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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.

NC State Basketball

NC State Men’s Basketball Ranks 41st in 2019-20 Preseason AP Poll

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The 2019-20 AP Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll is out, and NC State is sitting at 41st.

The Wolfpack spent 6 weeks ranked in the AP Poll last week, peaking as high 15th in Week 10.

NC State opened last season 50th in the AP Preseason Poll, with 1 vote. In the final AP poll released in Week 19, the Wolfpack didn’t receive a single vote.

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NC State Basketball

NC State Men’s Basketball Ranked 28th in KenPom’s 2019-20 Preseason Rankings

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Stat junkie KenPom’s preseason 2019-20 rankings are out, and the NC State Men’s Basketball team sits at 28th nationally to start the year.

The Wolfpack’s is projected to rank 10th nationally in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, with the Defense sitting at 64th.

NC State sits at 6th in the ACC in these preseason rankings, which lines up perfectly with the Official Preseason rankings by the ACC Media. They are projected to have the 4th most efficient offense, and the 12th most efficient defense.

The Wolfpack is projected to go 22-9 in the regular season.

NC State finished the 2018-19 season ranked 41st nationally in KenPom’s final rankings.

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Primetime with the Pack: HIGHLIGHT REEL

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The NC State Men and Women’s Basketball teams put on a show for the fans last night at Primetime with the Pack at Reynold’s Coliseum.

Freshman Dereon Seabron won the dunk contest. Graduate Senior Pat Andree won the three-point contest. Sophomore Jericole Hellems won the skills competition.

The Men’s Basketball team have a “secret” scrimmage against East Carolina tomorrow, and their first Exhibition Game is next Sunday, October 27th, against Mount Olive. The season opener at home against Georgia Tech is on November 5th.

The Women’s Basketball team have an Exhibition Game against Anderson in Reynolds Coliseum on October 31st, and their season opener is on November 6th against North Carolina A&T at home.

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Andy Katz Ranks NC State’s Markell Johnson as the #4 Player in the ACC

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NCAA.com’s Andy Katz released a podcast two days ago previewing the 2019-20 ACC Men’s Basketball season, and he thinks that NC State Senior Point Guard Markell Johnson is the 4th best player in the conference.

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Here’s what Katz had to say about Johnson in the Top-10 breakdown on the podcast.

“He’s a stat stuffer. If NC State goes to the NCAA Tournament, Markell Johnson will lead them. At ACC Media Day told me that he needs to come more out of his shell. He knows that. To be much more demonstrative. Kevin Keatts is putting it on him to become a player like that.” (Katz)

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