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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

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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