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Top quotes from Elliot Avent’s preseason presser, and reading between the lines

NC State Baseball

Top quotes from Elliot Avent’s preseason presser, and reading between the lines

Top quotes from Elliot Avent’s preseason presser, and reading between the lines

Elliot Avent sat in with the media for a preseason interview. He touched on last year, he dove into this year’s roster, and while he didn’t give us the “We’re out for revenge!” quotes we all wanted, between the lines you can see that this is a guy who is laser-focused on getting back to the College World Series and taking back what was rightfully his. (Watch the full interview here from The Wolfapcker’s YouTube channel)

Key Quotes:

On putting last year behind him and moving on…
“I never put anything behind me, so that’s a long way from being behind me. Trust me.”

On if the team is ready to get started on a new season…
“Players are always ready to get started. You know, you like to play the game. It’s kind of like Allen Iverson said:  “Practice? I mean, Really?” Guys want to play, that’s what we all love to do.”

On the talent he has on this team (which he segwayed into a comment about starting freshmen)…
“We’ve got some guys who are very talented. I was just sitting there talking to Brett Austin, and you talk about “Hey, we’re probably gonna have a freshman starting behind the plate, a freshman starting at shortstop, and then we lost possibly as good a centerfielder as NC State has ever had in Tyler McDonough last year and so you’ve got a new guy in centerfield.”

On his talented starting rotation…
“Just to see Canaan Silver, David Harrison, obviously you mentioned Sam, and Matt Willadsen, and Chris Villaman. It gives you some reassurance. I’ll be honest with you.”

On dealing with the COVID forfeit from last year’s College World Series…
“Never talk about it, never discuss. It’s not talked about by players, it’s not talked about by me.”…”So we never discuss it, but do I think about it? Constantly. It will never get too far away from me and I’ll never forget it.”

On using last year’s CWS COVID forfeit as motivation for this year…
“I don’t take any motivation from anything that has wronged me in the past. I don’t believe in chips on my shoulder. I’m not a guy that believes in that kind of stuff .. you know, revenge. I don’t believe in that kind of stuff.”

On the expectations of Matt Willadsen…
“I don’t ever try to get expectations too high for anybody. I think that’s a bar you shouldn’t give people. But Matt Willadsen, I told him the other day, about a week ago, we were sitting in the dugout, I just said… “Matt, how proud I am of you.”… He has grown so much. Last year, he and Chris Villaman grew up during the season as much as I’ve ever seen two players mature during the season. They were good, but they went to great.”

On Sam Highfill’s arm angle…
“Yeah, I’ve seen it and it’s very effective. A lot of people don’t do it. I’m surprised more people don’t do it. You’ve got to have a certain amount of athleticism to do it. It’s not easy to repeat your delivery. It’s not an easy thing. Now you’re having two deliveries, so it’s kind of like a switch hitter. You don’t see as many switch hitters today as you used to.”

On the new field renovations…
“I can’t wait. This has been a dream of not only mine, right, but every player who has ever played here, every coach before me…”

On Devonte Brown…
“Devonte Brown’s just a winner. You can sum it up pretty easy. He’s just a winner. And the leadership, I told him on several occasions this fall… ‘You and JT stayed back behind.’… They could have signed too. They could have both left this program, and with all your players leaving, all your friends leaving, it’s easy to leave as well. They made a commitment to stay here, and their leadership has been unbelievable this fall, carrying over into the spring. And we’re going to need their leadership.”

—-

Our take on the interview is that Avent thinks he has great leadership and a ton of talent. He is also excited about his freshmen. He keeps saying that he’s not discussing last season’s ending and he’s not using it for motivation but read between the lines and it’s apparent that it’s fueling him inside. He says there’s no chip on his shoulder, but at the same time, he says he thinks about it daily and he’ll never forget. You gotta love it. This is a killer’s mentality. Don’t let your opponent see any sign of weakness. Don’t let them know what’s bothering you. Don’t let it be a distraction for your team, but deep down inside, you are driven to do it again. Prove that no matter how many times they do you wrong, you’ll always get back up and take what’s rightfully yours.  It’s why I have been and always will be ‘Team Avent.’

A pasta eatin', Wolfpack lovin' loudmouth from Raleigh by way of New Jersey. Jimmy V and Chuck Amato fanboy. All opinions are my own and you're gonna hear'em.

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