Kevin Keatts held a virtual presser today to answer questions and talk about his roster and their upcoming season. Here are some of the highlights.
- Team has plenty of veterans but is going to have to rely on newcomers who will be “thrown right into the fire.”
- Says COVID-19 could cause schedules to be adjusted but says everyone is planning on the season-ending when it should and the tournament taking place.
- Cam Hayes and Shakeel Moore are two freshmen that have to be ready to play PG, which he says is the hardest position to adjust to in college. Going to be ups and downs and mistakes made, but they have to be ready.
- Hayes and Moore are not the only PG options. Beverly and Thomas Allen will both also fill the slot if needed. Not worried though as he says all of them bring different talents to the table.
- Going to rely on Devon Daniels and DJ Funderburk as veteran leaders. Says Daniels was playing his best basketball down the stretch last year and that DJ will play both the 4 and the 5.
- DJ and Manny Bates have been practicing a lot to be able to play together in the frontcourt.
- Beverly and Thomas Allen also are vets who have logged a lot of college minutes and will be asked to help lead.
- Empty arenas will be different. No rush of 2ok fans, but at the same time, some teams that get big homecourt advantages won’t have them. Coaches will be a big source of motivation this year.
As usual, a pretty candid take by Keatts, but still worth reading into.
I would say his biggest question mark right now is PG. That is a valid worry and while Beverly and Allen would be more seasoned, Hayes and Moore are definitely more built to play the position at the speed he wants to see it played.
It’s exciting to see him committing to a lineup with Bates and Funderburk. While this doesn’t give you the high octane lineup Keatts has always wanted, this is a lineup that is going to play well in the ACC. There are a lot of times in this league when you just need to make sure you are rebounding and making it hard for the other team to score. We know Fundy can score it, but can Bates take the next step offensively? If so, you might end up using this lineup a lot, especially when you get into conference play.
Lastly, I think his point about the role coaches are going to play this year is very valid. With no fans, there will be a propensity to take plays off. Coaches are going to have their teams bought in and show the intensity they want to see from the sideline.