Kevin Keatts talks to the media before his team’s matchup with Duke.
- Just happy to be able to play. With the virus you’re never sure if the game is going to happen. Wants his guys to play basketball. Wants to take a step forward and start a winning streak.
- Matthew Hurt is as tough a matchup there is in the ACC. He can drag out a 5 man and shoot it, or back down a 4 man.
- Duke is talented. Freshmen could have used more non-conference games and early season practice, but they can drive it, shoot it and they have good size. They are a good team.
- The identity of the team has shifted with the loss of Devon Daniels. The strength of the team is in the frontcourt now. Hellems, Funderburk, and Bates.
- Hard to figure out rotations when the 3 games you’ve played without Daniels have all been against unique defenses. 2 times against the Syracuse zone and once vs the Virginia pack-line.
- Has seen improvement in guard play, but needs consistency. Different guys are showing up at different times, but he needs one more consistent scorer.
- Braxton Beverly is giving the team all he can, but the team needs another scorer (Keatts seemingly hinting he needs Beverly to score more). Doesn’t need a big scorer, just a consistent 10 points per game.
- DJ Funderburk is having a great year. He’s improved on the court, but his leadership has been the best it’s ever been in the locker room. He can get better at defensive rebounding, but he’s been great. He’s the happiest he’s ever been, and even with the losses, he’s stayed positive. Handling himself incredible.
- Coaching is a great balance you have to have. Lost the guy I could get on the most and he’d respond (Daniels). “One shoe don’t fit them all.” You have to figure out how to motivate these guys. Some guys are easily motivated and some guys you need to jump on. With Daniels and Beverly, they’re old school, they respond by you jumping on them. New kids are different. More visual learners. You have to sit down and show them and teach them.
- In reference to wearing masks and not going to parties after big wins. So tough to be a college student right now. What do you expect kids to do after big rivalry wins? Think about your coaches and parents telling you that you can’t do something. You probably went out and did it. The difference now is that everyone has a camera on their phones. We did the same things they are doing and having a good time. But that phone can change the narrative of things real quick. Told kids to stay safe and stay in the bubble. Honestly, coaches aren’t around the kids because of COVID rules. You trust and hope they are doing the right thing at night.