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VIDEO: Kevin Keatts Talks After NC State’s 97-64 Victory Over Loyola Maryland

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NC State improved to 12-1 after their 97-64 victory over Loyola Maryland to close out the non-conference slate. Wolfpack head coach Kevin Keatts spoke with the media in his postgame press conference afterwards. The video of what he had to say to the media afterwards is ABOVE, and a bulleted breakdown is BELOW.

  • I’m excited about our team. I just told the team that I thought we did a tremendous job in non-conference play.
  • If you had told me that we would be 12-1, I would’ve taken it. Obviously, we had our chances to be 13-0.
  • This team has grown in a lot of areas and I’m proud of them, because we‘ve gotten better. We have been able to develop our depth Some guys have gotten some playing time lately that I think will really help us when we get into ACC play.
  • I look at the season in thirds
    • 1st third of the season is the non-conference
    • ACC play is the second
    • Postseason is the third
  • I’m happy with where we are. Obviously, we have to get better, because the competition will continue to get better as we move forward.
  • I am proud of the way that these guys have taken care of business…how professional they’ve been…and how hard they’ve worked throughout the non-conference games. I am excited about it and we are ready for the ACC.
  • The last three games we’ve turned the ball over too much, which is very uncharacteristic of us. Need to get back to taking care of the basketball. When you look at it, we are doing a great job passing the ball and having high assists games.
  • We had great defense with 13 blocks, which is the second-most blocks ever in PNC Arena. We were sharing the ball with 25 assists tonight.
    • Yet, we are starting to turn the ball over, which I don’t like.
  • What I like about our team is the versatility we have. We can play a lot of guys at a lot of different positions.
  • D.J. Funderburk and Wyatt Walker have become very reliable for us on the rebounding end, which I know was a concern for a lot of folks coming into the season. They’ve really gotten better.
  • I love our depth, communication, and how we play together. It’s a lot better right now than it was at the beginning.
  • I’m excited man, that guy (Jericole Hellems) is a bucket. He scores the ball. If I can get him to ever pass, I would be a heck of a coach. He is playing very good basketball and is a talented freshman. We knew coming in that he would only get better. He is the one guy on my team that I can tell you can score the ball inside and out. He is starting to finish around the basket. When you look at the last 3 games, he has led us in deflections, which is great.
  • Markell Johnson was low energy. When you are low energy, you aren’t going to play for me. He didn’t play today because I thought his energy was really low and I have too many guys that work extremely hard.’
    • I love him. He’s a heck of a player, and he’s going to be very good. I’m not mad at him. For me, it’s not about the guy that scores the most points, but the guy who plays the hardest. I want more energy from him moving forward, especially on the defensive end.
  • I am happy about my team. Certainly we have a lot of things to work on moving forward, just like everyone else. I am proud of these guys.
  • When we got back to practice on December 26th, it was an awful practice…probably like everyone else around the country, because they’d been out 3.5 days. I was miserable for 12 to 14 hours before I started calling my colleagues in the business. They said that they had bad practices too, and I was okay with it then.

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’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.

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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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