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VIDEO: Kevin Keatts Press Conference After NC State’s 78-71 Victory Over #7 Auburn

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Head Coach Kevin Keatts met with the media for his postgame press conference after his team knocked off #7 Auburn 78-71 in PNC Arena last night. The video is ABOVE, and a bulleted breakdown is BELOW.

  • Probably the most pressure I’ve ever had going into a game. When they hand out 1,000 shirts that say “Kevin Keatts is a Winner,” you better win that game, or those shirts aren’t going to be good.
  • Give a lot of credit to Auburn. Bruce Pearl has put together an unbelievable team. I believe they have Elite Eight or Final Four talent. They are tremendous. Tough to guard. Very similar to us in the way that they pressure you.
  • Both teams had 13 assists.
  • We had 22 turnovers, which was uncharacteristic of us.
  • We forced them into 25 turnovers and had seven steals.
  • I thought our guys came out to play. Thought we competed. Thought we fought for 40 minutes, which is what I’ve been asking them to do. Great program win for us and we want to continue to build on this.
  • I want Markell Johnson to stay aggressive. He has the ability to be one of the best guards in the nation when he stays aggressive. That is on both ends of the floor. I don’t like for him to take breaks. I like for him to stay engaged and get after it. I jumped all over him 1 time when he went under a screen, and they made a shot. From that point on, he became very offensive-minded. I like where he is right now. He’s competing hard for us. He’s growing up before our eyes. It’s hard to believe that he’s been here three years, but he’s playing a great role for us.
  • The 4 guys I really challenge are the 4 guys that have played for me before. I’m talking about Markell Johnson, Braxton Beverly, Torin Dorn, and CJ Bryce. Because we have so many new pieces, I need those guys to be leaders, and I think they are maturing in that area.
  • I love my team. I’ve said that all along. I think that we have a very good team. When you look at the guys we have played, especially the 4 Power 5 teams, we could easily be undefeated against them.
  • I like our scheduling. We played 2 Power 5 teams on a neutral court. We went into 1 of the most hostile environments in the country in Wisconsin, and had our chances to win.
  • I thought Wolfpack Nation was great tonight.
  • I thought Devon Daniels was great. In the second half I thought Markell Johnson and Devon Daniels were playing HORSE for a while. I think they scored all the points to start the second half. Give him credit. He could’ve pouted because he was coming off the bench. I felt like Braxton Beverly has been playing really great basketball since the Penn State game. I wanted to put him in the lineup, but told Devon to stay ready. He stayed ready and he played well off the bench.
  • That’s the place where we’re maturing (Defensively). Today’s kids define how they’re playing by whether the ball goes in the hole or not. If you’re not scoring, that’s not the end of the world, but make sure the other team isn’t scoring. We’re maturing in that area, and a lot of time it takes the air out of you. When we were up 16-6, I think Auburn struggled defensively because the ball wasn’t going in.
  • We didn’t accidentally become 10-1. Our guys have worked extremely hard to get there. Hopefully, we’re going to continue to get better and stay hungry and stay humble.
  • If the Wisconsin game was a learning opportunity for us, I’ll take that loss any time if we’re going to continue to get better from it.
  • Are you sure we are going to get national exposure? (smile on face) I think we’ll be fine. We are going to stay in the moment. I am going to take their phones away so they can’t use Twitter or Instagram, or for any of you guys that still use Facebook, I’m going to take that away too.
  • If it happens, it happens. I said this before the game…I really don’t care about rankings. If I’m in the Top-25, that’s okay. If I’m not, I’m okay. I look at the rankings when it comes time to pick the teams for the NCAA Tournament. I want to have the opportunity to win the conference regular season and the ACC Tournament.

P.S. Kevin Keatts is a Top-10 Killer. 

ACCDN Highlight Reel of the Game

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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