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NC State Basketball

Kevin Keatt’s Press Conference After NC State’s OT Win Over #16 Miami: BULLETED



NC State head coach Kevin Keatts met with the media for his postgame press conference after the Wolfpack beat #16 Miami today. You can watch it here, or check out a bulleted breakdown below.

  • Great team win. Gritty win. It’s one of those wins that you’ll look back and say, “Man, that was a great win.” It’s a great, middle-of-January, ACC battle.
  • Give Miami credit.
    • There was a moment in the game where I thought Isaiah Wong just took the game over.
      • He had a stretch where we just couldn’t guard him.
  • I have to shout out Ernest Ross, another guy who’s been on our bench for a long time and came out and had 17 points and 9 rebounds.
  • This team keeps putting together good games, and it’s always someone else who’s stepping up.
    • When we put the team together for the 1st time, we thought we had 10 guys who could play.
    • Being down Dusan Mahorcic and Jack Clark, the other 8 guys are stepping up in a big way.
  • I don’t know if you’ve congratulated Jarkel Joiner, but he’s a daddy now.
    • I don’t know if I should be telling you that, but there’s a “Jarkel Jr.” who was born yesterday.
    • We didn’t know if he was going to make the game today.
    • He got back at midnight last night and played the game.
    • He was able to be there for the birth of his child and was able to make it back.
    • He played with a heavy heart as a proud new daddy.
  • Our team has taken on the identity of defense and grit.
    • When you look at the stat sheet, they shot almost 50 percent for the game, maybe more, but I thought we made big plays and big stops when we needed to.
  • What’s special about this team is that every game that we get a win, I’m able to point at someone who made a difference in the game.
    • DJ Burns came in the game, 13 points, a career high in assists with 7.
    • I didn’t expect to play him that early in the 2nd half.
    • I wanted to get to that 1st timeout because I didn’t want him to play 33 minutes, but we struggled to score, and so he came in and made a big difference for us.
  • I think we’ve all learned. You know what’s happened with Manny Bates and Devon Daniels.
    • One of the biggest things, as a staff, is also we’ve prepared guys for taking advantage of opportunities.
    • Greg Gantt was a guy who was a punching bag for a lot of people, having never played.
      • Obviously, he’s played a lot of minutes.
    • Ernest Ross was a guy who didn’t like his minutes, but he had a great week of practice.
    • LJ Thomas has played better, and Breon Pass is starting to get better.
    • We’ve started to develop our bench because we know we’re going to need those guys down the stretch.
  • I absolutely believed it [Ross could have a performance like this]. I knew it.
    • Ernest was great. He’s around the rim all the time. He’s been flying around.
  • I’ve said this before…I don’t think there’s another back-to-the-basket guy in the country as unique as him [Burns].
    • Here’s why I say that. He’s got an ability to score; he’s got a great touch around the basket.
      • But he’s also a great passer. He’s a willing passer.
    • When he’s in the game, we try to go to him as much as possible because we don’t know how long he’ll be in the game.
    • He’s unique, and we love the way he can score the ball.
    • This is something we haven’t had in the last year or so.
      • We’ve had to draw up a play to get a jump shot or some kind of drive. Now, we can throw it inside and score off of that.

Matthew is Publisher and Co-Owner of Pack Insider. He is also the Lead Pastor of The Point Church in Cary, NC.

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1 year ago

I don’t know about anyone else, but I have yet to really have confidence in this team. I like them, and believe they can play with anyone, but it’s going to take a lot more wins before I go into a game feeling absolutely sure they will win. Every game will have a story line … GT – will they let down after the 3 quality wins? Can they win on the road again? UNC – First ACC two game road trip. Will Bacot eat our lunch again? We get so amped for these rivalry games, can we calm down… Read more »

1 year ago
Reply to  Papajohn

What ACC teams do you have more confidence in? It will be interesting when we play UNC how DJ and Gantt affect Bacot. Of course last year he had free reign given our decimated front court. Our rebounding is light years better than last season. This is actually the first season in many that I feel like UNC doesn’t pose a huge matchup problem. But first GT, lets TCOB in what will be a very tough road game. And yes, Smith will shoot long balls. People need to get over it and accept it. He’s a scorer. He opens up… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Dof87
1 year ago

What a difference a season makes. Manny Bates and Hayes leaving and the sky falling. Things look so much different now. Speaking of Manny, feel bad for him he’s out with knee injury and had surgery to keep him out till later in season.

