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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

NCAA to Move 3-Point Line Back to International Distance

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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%.

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NC State Basketball

NC State’s Torin Dorn Worked Out for the Hornets Yesterday

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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.

Photo Credit

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NC State Men’s Basketball to Host Wisconsin in Big Ten-ACC Challenge

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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.

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NC State Basketball

NC State’s Markell Johnson 1 of Andy Katz’s Favorites to Win the 2020 Jerry West Award

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NCAA.com’s Andy Katz is already looking to next year, and released his 11 favorites (and 14 other contenders) to win the 2020 Jerry West Award, given to the nations best shooting guard annually, beginning in 2015.

NC State Senior Markell Johnson ranked 6th on Katz’s list.

6. Markell Johnson, Sr., NC State: The Wolfpack got its stat stuffer back on the roster after Johnson decided to return to campus. He averaged a dozen points a game last season. Expect that number to climb as well as his overall production.

NCAA
  1. Myles Powell, Sr., Seton Hall
  2. Anthony Edwards, Fr., Georgia
  3.  Cole Anthony, Fr., North Carolina
  4. Aaron Henry, So., Michigan State
  5. Sam Merrill, Sr., Utah State
  6. Markell Johnson, Sr., NC State
  7. Jarron Cumberland, Sr., Cincinnati
  8. Alpha Diallo, Sr., Providence
  9. Davide Moretti, Jr., Texas Tech
  10. Marcus Evans, Sr., VCU
  11. Tyrese Maxey, Fr., Kentucky
  12. Trent Frazier, Jr., Illinois
  13. Remy Martin, Jr., Arizona State
  14. Braxton Key, Sr., Virginia
  15. Kellan Grady, Jr., Davidson
  16. Ty-Shon Alexander, Jr., Creighton
  17. David Collins, Jr., South Florida
  18. Joe Wieskamp, So., Iowa
  19. Fatts Russell, Jr., Rhode Island
  20. Cartier Diarra Jr., Kansas State
  21. TJ Gibbs, Sr., Notre Dame
  22. Kyle Lofton, So., St. Bonaventure
  23. Matt Coleman III., Jr., Texas
  24. Quade Green, So, Washington
  25. Dejon Jarreau, Jr., Houston (NCAA)

Duke’s RJ Barrett won the Jerry West Award this year.

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