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Kevin Keatts 2020 Media Day Press Conference: BULLETED

NC State Basketball

Kevin Keatts 2020 Media Day Press Conference: BULLETED

Men’s Basketball Head Coach Kevin Keatts met with the media today for NC State’s 2020 virtual Media Day. You can watch it here, or check out a BULLETED breakdown below.

Opening Statement…

  • I’m really excited about our guys. I like our potential. I love our guys.
  • We ended up getting our guys in the 2nd part of summer school. We’ve been working since then.
  • I love the fact that we’ve got an older group on the back end.
  • We’ve got some younger guys.
    • 5 new guys and then Dereon Seabron, that makes six.
  • We’re working extremely hard.
  • I finally got a team that I really like, that we can play at least nine or 10 guys and then play guys at multiple positions.
  • Hopefully you’ll get a chance to see us at full strength. Obviously, we know that there could be some challenges throughout the year.
  • You’re going to see different bulk on some guys.
    • Manny Bates has put on some weight, some very good weight.
    • Jericole Hellems has done the same thing.
  • D.J. Funderburk…we worked a lot at playing him a little at 4 & 5, and so hopefully you’ll have a chance to see him play some perimeter stuff.
  • Our two veteran guards have been really good for us. B
    • Braxton Beverly has been a tremendous leader, and Devon Daniels has stepped up and we are hoping that we can get the same Devon Daniels that we saw at the end of the year.
  • I know a lot of you guys are going to want to know where we are with scheduling.
    • Obviously when the NCAA moved the date back when we can start, it’s kind of thrown us off a little bit.
    • We’ve had to reschedule and do some different stuff.


  • Where the offseason hurt us a little bit is that we normally would have 8 weeks in the summer to work with the new guys.
    • Our older guys, it doesn’t affect as much because those guys could use a little rest instead of going 8 weeks.
    • We had to alter stuff. I didn’t have a chance to work with, especially our guards Cam Hayes and Shakeel Moore, for the entire 8 weeks.
    • Now, when they moved the season back, we kind of got that back a little bit.
  • We’ve been doing individual workouts.
  • We started off getting a lot of shots up.
  • We worked our way up to some 2-on-2, then 3-on-3 because of contact tracing.
  • Just last week we were able to start some 5-on-5 stuff.
  • The great thing about freshmen is that they don’t know what they don’t know, so right now they are continuing to play hard. They’ve been bringing it everyday.
  • I’m impressed at the fact that we’ve got gym rats, and I can see our culture kind of changing because of the 14 guys that we have on our roster.
    • I know that 10 or 11 will get in there regardless of whether the coaches are going to be there.


  • At this time right now, we are testing once a week.
  • Soon, within the next week or so, we’ll go to 3 times a week.
  • There’s a possibility that we could end up at seven times a week. I’m not sure if that’s actually gonna happen.
  • A lot of the times when someone is positive with COVID it hasn’t been because of what happened on the court. It’s because of the things they do off the court.
    • So obviously being an indoor sport, we are concerned.
  • I thought the NBA did a tremendous job.
    • That being said, they were in a bubble.
    • We’ve got to try to create a bubble within our own selves on campus, but it is totally different.

