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NC State’s Debbie Yow is the N&O’s Most Influential Person in Triangle Sports

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The News and Observer revealed their 2018 Top-10 Most Influential People in Triangle Sports, and NC State Athletic Director Debbie Yow earned the #1 spot.

Here’s Luke DeCock’s reasons why she sits at the Top.

When Debbie Yow was hired in the summer of 2010 to turn around the N.C. State athletic department, she promised a top-25 athletic program on all fronts, especially in football and men’s basketball, both of which were mired in prolonged droughts

As she prepares to exit the scene this summer – when Yow signed a contract extension four years ago taking her through July 2019, she said it would be her last – she has delivered on that promise, and not just in football and basketball, both of which have been in the Associated Press top 25 this season for the first time since 2003. The Wolfpack is strong across the board – a remarkable 15th in the overall Directors Cup standings last academic year and ninth this fall semester, ranked alongside Duke and North Carolina having narrowed the non-revenue gap for those local rivals, and programs like wrestling and swimming have become national powerhouses.

Football has a new indoor practice facility and Reynolds Coliseum has gone through a top-to-bottom renovation. Revenue has grown to feed the increasing success. Yow hasn’t been perfect – and the indiscretions of the Mark Gottfried regime continue to hang over the school – but she hasn’t hesitated to make changes when needed, even of her own hires. Her direct style occasionally ruffles feathers, but there’s no question she gets results – and no doubting her passion for the job or N.C. State.

For all of that, and her continuing influence on sports in the Triangle, Yow tops the 2018 Triangle Ten, an unscientific assessment of the 10 most influential people in Triangle sports over the past year.

Even after her expected retirement in July, don’t expect her influence to diminish. She’ll likely be even more vocal on social media, where she already spars with opposing fans – her Twitter address is @gopacknow, identified as “#1 State Fan” – and it wouldn’t be surprising to see her take an active role with Lead1, the athletic-director association-slash-lobbying group run by Tom McMillen, the former Congressman and Maryland basketball star. (N&O)

Check our the rest of the piece here, to see who filled out the rest of the Top-10. 

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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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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