NC State Head Men’s Basketball Coach Kevin Keatts met with the media today at the 2019 ACC Media Day. Below is the transcript of what he had to say.
Q. Coach Keatts, good to see you again, glad you and the guys are here.
What I wanted to do is ask you this: Your teams have always been noted for being strong physically in the fourth stage of the game, fourth quarter of the game. Other than that, what are you stressing this year to the guys that you want to stand out with? What are those goals that you have for the team?
KEVIN KEATTS: Well, I appreciate you talking about my team being — we take pride in obviously being in great shape towards the end of the game. I think that one thing that we want to emphasize and what we have been talking about in the practice, is we want to be a really low turn over team.
What I mean by that, from us, obviously on defensive end, we try to turn guys over as much as we can and create tempo, but we don’t want — we want to play fast, but don’t want to turn the ball over ourselves. So that would be one of the things that we’re working on.
I do think that we have to become a better defensive rebounding team so that we can get out and run and transition and getting a few more easy baskets?
Q. Coach, just what can you say about the first couple of seasons at NC State building up the brand, creating that environment that you want? Just where things are at from when you stepped in, what you can say about that?
KEVIN KEATTS: That’s a great question. I’m excited about where we are entering year three. You know, if you told me that we were going to year three winning 45 games and beating six top 25 teams, I would tell you that we’re right on pace.
Obviously, we were all a little disappointed about the outcome of not making the NCAA Tournament last year, but that being said, we put that behind us and we’re really focused on moving on. I like our team. I like our pieces. For the first time since I have been at NC State, we have the most returners that we have ever had, which is seven.
Q. Coach, only three teams in the ACC average 80 points or better, Europe one of them. You preach about pushing the ball. Other teams in the league are not comfortable playing at your pace, 60s and 70s. Can you tell us, offensively and defensively, what’s required to play at the pace that you want to play at?
KEVIN KEATTS: You have to be in great shape in order to play in our system. That doesn’t mean that you can’t play in our system if you’re not in great shape, but your minutes won’t be there. We’re trying to get the ball out in transition as fast as we can.
I tell Markell and Braxton and C.J. all the time we want to run a three-second offense and fast break and try to get the ball up and try to score without setting the offense up.
Defensively, we want to create off the defense trying to get as many easy baskets as we can. I like where we’re at with our pace. Obviously, you know, scoring 80-plus points a game has been great for us. I would love to run even a little bit more if we could.
Q. Coach, from the podium, you show so much fire and enthusiasm on the sideline. Where do you get that energy from, and do you ever get tired come February and March?
KEVIN KEATTS: Yeah, I don’t — when it is basketball season, its basketball season. I don’t sleep. You know, I’m up all the time. You know, this is the most exciting sport that you can play in and be a part of. So I get excited about the opportunity.
I get a chance to work with great young men all the time, and to play the game the way we like to be played, that’s exciting to me. (ACC)
NC State Makes Top-10 for Graduate Transfer Guard Justin Kier
George Mason Graduate Transfer Guard Justin Kier (6’4″/197) included NC State in his list of Final 10 schools.
— Andrew Slater (@Andrew__Slater) April 13, 2020
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.
NC State Reaches Out to UAB Transfer Makhtar Guyer
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.
Virginia Tech has offered UAB transfer Makhtar Guyer, he tells @RivalsPortal.
Georgetown, Miami, Mississippi State, NC State and San Diego State have reached out since his transfer yesterday. @Hokie_Haven
— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) April 11, 2020
— Makhtar Gueye (@Thelionkilla) April 11, 2020
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.
NC State Accepts Recommendation to Move Case to IARP
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.
Vote For NC State Men’s Basketball Fans in Fox College Hoops 64-Team Bracket
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.
You: So how does this #FOXFanVote thing work?
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) April 5, 2020
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.
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.