Freshmen Class…

  • I want to take this time to 1st brag about those guys in the classroom.
    • They’ve been tremendous. I think they are all above a 3.0, maybe even towards a 3.5.
    • I’ve always felt like any guy that can perform in the classroom will do great for you on the basketball court.
  • Talent wise, I’m excited about it.
  • It’s a big class, and then once again if you add Seabron to it, it makes it a bigger class.
  • They’re guys that work extremely hard.
  • I like what Cam Hayes has brought to the table.
    • He’s a guy with a tremendous IQ as a basketball player.
    • He’s going to be really good for us.
    • Both him and Shakeel Moore have the ability to play together at times.
      • Both of them are capable of playing the point and the shooting guard.
      • I think you’re going to see a lot of that from both of those guys.
      • Cam is a little bit farther along because he’s played more point than anybody. He’s doing a tremendous job.
    • He’s making shots behind the 3-point line.
    • Great one-two dribble pullup guy.
    • What we’re trying to do is get him to be more effective really getting to the backboard.
  • Shakeel Moore is a tremendous athlete.
    • He’s probably our best on-the-ball defender in our program.
      • He does a tremendous job affecting the game on the defensive end.
    • He’s starting to get a little bit more confident in his shot.
  • Bigger guys…Nick Farrar, who is going to be really good.
    • At his size, he’s going to play a little 4 and possibly some 3.
    • He’s a guy that’s had to get in great shape.
      • Watching what he is eating and changing his entire body.
      • One of the things for him is making sure that he can play to our style.
    • Can really score the basketball.
  • I also love our two young post guys…Jaylon Gibson and Ebenezer Dowuona.
    • They are sponges.
    • Those guys are active.
    • Jaylon Gibson has a nose for the basketball.
      • He offensive rebounds everything.
      • He’s a guy that’s going to play a little 4 and 5 for us.
      • When you think of Jaylon Gibson, think of a younger D.J. Funderburk.
      • He’s got a chance to be really talented.
      • He can handle the ball on the break, step out and shoot 3s.
    • With Dowuona, think of a younger Manny Bates.
      • He can block shots.
      • He’s a physical presence; a nice body
      • Can score around the basket. He’s going to be really good.
  • Not to forget Dereon Seabron because I always consider him a freshman.
    • He’s a guy who is talented, can play 1, 2 or 3, and in a pinch we can play him as a small guard as a 4 if we go with a 4-guard lineup.
    • He’s really good at getting to the paint…maybe our best paint-touch guy that we have.
    • We continue to work on his outside shot, making sure he gets a lot of confidence in that area.
  • Those guys have come in with an unbelievable approach. They’re really good friends off the court. They all compete everyday.

Point Guard…

  • I’ve got several guys that I feel comfortable can play the point.
    • I feel very confident with whoever we roll out to play that position. That guy won’t be on an island.
    • A couple of freshmen (Hayes & Moore), or actually three when you add Seabron.
    • Braxton Beverly has played a lot of point for us in his career.
    • Thomas Allen is a combo guard who can really score the basketball, but he’s had some moments at Nebraska where he’s played the point.
      • 2 veteran guys who can really shoot the ball.
      • I would love to keep them off the point, but if I need to they are capable of playing it.
  • We typically put 2 guys on the court that can handle the basketball at the same time.
    • We’ll share those duties

Braxton Beverly’s health…

  • His health is fine. He’s in practice.
  • Wolfpack nation will be glad to hear that he’s shooting the ball well.
  • Some days where he can’t go hard and can’t exercise as much.
    • We’re being very careful with him.

Manny Bates…

  • It was mind-boggling to me that Manny Bates didn’t make an all defensive team.
    • I would have voted him as defensive player of the year.
    • How many times have you seen a guy lead the ACC in shot blocks and not make a team?
  • He’s coming along offensively.
    • He’s starting to get a lot more confidence around the basket.
  • His development has been really, really huge for us this summer.
  • You think about his shoulder and what he went through, and he was a little timid.
    • Offensively, being careful with the way he’s hit and positioning himself so he doesn’t get hit hard
    • Now he’s starting to play through contact, he’s starting to not worry about his shoulder as much.
  • He’s starting to become an offensive threat where we can throw the ball to him in the post.
  • When we recruited him, I told my assistant coaches ‘he’s going to lead the ACC in shot blocks.’
    • They were like ‘no way.’
    • He did it his 1st year playing.
    • He’s got great timing.
  • I love the fact that he’s blocked all of those shots, that’s a good thing.
    • The problem I’m having is, is it a good thing because that means our guards are getting beat off the dribble a lot?
  • I want him to lead the league in shot blocks, but I also want him to play more minutes.
    • So I don’t need those guys to get beat off the dribble where he’s having to block shots all the time.

