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VIDEO: Kevin Keatts Talks to Media Before #23 NC State vs. #3 Virginia

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#23 NC State head coach Kevin Keatts met with the media yesterday before the Wolfpack’s matchup with #3 Virginia. The video is ABOVE (via TheWolfpacker), and a bulleted breakdown is BELOW.

  • Tough game (Clemson) for us. Found a way to win when things weren’t going our way.
    • I think I’ve looked at that (Braxton Beverly’s Buzzer Beater) about 20 times. We had fun with it. We looked at some of the reactions from the rest of the players.
    • CJ Bryce could’ve forced a shot up (no timeouts)…He could have turned the ball over…But he made an unselfish play and gave the ball to Braxton.
    • Give Braxton (Beverly) a lot of credit for stepping up and making the shot, especially after he was 0-4 in the game. After the last couple of games, I don’t think he’s shot it as well as he can.
  • Now we’ll turn our attention to Virginia, who I think is maybe even a little better than the team last year that was No. 1.
    • Tough to score against as you know…always have been.
    • Offensively, they’re moving the ball.
    • Scoring more points
    • Playing a little faster.
    • One of the most talented teams I’ve seen on tape all year long.
  • I’ve played them 2x here and at UNCW, and we were able to space them out and make them make some shots.
    • When you stand around and you’re not able to make shots, it can be a long night for you.
    • I’ve watched 7-8 games on them and every game is similar.
    • The last game I watched vs. Clemson and all I keep thinking about is that Clemson had 2 points with 9-10 left in the half.
  • They defend you.
    • What makes them so special is that they’re a very good defensive team as a team, but they’ve got a lot of really good individual guys that can defend you.
    • Got to do a great job of moving the ball. We’ve got to penetrate and pitch and then those shots that are open…I’d love for us to knock them down.
  • They do a great job of defending the paint.
    • They show close out on you.
    • Make you take jump shots.
    • Limit you to one shot.
    • Very big.
    • Do a great job of blitzing you, where you’re never in a scoring area where you want to be.
    • Great job communicating.
    • Very seldom do you see a Virginia team beat theirselves on defense.
    • Don’t have a lot of breakdowns.
  • I felt like we (UNCW vs. UVA in NCAA Tournament) really did get them out of their element.
    • 1st time I’ve ever seen Tony Bennett make an adjustment in that area.
    • At 1 point they went with Shayok and put him at the 5, and they went 5 guards.
    • We (UNCW) moved the ball well, but were much smaller.
    • They were quicker and probably shot the ball a little bit better than the team I have right now.
    • So it’s a different team and a different strategy.
  • De’Andre Hunter’s playing the 3…could play 4 or 5…so talented.
  • Their front line is as big as any NBA front line.
    • They’re skilled…athletic…very physical.

NC State Basketball

PI EXCLUSIVE: NC State’s Kiara Leslie Talks About Going 10th in WNBA Draft

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Two weeks ago, NC State Graduate Senior Kiara Leslie was selected 10th overall in the 2019 WNBA Draft by the Washington Mystics. I caught up with her, and she gave her thoughts:

Leslie started her collegiate career at Maryland, so she is excited to be heading to familiar territory.

I’m going back to an area I’m am familiar with, and I know a few of their players.

Kiara Leslie

Even though some were shocked Leslie went so high, it wasn’t a complete shock to her.

I knew it was possible. I had a few teams with picks in the 1st round that I had been communicating with. They didn’t confirm where they would take me, but I knew it was possible. It’s been a blessing. Nobody but God made this happen.

Kiara Leslie

Wolfpack head coach Wes Moore, who came in 2nd in the voting for National Coach of the Year, made a tremendous impact on Leslie’s game over the past two seasons.

This year I had to play a bigger role on the team. He helped me broaden my game and become more comfortable doing things I wasn’t used to doing before.

