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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 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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NC State Basketball

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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