Versatile team…

  • It’s our most versatile roster that we’ve had, and I wish it was a perfect 2020 because now we feel confident that on every given night, you’ll finally get a chance to see our system fully implemented.
  • Obviously, we know that we’re going to have some challenges, just because everybody else will.
  • I love our roster. I love our versatility. I love the fact that guys can play multiple positions.
  • I like our veteran guys…they have been tested through ACC play.

No Scrimmage or Exhibition…

  • With our younger guys, the tough thing about this is that we don’t have a scrimmage or exhibition this year.
  • We have to go right into playing. That’s the toughest thing…
    • I don’t have time to give our young guys a little chance to play in an exhibition game in front of a few fans or a scrimmage.
    • They’re going to get thrown right in the fire. So we’ve got to create that in practice situations.

Most Versatile Player…

  • I would say probably the most versatile guy would be Dereon Seabron because of his height.
    • He can play 1, 2, 3 and if we go small ball he can play 4.
  • The next one would probably be Jericole Hellems because if we put him on the wing, he can play kind of a 2/3 and then into a 4 situation, and then he can also play 5 if we had to go small inside.
  • We’ll pay attention to where people rank us and we’ll figure it out at the end.
  • I’ve always been excited about the fact that at the end of the year, we can have a chance to look and see where people say we would finish, and where we finish.
  • So I’m excited about that, and my guys will be too, once I remind them about that.
  • Markell Johnson had a very good career for us.
  • Where I think we’ll miss him more than anything is that it’s hard to deny the couple years he led the ACC in assists.
  • I’m not asking any of these guys to be Markell Johnson or C.J. Bryce.
    • I want them to do it in a different way.
    • They have to do it their way and the way we need them to do it.
  • That being said, those two guys were good players for us.
    • We’re grateful that they both played and stayed, were seniors and had good senior years for us.

Thomas Allen…

  • A lot of people have forgotten about him.
  • When you look at his last 3 years, he went to Brewster Academy, same place that T.J. Warren went.
    • He probably has the leading scoring average there.
  • Then he went out to Nebraska and really averaged somewhere around 7-10 points a game, not quite as high as 10.
  • What makes him unique is his ability to score the basketball.
    • A lot of people look at him as a shooter.
    • I look at him as a guy that can score at all different levels.
    • He can make shots. He’s a guy who can get hot in a quick moment, similar to Vinnie Johnson.
      • I don’t want all you guys saying ‘coach just said that Thomas Allen was Vinnie Johnson,’ but that’s the way he scores the basketball. And I like it. He’ll play different roles for us.
  • You’re going to see him play some 1, you’re going to see him play some 2.
  • I like that because he’s older, he also brings some leadership to the table.

Devon Daniels & D.J. Funderburk…

  • I want our fifth-year guys to be fifth-year guys.
  • I want them to play like older guys, but I don’t want them to think that they’ve got to take the entire team on their shoulders.
    • Just play within yourself, show some leadership, bring the young guys along, help those guys get better and also work on getting better in different areas.
  • With D.J., we want him to get better shooting the ball behind the 3-point line and more ball security.
    • He only had 8 assists on the year last year. So we’re going to play him at the 4 spot, he’s got to improve those types of spots.
  • Devon Daniels, I don’t want him to think that he has to do so much.
    • I want him to be the Devon Daniels that played last year.
    • At the end of the year, he was a really, really good basketball player.

Jericole Hellems…

  • He’s like our tight end.
  • He’s the way you want a guy to progress.
  • He was playing as good of basketball as anyone in the ACC before he took that nasty fall at Wake Forest.


Matthew is Co-Owner of Pack Insider. He writes for all sports, with a focus on football and recruiting, and is in charge of business strategy. He is an NC State alum who majored in business. Matthew is also the lead pastor of The Point Church in Apex, NC.

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