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Kevin Keatts’ Press Conference at ACC Media Day: TRANSCRIPT



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 Basketball

Hellems’ Career-Night Carries NC State to a Convincing Defensive Victory Over Wisconsin



Sophomore Jericole Hellems was the offensive spark that NC State needed last night to beat Wisconsin 69-54 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Two games in a row Hellems has set new career highs. After scoring 17 against Memphis, he led all players in scoring last night with 23 points, sinking 8 of 13 from the floor, and an impressive 4 of 6 from beyond the arch.

In the 1st half, the score changed 12 times, but after Senior Wolfpack Guard Markell Johnson hit a half court shot at the buzzer heading into the half to put NC State up 32-30, they would never lose the lead again.

Wisconsin got a taste of their own medicine, with the Wolfpack shutting them down defensively all game long. The Badgers shot a meager 37.5% from the field and 21.7% from three.

On the other hand, despite what Wisconsin does on the defensive end, the Wolfpack managed to shoot a decent 48.2% from the field, and 40% from beyond the arch.

Despite coming off of the bench due to missing film session on Tuesday night, Senior Guard C.J. Bryce was a stabilizing factor once again, shredding the mid-range jump shot, scoring 11 points on 5 of 6 shooting.

Johnson was the only other player in double figures, but it was an ugly 12, shooting 5-15.

It was a 40-minute effort by the Wolfpack, which will result in a win on most nights.

NC State will head up to Winston-Salem on Saturday to play Wake Forest in their 2nd ACC game at 2pm.

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NC State Basketball

Kevin Keatts Postgame Press Conference After Wisconsin Victory: BULLETED



Head Coach Kevin Keatts met with the media for his postgame press conference after the Wolfpack’s 69-54 victory over Wisconsin last night. You can watch it here, or check out the bulleted breakdown below.

  • Did a lot of really good things tonight.
  • Really impressed by our defense.
  • Carried over from the 2nd half in the Memphis game, especially when you look at the last 6 or 7 minutes of the half.
  • When you’re playing against a Wisconsin team that makes it tough for you to score, if you can find a way to score, certainly you can win the game.
    • Talked leading up to this game, to not get discouraged if you’re not scoring the basketball.
  • Proud of Jericole Hellems.
    • He’s been the guy the last 3 games or so who’s played with a lot of energy and done a lot of good things for us, and he’s being rewarded for it.
  • Happy with where we’re at. We’ve got to continue to get better, but I thought we learned from the Memphis loss.

Rebounding from Memphis…

  • We felt like if we had played better in the 1st half against Memphis, we would have put ourselves in a better situation to win the game.
  • I’m always talking about when you lose a game, you’re a little sick. I thought we got well tonight.

Best game of the season…

  • You could say that.
  • Competed for 40 minutes.

Markell’s half court shot at halftime…(humor)

  • I did a great job at halftime.
  • I drew up an unbelievable play for Markell Johnson to hit that 3 to go into halftime. I thought that was the best one that I drew up probably in a few years.
  • He did a tremendous job making that shot.


  • Our key was to play smart.
  • Haven’t finished a couple games.
  • 2 losses, don’t think we played down the stretch.
  • So that may be me, making sure I’ve got the right people in at the end of the game.
  • Played with the lead.
  • Taught that this is a long season.
    • You’re going to have highs and lows.
    • You’re going to have some games where you’re up 10 to 15 and you’re going to have some games that are going to wear you down.
  • Take good shots.
  • Run your offense and rely on your defense.

Jericole Hellems…

  • He plays with passion and energy.
  • In college basketball, there are always 1 or 2 guys on the team that might not be as skilled as the other guys on the team, but he just plays hard.
  • He bought in on the defensive end and he’s making shots.
  • I actually wanted him to take a few more shots.
    • He passed up on a couple of threes he could have taken.
  • He works on his game.


  • Very happy with our crowd.
    • I was concerned coming in with a 9:15 p.m. tip.
  • Students were tremendous.
  • When this place is rocking and we have a lot of people in here, it is a tough place to play.
  • As we get better, I want to eventually get to the point where we sell out no matter who we play or what time we play.
  • I am proud and happy that everyone turned out tonight for us.

C.J. Bryce not starting…

  • He missed film last night.
    • His reasoning for missing film was very valid, but it doesn’t matter to me because he missed film.
  • We have standards with what we want to do, so we gave someone else the opportunity.
  • That being said, I thought he was mature about it and handled it well.
  • I wanted to see if he would pout about it, but I don’t think he did, and he bounced back and made some big plays for us.

Quality Win…

  • I hope it goes a long way.
  • I hope Wisconsin gets everything together and wins the Big Ten.

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NC State Basketball

NC State 69 Wisconsin 54: ACCDN Highlight Reel & Condensed Game



NC State handled business last night in Raleigh, defeating Wisconsin 69-54 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The ACC Digital Network’s Highlight Reel and Condensed Game are below.

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NC State Basketball

NC State 69 Wisconsin 54: BOX SCORE



NC State beat Wisconsin handedly 69-54 last night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, improving to 6-2 on the year. The Box Score is below.

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