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Markell Johnson & C.J. Bryce’s Press Conference at ACC Media Day: TRANSCRIPT



NC State Guards Markell Johnson and C.J. Bryce met with the media today at the 2019 ACC Media Day. Below is the transcript of what they had to say.

Q. C.J. and Markell, C.J., Coach talked about returning seven guys and the importance of that and what the team feels like going in the season? Markell, being one of those returners, just what you can say about the decision to come back after testing the waters of the NBA?
C.J. BRYCE: We definitely bring back some experience from last year’s team. You know, like Coach mentioned. You know, not being able to — a little bit disappointed not going to the tournament, playing NIT, definitely experienced some hungry guys on the roster. Guys are ready to play this year.

MARKELL JOHNSON: Just picking off of what C.J. said, having the experience of coming back, you know, with the pieces we have coming in. I thought it was just a great decision for me to come back.

Q. For the students, from the podium, what’s the key to consistency? How do you build consistency?
C.J. BRYCE: I believe that you build consistency by going hard every day in practice. You know, when you get to those games in late February, March, you know, you can rely on what you did in practice at the beginning of the season and offseason, you know.

THE MODERATOR: Markell will take the dive and say exactly what C.J. said. That’s fine.

Q. As a result, Markell, you get the next question. You’re the leading returning three-point shooter in terms of percentage in the league, you also have been a leader in assists for a couple of years. Last year your steals were down somewhat from the previous year. You took a nasty fall and hurt your back last year. In hindsight, did that play a part in your defensive game? And secondly, what are your expectations this year?

KEVIN KEATTS: Before you answer that, why were your steals down, Markell? I want to know that!

MARKELL JOHNSON: I really don’t know why my steals were down. I would say I wasn’t really that locked in defensively last year as I am this year.

This year, you know, make it to the tournament, not only to make it to the tournament but make a run in the tournament.

Q. C.J., you have been with Coach Keatts for a lot of years at UNCW and NC State. What jumps out is the fact that like last year, NC State was one of the very top offensive rebounding teams despite playing just one big man. How do you do that? How do you become such a force rebounding with just one big?

C.J. BRYCE: You know, I have been with Coach Keatts for a while, you know, he hasn’t changed. He demands the most out of his players to go hard every single day. You know, that happens to be in the offensive rebounding range last year, but we want to go hard in every category and be the best at whatever we do.

Q. How cool is it for you to be in Charlotte your senior year at an event like this?

C.J. BRYCE: It is great. I actually wish that the ACC Tournament was this year again. You know, it is great being home. You know, seeing a lot of familiar faces here, and I’m glad I can do it with Coach Keatts and Markell Johnson. (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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