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VIDEO: Kevin Keatts’ Press Conference After NC State Beat Clemson 69-67

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Head Coach Kevin Keatts spoke with the media in his postgame press conference after NC State beat Clemson 69-67 with a buzzer beating three by Braxton Beverly. The video is ABOVE, and a bulleted breakdown is BELOW.

  • First, I want to congratulate Clemson.
    • I thought they played a tremendous game. When you talk about Reed and Thomas, they are as good as advertised. They are very good basketball players who put a lot of pressure on our defense, and can score when they want to.
  • We were in a dog fight, as we expected to be.
  • The other thing I have to do is educate our fans that got up and left early and are now realizing that we won the game.
    • When you are a pressing team, which our team always is, the game is not over until the clock strikes zero. Believe it or not, I never feel like we are out of a game. We can press and we can make shots, so we have every opportunity to win the game.
  • I thought our guys did a great job of making shots and executing down the stretch.
  • We did a great job of fouling when we had to.
  • It helped us obviously that Reed missed four free throws down the stretch.
  • We didn’t take bad shots to take us out of the game. I thought we took great shots.
  • Give Bryce credit…he drove and could have forced up a shot, but he pivoted, did a great job and found Beverly. Now I’m sitting up here smiling because Beverly made his first three of the night.
  • What a great play call that was for me. I knew it was going to happen. Last night, when I was dreaming, I was thinking Beverly was going to make a huge shot at the end and win the game, and what a great coach I was today.
  • I told them to believe. When you are down six, with a few seconds left, you are either going to take bad shots or do something that is not going to help you win. Put us in a situation where we have the chance to win.
  • I felt like we would win the game or have a chance to win the game. I thought our guys showed composure, which is something that we haven’t showed in the past. I thought our guys did a tremendous job of listening to me and knowing when to foul.
  • I wanted to tell the referees on our first trap that we weren’t trying to foul. They listened to me. We thought we had a steal under the basket when Reed caught the ball, and then we fouled him and he missed the free throws.
  • Markell Johnson gives us another guy who can pass the ball. He is a veteran and they will listen to him. It also gives us a guy who can score when he needs to.
    • I went into this game saying that if he was ready to play after he warmed up, he would play ten minutes. Each time that he came out of the game I would ask him how he was doing, and he felt good, so I wanted him to go more and more. It just gives us another veteran guy that we can rely on.
    • We are talking about the guy who led the ACC in assists last year, and I have just asked him to be able to score the ball this year.
  • We are fortunate to be back home. You think about it, this is the toughest league in college basketball and we have played three games away from PNC Arena. Four out of our last six have been away from home.
  • My coaches were all saying to me, ‘Are you going to call a timeout like last year?’ When we went to the line and missed the first one, I wanted to hold on to the timeout in case we wanted to run something at the end.
    • You guys don’t see this, but when guys go to the free throw line at the end of the game I am telling the players, ‘I bet you he will miss this one.’
    • What happens is that towards the end of the game, guys don’t shoot free throws or 3-pointers well when they don’t have legs. I think our pressure wore them down. We don’t always press to get steals, we press for these types of situations.
  • Beverly’s defense against Reed was horrendous. They did a great job of switching screens and getting Beverly on Reed. Not that Beverly didn’t defend him well, but Reed was able to shoot over him.
    • At the end of the game, I wanted to go offense to defense. We put Lockett in for defense because he had great size to be able to do that.
  • I think our defense on the team’s best players during the past two games has been the best I’ve seen.
    • Against Nwora at Louisville, even though we lost, we did a tremendous job. I don’t think he made a three-pointer and had a tough percentage.
    • Reed is a great player and had a good night with nineteen points, but we wanted him to take seventeen or eighteen shots to get there.
  • I think we defended the three-point line very well.
  • What happens in this situation is that I am telling my guys not to foul. Our discussion with nine seconds left is, ‘Do we let Beverly go to the free line and do we let him make both of them?’ I felt like we would have time.
    • I was thinking that they were going to foul us, because I would do the same thing. With the last seconds on the clock, send them to the line. Making two free throws won’t hurt you. If you miss, maybe we will get the rebound. One of the things we talked about was whether or not we were going to let him make these two free throws–and hopefully he would make them–or are we going to rely on our pressing defense back down the court to get us back down there.
    • We were going to trap and if we didn’t get a steal on the trap we were going to foul right away and obviously we did. We got a rebound with the missed free throws, came down, and made a shot.
  • This was a tough scout game for us.
    • We got back about 1:30-2:00am from Louisville. We had to turn around and prepare for Clemson…and not play an 7-8pm game…we had to play at 2:00pm.
    • So it was a lot of emotions. We went through film last night and watched film yesterday. I had to make a decision–and it was a tough decision–on whether we should do a shoot-around this morning. You know, get on the floor and go over their plays again. I decided not to.
    • When we play a 12:00pm game I normally don’t do a shoot-around. A 2:00pm game is a 50/50 call. I decided I wanted our guys to have fresh legs as opposed to walking through or getting on the floor at 9:00am this morning.
  • For us to bounce back after a tough loss and we had to opportunity for a short turnaround it’s a great program win.

NC State Basketball

NC State Makes Top-10 for Graduate Transfer Guard Justin Kier

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George Mason Graduate Transfer Guard Justin Kier (6’4″/197) included NC State in his list of Final 10 schools.

Kier was granted a fifth year of eligibility after missing all but 9 games last season due to injury. He was expected to arguably be George Mason’s best returning player next year, averaging 14.5 points and 6.5 rebounds, earning All-Atlantic 10 2nd Team honors.

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NC State Reaches Out to UAB Transfer Makhtar Guyer

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According to Rivals’ Corey Evans, NC State has reached out to UAB Transfer Forward Makhtar Guyer (6’10″/210), after he announced he was transferring on Friday.

Guyer has one year of eligibility remaining. Last year as a Junior at UAB, Guyer averaged 6.8 points and 5.1 rebounds, starting in 27 of 31 games.

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NC State Accepts Recommendation to Move Case to IARP

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NC State has accepted the recommendation to move their violation’s case from the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions to the Independent Accountability Resolution Process.

“We’ve stated throughout this process that NC State will accept accountability for any shortcomings and defend ourselves aggressively where we feel it is appropriate and necessary to do so,” Woodson wrote in a statement released by the school on Wednesday. “As our response to the Referral Petition demonstrates, we do not think NC State can receive an objective or fair hearing before the Committee on Infractions in this matter. We believe the only remaining option is that our case be moved to the Independent Accountability Resolution Process.

“NC State has a long history of working cooperatively with the NCAA, and we remain committed to working collaboratively through the IARP to address concerns and to resolve this matter as fairly and efficiently as possible.” (WRAL)

The IARP is made up of decision makers that are investigators and legal advocates that are independent of any NCAA teams.

The difference between the traditional process, and the IARP, is that the latter’s decision is final, unable to be appealed.

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Vote For NC State Men’s Basketball Fans in Fox College Hoops 64-Team Bracket

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In the absence of the NCAA Tournament, Fox College Hoops has created a 64-team bracket to determine the best fanbase of Men’s Basketball teams.

They determined 60 of the contestants based of the Men’s Basketball teams with the most Twitter followers. The final four were determined by the highest rated teams not yet selected according to the NET Rankings.

The winner of each matchup is determined by fan vote, obviously.

NC State’s Men’s Basketball fans were given a #8 seed in the East Bracket.

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The winner of the bracket, will earn quite a gift. Fox College Hoops will place a billboard of that team in close proximity to their rival.

Go ahead and vote for NC State to beat Alabama in the 1st round right now.

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