he’s not here anymore, you know that says so much about him as a man and as a person. I’m just proud to be here and honored to be a part of it.
- I don’t have a number (of deflections) for the game, but I know we had 18 at the half. That gave me a chance to yell at them, because we’re supposed to have 20 per half. We turned them over 21 times in the second half, so I was happy with that. We had 33 for the game, so I would say we got over 40 deflections.
- I love my team. I told you guys in the beginning of the year that what stands out about this team is its versatility. I just told those guys in the locker room that on any given night, if we stay together and fight together, anybody could lead us in scoring, and we could be a very good basketball team.
- Blake Harris played great. Jericole Hellems was good (career high), anDevon Daniels was very good tonight.
- I told them to embrace the moment. This is my 2nd chance to play in this electric building. What a great place. Add on the fact that there was the dedication to Jimmy Valvano, and it was unbelievable.
- Devon Daniels had a couple of good days of practice. I feel you play the way you practice. He was locked in. It’s funny as a coach, and I told my assistant coaches today he would have a great game in here.
- I’m going to petition this year that we can have our ACC games in Reynolds.
- Blake’s (Harris) a good player. It’s tough when you come into a program and you’re a transfer, trying to figure out how you fit in. That’s what has happened to Blake so far, and I think now he understands what his role is.
- The same thing has happened with all of our guys. Since we have so many new pieces, 1-by-1 you’ll see guys starting to play a little bit better because they’re starting to get comfortable with the system.
- Here’s what’s happened with my shoes: I’ll give props to Takayo Siddle, my assistant coach, for my shoes. He calls me into his office and he says, “Coach, I have some shoes that you should buy. They’re head coaches shoes. I can’t get them.” I said, “Why can’t you get them? You make a lot of money.” He said, “Coach, they’re just head coaches shoes.” He showed me where to get them, and I went online. They’re Gucci wolves heads, and they just happened to match up great with NC State. As you guys know, I am a shoe guy. I had to have them, and I thought this was a special moment to pull them out.
- I love Jericole (Hellems). As we continue to build the program, we need freshman like Jericole to play well and build the program, especially with a lot of transfers. If I can get more freshman to help build the program for the future, that’s great. He’s going to be good. His role right now, in his mind, is to come in and score. I want him to come in and play great defense and pass the ball, and then score. He’s going to be a good basketball player for us.
(Video via GoPack)
NC State Signee Jalen Lecque Goes Undrafted, Signs UDFA Deal with Suns
Point Guard Jalen Lecque, who was an NC State 2019 signee that opted for the NBA Draft instead of attending school in Raleigh in the Fall, didn’t hear his name called last night in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Despite going undrafted, the Phoenix Suns signed the athletic phenom to a 4-year Undrafted Free Agent Contract, with 2 years guaranteed.
Lecque was a 4-Star prospect out of Brewster Academy, ranked 40th nationally by Rivals and 247.
The high flyer committed to NC State back on October 2nd, submitted his paperwork for NBA eligibility on April 2nd, and fully declared for the Draft on May 29th.
This obviously didn’t go the way Lecque would have ultimately liked, but a guaranteed two-year contract gives reason for optimism.
I still stand on the premise that Lecque would have benefited from a year of college, and likely would have been a lottery pick next year.
NCAA to Move 3-Point Line Back to International Distance
When NC State played in the 2019 National Invitational Tournament, there were a variety of experimental rules put in place. One of those was moving the 3-Point line back 1 foot, 8 inches, which is the distance used by the FIBA (International Basketball Federation).
The NCAA considered the experiment successful, and recently approved a rule change to move the arch back to 22 feet and 1¾ inches. This rule will be implemented at the start of the 2019-20 season.
Senior Wolfpack Point Guard Markell Johnson had no problem shooting it from further back, hitting 9-17 (52.9%) in the Wolfpack’s 3 games in the NIT.
As a team, NC State shot 33.3% from the new standard, which was slightly under their season average of 35.3%.
NC State’s Torin Dorn Worked Out for the Hornets Yesterday
Former NC State Wing Torin Dorn worked out for the Charlotte Hornets yesterday.
Yesterday’s workout was technically Dorn’s first pre-draft team workout, but he did participate in an agent pro day in Phoenix two weeks ago. Dorn also played well in the Portsmouth Invitational at the end of April.
I would be shocked to see Dorn drafted, but workouts like these could help him get an invite to the NBA Summer League or get a G-League contract.
NC State Men’s Basketball to Host Wisconsin in Big Ten-ACC Challenge
RALEIGH, N.C. – The NC State men’s basketball team will host Wisconsin in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, the league announced on Thursday.
The game is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 4. Tip-time and broadcast information will be released later.
The match-up will be the fourth all-time between the two programs. Wisconsin has won all three previous meetings, including last season’s game in Madison, Wis., 79-75. Markell Johnson led the Pack with a then-career-high 21 points in defeat.
NC State returns six of its top-seven scorers from last season’s 24-12 team.
Wisconsin returns six of its top-eight scorers from last season’s 23-11 team.
Additional opponents and dates for the 2019-20 season will be announced at a later date.