Kiara Leslie

As a current resident of Holly Springs, North Carolina, it’s awesome to see a native of the Springs make it as a professional athlete.

Not a lot of people from a small town make it to the big stages and play professionally. I am really happy to represent Holly Springs and be a role model for the youth who desire to play professionally as well.

Kiara Leslie

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Cincinnati’s Nysier Brooks Receiving Interest from NC State

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According to CBSSports’ Jon Rotstein, Cincinnati Transfer Nysier Brooks (6’11″/240) is receiving interest from NC State.

Brooks isn’t a graduate transfer, so he would have to sit one year to play one year.

It honestly is an odd move that Brooks submitted his name to the Transfer Portal. He started all 35 games last year for the Bearcats, averaging 8.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. He was named Cincinnati’s Defensive Player of the Year.

He’s already 22 years old, and would be 24 by the time he left college if he does in fact transfer.

The reason seems to be stemming from Mike Cronin being hired as UCLA’s coach, as well as a lack of relationship with new coach John Brannen. His Guardian expressed frustration on Twitter that Brannen hadn’t reached out to them yet, and they were leaving Cincinnati as a family.

While it would be huge to add someone of Brooks size and athletic ability, he would suck up 2 years of a scholarship, and only play one. That’s not a big deal if you don’t have anyone already sitting out a year, but Thomas Allen is already doing so. That would leave the Wolfpack with only 11 scholarship players next season.

With that being said, there is some speculation that Brooks could graduate in June, and become a Graduate Transfer.

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NC State is Recruiting Oakland Graduate Transfer Jaevin Cumberland

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According to Joe Giglio of the News & Observer, NC State is actively recruiting Oakland Graduate Transfer Jaevin Cumberland (6’3″/185).

On April 11th, news broke that Jaevin Cumberland would be transferring out of Oakland for his final year of eligibility.

To say that 2018-19 was a breakout season for Cumberland would be an understatement. After playing minimal minutes as a reserve his first two seasons, and redshirting his 3rd year on campus due to a chronic ankle injury, Cumberland started all 33 games for the Golden Grizzlies.

Sports Reference

Cumberland averaged 17.2 points and 3.5 assists this past season, shooting 40% from three-point land.

He took an official visit to Oregon this weekend.

With the exodus of Graduate Wyatt Walker this week, NC State now has 1 scholarship available for next season. Valparaiso Graduate Transfer Derrik Smits is on an official visit in Raleigh this weekend.

Senior Point Guard Markell Johnson is going through the NBA Draft process, and 2019 signee Jalen Lecque officially declared for the NBA Draft yesterday, with today’s deadline looming. Both Johnson and Lecque can end up in Raleigh next year if they go through the process and deem that to be their best situation. Obviously if they go pro, more scholarships will become available.

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Charleston Southern Graduate Transfer Christian Keeling Sets Official Visit to NC State

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According to 247Sports, Charleston Southern Graduate Transfer Christian Keeling (6’4″/175) has set up an official visit to NC State on the weekend of May 3rd.

Keeling included the Wolfpack in his Top-5 on April 14th, along with Georgia Tech, Clemson, UNC and Purdue.

He took an official visit to Georgia Tech last weekend, Clemson this weekend, and is scheduled to take one to UNC beginning Monday.

Keeling played 3 seasons at Charleston Southern, and was a scoring machine all three seasons.

Sports Reference

Last season he averaged 18.7 points and 6.1 rebounds for Charleston Southern. He also shot 38% from beyond the arch.

With the exodus of Graduate Wyatt Walker this week, NC State now has 1 scholarship available for next season. Valparaiso Graduate Transfer Derrik Smits is on an official visit in Raleigh this weekend.

Senior Point Guard Markell Johnson is going through the NBA Draft process, and 2019 signee Jalen Lecque officially declared for the NBA Draft yesterday, with today’s deadline looming. Both Johnson and Lecque can end up in Raleigh next year if they go through the process and deem that to be their best situation.

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