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Kevin Keatts’ Press Conference at ACC Media Day: TRANSCRIPT

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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

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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NC State Being Sued by N&O, WRAL, ABC11 & NY Times

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According to Will Doran of the N&O, the News & Observer, WRAL, ABC11, and the New York Times have filed a lawsuit against NC State for refusing to turn over records related to Dennis Smith Jr. and the NCAA’s investigation into the Men’s Basketball program.

The article claims that for the past two years, the university has been “knowingly and intentionally violating the law by refusing to turn over public records.” Specifically, documentation of electronic communication and phone records have been denied according to the report.

After the release of the article, a spokesperson of the university reached out to Doran last night to inform him that they had “not seen or been served with the lawsuit and would wait to comment until officials have reviewed it.” The spokesperson also had this to say in a statement:

“N.C. State has released thousands of pages of documents and has acted in good faith and transparency throughout the federal and NCAA investigations,” the spokesperson said. “In addition, the university was prepared to release extensive phone records, but that release has been blocked by a temporary court order.” (N&O)

You can read Doran’s article in full here.

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3 NC State Women’s Basketball Players Earn Preseason Honors

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The Blue Ribbon Panel and Head Coaches released their Preseason All-ACC Teams today, and NC State Sophomore Center Elissa Cunane and Senior Guard Aislinn Konig both earned honors.

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Cunane made both teams, while Konig only made the Head Coaches team.

In her first season, Cunane averaged 13.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, and was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team. Konig averaged 10.7 points and 3.8 assists per game as a Junior, shooting 40.1% from three-point range. Her 214 career three-pointers ranks 5th in program history, and her 93 three-pointers made last year broke her record from the year before (91) for trifecta’s made in a single season.

NC State has had at least one player earn 1st Team All-ACC honors at seasons end the past three years.

Freshman Guard Jakia Brown-Turner made the Newcomer Watch List for both the Blue Ribbon Panel and the Head Coaches.

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Brown-Turner was a McDonald’s All-American, and the #15 player in the 2019 recruiting class according to ESPN.

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NC State Women’s Basketball Picked to Finish 2nd in the ACC in 2019-20

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The NC State Women’s Basketball team was picked to finish 2nd in the ACC in both the Blue Ribbon Panel and the Head Coaches 2019-20 Preseason Polls.

The Wolfpack picked up 8 first place votes in the Blue Ribbon Panel poll, and 2 in the Head Coaches Poll.

The last time NC State finished 2nd place or better in the ACC was the 1989-90 season, when the Wolfpack won the regular season. They finished tied for 2nd in 1997-98 and 1990-91, but were #3 seeds in the ACC Tournament.

Wolfpack Head Coach Wes Moore has either matched or exceeded expectations in all 6 of his seasons thus far in Raleigh. If he were to do so for the 7th consecutive season, he would take NC State to places it hasn’t been in almost 30 years.

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