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PRESSER: Keatts talks NIT win, growth of freshman guards, dominance of his bigs

NC State Basketball

PRESSER: Keatts talks NIT win, growth of freshman guards, dominance of his bigs

PRESSER: Keatts talks NIT win, growth of freshman guards, dominance of his bigs

 

Keatts met with the media after NC State’s NIT first-round win over Davidson. Above is the full audio and below is the bulleted recap.

– Important to play in this tournament to gain postseason experience. And important for older guys to get another shot to play postseason basketball after last year was canceled.

– No matter what happens from here on out, I love my kids. They’ve worked hard for me. Learned so much from them through pandemic and injuries.

– Thought the team played great. Execution on gameplan was best it’s been all year. Wanted to play inside out, Numbers in the lane were off the charts. 80% from DJ. 100% from Manny. 50% from Hellems.

– Based on practice you wouldn’t know what tournament we were prepping for. Guys were excited.

– Every moment is a teaching moment in postseason. Can’t overstate importance of playing for the young guys. They’re learning how to start and finish games.

– Wanted to play in the NIT, but didn’t want to force it on players. Wanted them to decide. DJ Manny, Jericole and Braxton were the ones to decide. Glad they decided to play. Came out and played the game the way it was supposed to be played. Proud of them.

– Did a great job of defending the Davidson back cut. Did a great job of defending the ball against a good Davidson team. Made it tough on Grady. Wanted to be there on the catch and force tough shots.

– Game means a lot. Young guys didn’t get a chance to play much non-conference. Missed out on 8 games, so happy to be playing and glad ESPN chose to cover it.

– Glad Davidson head coach Bob McKillop said NC State’s freshman guards are dangerous. But doesn’t want them to believe that yet.  They need to be better on defense.

– Told Cam Hayes to continue to be a floor general. His growth is a big reason why they wanted to continue to play.

– A lot of people want to judge us on one game vs. Syracuse, but this team has won 6 of 7 now and have played good basketball during the stretch.

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