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NC State’s Kevin Keatts Talks Before Rivalry Game vs. UNC

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NC State head coach Kevin Keatts spoke with the media yesterday prior to tonight’s matchup against rival UNC. The video is ABOVE, and a bulleted breakdown is BELOW.

  • You know, I have no idea (On what he will be wearing tonight). It’s a game-time decision. Roy (Williams) has got some nice jackets. I don’t think I’m a trendsetter. I just like clothes, shoes and love my school colors.
  • UNC is a really good basketball team. Better than they were last year. They are tremendous in scoring in transition. One of the best offensive rebounding teams in the country. They are shooting the ball well from three at certain positions. You have to do a tremendous job getting back on those guys or they’ll score easy baskets all night long. We’ve got to find a way to keep them off the glass.
  • Luke (Maye) played two tremendous games against us last year, and he’s having a very good season this year. I’ve got a lot of respect for him, because he’s a guy who came in as a walk-on, and has established himself as a really good ACC player. We respect his game, and hopefully our guys are up for the challenge.
  • It takes a team to rebound well. I’ve got a bunch of guys who are 6’4″, 6’5″, and 6’6″ who we have to rebound as a team. Give them a lot of credit. They’ve done a tremendous job, led by Torin Dorn. He’s one of the better rebounders in the country for his size, but Devon Daniels has rebounded the ball, CJ Bryce, DJ Funderburk, and we’re starting to get it from Wyatt. What he did last game was very encouraging, with 8 offensive rebounds. It’s more of a collective effort, because we don’t have that one guy that can average 10 rebounds a game.
  • If you’re going to be a great shooting team, you have to be a great passing team. We’ve done a great job of making sure that we pass the ball to the shooters in the right spots.
  • I don’t think the expectations have changed at all (just because it’s a ranked matchup). Every game we go into, we are expecting to win, and we’d love to win. It doesn’t change for me or the team at all.
  • I think every coach in the country plays the guys they feel comfortable with. When you look at our 10 guys, I don’t think it’s a lot of separation from the five guys that I start and the five guys that I bring off the bench. Each one of those guys have done something in practice that has made me feel good about playing them.
  • Blake Harris will be back and ready to go hopefully for tomorrow (tonight’s game) and we should go back to our 10-man rotation.
  • When I built the roster, I thought we had 9 or 10 guys that were capable of playing. Obviously, we lost 1 to transfer and then didn’t know Manny Bates would be out for the year at that time, but I knew we could play 10 and possibly 11.
  • Markell Johnson’s maturing as a point guard. When you have the experience of playing three years in the ACC, you should be a better player. I’ve challenged Markell in many ways because we need his leadership. He’s a different player than last year. Last year he led the ACC in assists. We don’t necessarily need him to do that. With this particular team, we need him to score. I need him to run our team, but I need him to score at times, and he’s had some big moments early in our season where he took over the game, and we need him to be that guy.
  • I’m not into the storming of the courts. I think if you win the game, be excited and act like you’ve been there before. I can’t control what the students do, but I want these guys to get where they are used to winning games.
  • We are going to play the way we play. We won’t change. We’ve been successful doing that (pressing), and we’re going to play our game.
  • (On why it’s hard to find leaders) I think it’s a different age. I think young men now are more consumed about themselves, or scoring.  A lot of guys determine how they play by how they score. When I played, you had to do what you had to do to get on the floor, even if that was being scrappy, playing defense, and/or being a leader.

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.

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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