Wolfpack head coach Kevin Keatts spoke with the media in his postgame press conference after NC State fell to UNC 90-82. The video is ABOVE, and a bulleted breakdown is BELOW.
- I’m proud of the way my team fought. Started the game and couldn’t get anything going. We missed shots, and then we battled back. It was a very good basketball game between two teams that can score the ball. I told our team at the end of the game that 82 was enough to win the game.
- We’ve got to do a better job of cleaning up some of the mistakes that we made. They did a great job of beating us to some 50/50 balls, and we gave up a lot of rebounds. We have a chance to be a really good basketball team.
- Give North Carolina credit. I thought they shot the ball well. They did a tremendous job making three-pointers. We had our chances and made some runs, but the ball didn’t fall our way at the end of the game.
- I thought a lot of that (poor shooting) was due to our slow start. What happens when you start the game slow and miss some shots, they will try to bring us back by themselves. We didn’t share the ball particularly well. We went into the game saying that we wanted to get as many touches as we could and spread out the shooters, but we didn’t do that. We didn’t move the ball enough. 82 points is enough to win the game. Give North Carolina a lot of credit. They did a great job tonight.
- I like where my team is, and I like the way we fought. I told our guys that if we clean up little things, we have a chance to be a really good basketball team.
- I thought DJ (Funderburk) was great. He was very active. He did a great job. He had a heavy presence down low, both offensively and defensively. What I didn’t get was the rebounds from Torin Dorn, CJ Bryce, and Devon Daniels. We typically have both DJ Funderburk and Wyatt Walker with 7 to 11 rebounds, but we also have our 6’5” guys with rebounds, but tonight North Carolina beat us to some balls.
- I thought we made some runs. We didn’t do a great job running Cam Johnson off the 3-point line. I thought he got some great looks, with a couple of those coming off offensive rebounds. We knew they did a great job of rebounding the basketball, and getting them off quick for threes, but we didn’t do a great job of running them off the line.
- We lost a tough game early in our season, and I’m a big streaks guy. We won 7 in a row after we lost, and we talked about what do we do from here. We went to Wisconsin and lost a heartbreaker similar to that. You find out a lot about a team by how they bounce back. That was the last thing I talked to them in the locker room. We did enough to win the game. If we cleaned up some stuff with the basketball, rebounded the basketball, and got some 50/50 balls, there would have been a different outcome tonight.
- We just missed shots (On UNC’s fast start). If you go back and look at the start of the game, we had some great looks that didn’t fall. Sometimes the basketball just doesn’t go in. I thought we settled in. You aren’t always going to score the basketball, but rely on your defense to get back. When we got down early, I thought we locked in on defense better, and we started making shots. Braxton Beverly hit a couple shots to kind of loosen everything up for us.
- Our bench has been tremendous. I like my bench. These guys have given me tremendous effort every day. They are fighting. We won’t be defined by one game. I thought it was a good game, but the guys who came off the bench did a tremendous job.
- I wanted to bring Braxton Beverly off because I wanted him to see the game start and get into a flow.
- It doesn’t drive me crazy (On being within a few points most of the game). It means that we won’t lay down. These guys are fighters and it shows a lot about us, the program, and the direction that we are moving in. We refuse to just lay down.
NC State Signee Jalen Lecque Goes Undrafted, Signs UDFA Deal with Suns
Point Guard Jalen Lecque, who was an NC State 2019 signee that opted for the NBA Draft instead of attending school in Raleigh in the Fall, didn’t hear his name called last night in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Despite going undrafted, the Phoenix Suns signed the athletic phenom to a 4-year Undrafted Free Agent Contract, with 2 years guaranteed.
Lecque was a 4-Star prospect out of Brewster Academy, ranked 40th nationally by Rivals and 247.
The high flyer committed to NC State back on October 2nd, submitted his paperwork for NBA eligibility on April 2nd, and fully declared for the Draft on May 29th.
This obviously didn’t go the way Lecque would have ultimately liked, but a guaranteed two-year contract gives reason for optimism.
I still stand on the premise that Lecque would have benefited from a year of college, and likely would have been a lottery pick next year.
NCAA to Move 3-Point Line Back to International Distance
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%.
NC State’s Torin Dorn Worked Out for the Hornets Yesterday
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.
NC State Men’s Basketball to Host Wisconsin in Big Ten-ACC Challenge
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.