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

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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

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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