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Kevin Keatts’ Postgame Press Conference After UNCG: BULLETED

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Head Coach Kevin Keatts met with the media for his postgame press conference this afternoon, after NC State beat UNCG 80-77 in dramatic fashion today on a half court buzzer beating shot from Senior Point Guard Markell Johnson. You can watch it here, or check out a bulleted breakdown below.

  • Wes Miller and UNCG are tough. He’s done a tremendous job here.
    • They believe in one another.
    • It reminds me a lot of my last two teams at UNCW that won 25 games and 29 games.
    • They play very hard.
    • They understand that they have a system that works.
    • I thought it would be a great game for us overall when you look at the end of the season.
    • These guys are going to win a lot of games.
    • Going to compete in their tournament.
    • Chance to be an NCAA team.
    • The atmosphere was great.
    • It will end up being a top-100 win for us, I think.
  • I’m excited about the win.
    • We got a great road win here.
    • We responded.
    • Some big plays down the stretch.
    • Went up 10, they cut the lead.
    • Our guys stayed poised.
    • I was satisfied.
  • 2nd time this year that I’ve drawn up a play for Markell Johnson to make a half court shot, so I’m a heck of a coach for that.
    • I never think those shots are going in, but I saw it midway through the air, and thought ‘Man, this thing has a chance to go in.’ It did. It’s crazy.
  • Markell Johnson was having a great night.
    • He was feeling it.
    • Never really asks for the basketball.
    • He was telling me ‘Run a couple plays for me.’
  • I thought we did a poor job of defending the 3-point line.
    • They were averaging 9 three’s per game.
      • They had 8 in the 1st half.
    • At halftime, we talked about taking away the three’s, and we only gave up 2 in the 2nd half. That certainly helped us win the game.
  • We wanted to make them play fast.
    • Talked before the game about running on makes and misses.
    • UNCG does a tremendous job in their press.
      • It isn’t really designed to turn you over, but it ends up turning you over.
      • It’s designed to slow you down, so they play 17-20 seconds of defense.
    • We tried to push…to get out in front.
    • It helped that we made some three pointers.
  • We have a balanced team offensively.
    • Any guy can leads us in scoring.
    • Been averaging at least 4-5 guys in double figures. That’s what makes us unique.
    • It’s not the team I thought I had at the beginning of the year, when there were 10 or 11 guys I could put in the game.
    • All 8-9guys that I have available, play for each other. That’s important.
    • As we continue to build our culture, we want those guys to be playing for NC State. I think we’re getting there.
  • Whatever happened, Devon Daniels shouldn’t have said anything.
    • I don’t know what he said or when he said it, but that’s not us. He wasn’t even involved in the play.
    • Whatever he said, I’ll find out later, that’s not who we are.
    • It changed it a little bit, because they got going after that, and made some plays.
  • I talked about it after we lost to Memphis, we talked about how we won five straight games before that. We’re always talking about going back on a winning streak. When you look at this stretch, and I know everybody has talked about how our stretch of five games was going to be tough. We’ve found a way now in that stretch of games to win five in a row, with two of them being on the road. It’ll  go a long way. I think our guys will believe. I give these guys a lot of credit. Everytime we made a run, and we went up double digits a couple times, they fought back. For our guys to respond says a lot about us.

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