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VIDEO: Kevin Keatts Press Conference After NC State’s 66-65 OT Loss to UVA

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Head Coach Kevin Keatts met with the media for his postgame press conference after #23 NC State almost pulled off the upset over #3 UVA, falling 66-65 in overtime. The video’s are BELOW, and a bulleted breakdown is UNDERNEATH.

  • I told the team after the game that obviously it’s okay to be disappointed.
  • Our guys played hard. They played their hearts out. They played until the end.
  • Virginia made a couple of more plays, especially in overtime, to win the game.
  • I told Tony (Bennett) before the game that after playing against his team last year, I thought they were very good. In some respects, I think this team is a lot better.
    • They have a future lottery pick in Deandre Hunter, and they have some really good guards.
  • I told my guys there is a thin line between winning and losing.
  • We were on the other side of it against Clemson, but we fought hard.
  • I hope you guys are understanding of what we are trying to build here. Obviously it’s year 2. I thought that we would be able to play this way in year 3, but we had success in year 1.
  • We have a brutal stretch coming up, but I’m proud of these guys. We had an opportunity to win the game, and we just fell short.
  • I just asked my guys to stay patient and to not get frustrated. Because Virginia is such an elite defensive team, they just frustrate you and they make you play one-on-one basketball.
    • If you are making those shots, that’s great. If you’re missing them, then you are just getting further in the hole.
    •  I told them to stay patient and that it would have to be a defensive effort from us.
    • We have enough firepower to score on the offensive end.
    • Some guys made some big plays down the stretch.
  • I thought we did a good job of playing well without fouling.
    • I didn’t want to add that part to it, by putting them on the free throw line and letting them score free throws.
  • For the most part, I felt like we defended the three-point line.
    • I know they shot 40 percent, but we held them to just four makes.
    • Kyle Guy made an unbelievable three at the end.
  • That’s the Wyatt Walker that we have been waiting for. A guy that plays extremely hard, gets on the offensive rebounds, and can get big buckets.
    • When he plays that way, or we get something from DJ Funderburk, it takes some of the pressure off our guards.
    • In the past few games, all of the pressure has been on our guards because Wyatt and DJ both haven’t played well.
  • Markell Johnson cramped up. He has been out for so long that his conditioning wasn’t there.
    • Honestly, at the end of the game, I didn’t even talk about the free throw. I never think that one play defines the game. I didn’t harp on it or say anything about it.
    • I just told my guys that I am proud of them, and if we can continue to play that way against one of the elite teams in the country and in the ACC, then we can be pretty good.
  • I think I need to clear something up. Everyone is making a big deal about the comments from last game. That was sarcasm, and it was a joke.
    • Basically, I want everyone to know that we are a pressing team and anything can happen at the end of our games.
    • I wasn’t talking about our crowd.
    • I love our fans, and I believe that we have some of the best fans in the country.
  • But I wanted to take a little jab, a sarcastic jab, at the fans that left early.
    • That being said, there were plenty of people that stayed in the arena, and they were a huge part of them going to the free throw line and missing four three throws in a row.
    • Tonight, I thought our crowd was tremendous. They were loud. That gives us such a tremendous home court advantage when they cheer that way.
    • Anyone that can hear my voice, it was a joke.
  • It’s not about moral victories.
    • Certainly, you want to win those games, but you don’t know how good your team really is until you play in those games.
    • All you have to do is look at Virginia’s scores all year long, and the closest game they have had is the one at Duke, which they lost by a few points.
    • Most of the other games have been either 15 or 20 points, whether they were at home or away.
    • That being said, if you look at Virginia, they have done a tremendous job over the past two years. They have won 23, now 24 of their last 26 games in the ACC. That’s pretty impressive.
    • We were right there to win the game.
    • I like where we are. I think our guys have a chance to be good. We are going to continue to get better.

NC State Basketball

WatchStadium: NC State Has Picked Up 2 of the Top-50 Transfers

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Jeff Goodman of Watch Stadium ranked the Top-50 Graduate Transfers this offseason, and NC State has already inked two of them in Guard Thomas Allen and Forward Pat Andree.

21) Thomas Allen, 6-1, 185, SG, Soph., Nebraska
Stats: 8.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.0 apg
Scout’s take: “2-guard who shoots it well. Crafty off the bounce. Average defender.”
SchoolsCOMMITTED TO NC STATE

27) Pat Andree, 6-8, 225, F, Lehigh
Stats: 12.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 42% 3-pointers
Scout’s take: “Elite catch and shoot with deep range at a legit 6-foot-7. Good passer if a team values passing, limited off the bounce. Can stretch the defense, but limited on defense.”
SchoolsCOMMITTED TO NC STATE

Watch Stadium

They are also still in the mix for a few of the other Graduate Transfers in Goodman’s rankings.

Charleston Southern Graduate Transfer Christian Keeling will be taking an official visit to NC State on May 3rd.

9) Christian Keeling, 6-4, 175, G, Charleston Southern
Stats: 18.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 38% 3-pointers
Scout’s take: “Elite scorer from 3 and mid-range. Very, very good shooter off the catch-and-bounce. Creative to get his spots. Long and good athlete for his size. Good finisher at the rim, but trusts his jump shot more. Defends.”
Schools: Purdue, NC State (5-3), Clemson (4-19), Georgia Tech, North Carolina (4-23)

Watch Stadium

Valparaiso Center Derrik Smits took an official visit to Raleigh this past weekend.

28) Derrik Smits, 7-1, 240, C, Valparaiso
Stats: 12.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg
Scout’s take: “Huge, very skilled, posts hard. Scores with his back to the basket. Good passer when doubled. Rebounds at both ends. Needs to improve defensively.”
Schools: Arizona State, NC State, Butler

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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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