1 year ago
Reply to  Dof87

Terrible news about Manny, but I have to admit, I’m glad that didn’t happen here. Hope he heals up well. The NBA is a rough game, they’re going to look very skeptically at a guy who’s been injured as often as he has.
interestingly, Cam is playing about the same minutes at LSU that he played here, and his box score is similar – except his shooting percentages are way better. He average 7.0 ppg here last season, and is up to 8.8 there. Much more efficient, but not a whole lot more productive.

1 year ago
Reply to  Papajohn

I was enamoured by Cam early on, but now seeing LJ Thomas I feel we have upgraded. It speaks again to what KK was dealing with last season as far as guard play in addition to the big man issues.

NC State Basketball

Jersey Numbers for 2024-25 NC State Men’s Basketball Team Revealed



The NC State Men’s Basketball team revealed the Jersey Numbers for their 2024-25 team yesterday.


Numbers that are Staying the Same

Michael O’Connell – #12

Ben Middlebrooks – #34

Dennis Parker Jr. – #11

KJ Keatts – #13

Jordan Snell – #22

Numbers that have Changed

Jayden Taylor – #1 –> #8

Breon Pass – #10 –> #4

Numbers of New Players

Mike James – #0 (He wore #0 at Louisville last year)

Brandon Huntley-Hatfield – #1 (He wore #5 at Louisville last year)

Paul McNeil – #2 (He wore #2 in High School last year)

Dontrez Styles – #3 (He wore #0 at Georgetown last year)

Trey Parker – #5 (He wore #5 in High School last year)

Marcus Hill – #10 (He wore #0 at Bowling Green last year)

We don’t know what number Ismael Diouf will be wearing at NC State next year yet. 



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NC State Basketball

Kareem Richardson Promoted To Associate Head Coach at NC State



RALEIGH, N.C. – NC State men’s basketball head coach Kevin Keatts announced Wednesday that assistant coach Kareem Richardson has been promoted to associate head coach effective immediately.

“I’m proud to promote Kareem to associate head coach,” Keatts said. “He is a valuable member of my staff and has really enhanced NC State both in his relationship with our players and staff, but also his ability to teach, scout and game plan. He is a well-rounded coach that has an impact on every facet of our program, and I feel fortunate to have him as part of my staff.”

The upcoming 2024-25 season will be Richardson’s third at NC State. The Pack has earned bids to the NCAA Tournament in both seasons Richardson has been on staff, including last season when NC State won the ACC Championship and advanced to the Final Four.

NC State has had three different guards (DJ Horne, Jarkel Joiner and Terquavion Smith) earn All-ACC honors under Richardson’s tutelage.

Richardson was previously head coach at UMKC for 2013-19 and has been an assistant coach at power conference programs such as Louisville, Xavier and Clemson in his 25-year coaching career.

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NC State Basketball

WATCH: Getting to Know NC State’s Dontrez Styles



NC State Men’s Basketball is releasing videos helping fans get to know the new players on the 2024-25 roster.

Below is the video of Georgetown Transfer Forward Dontrez Styles (6’6″/212), with a transcript underneath.

I’m Dontrez Styles, a transfer from Georgetown University. I knew where I wanted to be. At the end of the day, I knew I wanted to come back home and play for a guy like Keatts. That was the main thing for me.

Being back home is amazing. My family can see me play every game now. An hour from Kinston, North Carolina. It’s a small city. I love it. Just growing there. A lot of great guys. A lot of great basketball players. My family is there. It’s my life.

I grew up in the Brandon Ingram era, so I went to every Kinston High School game. Just seeing him play motivated me to get in the gym and keep working. The grind has paid off.

It’s crazy. I would have never imagined this happening. It’s very rare for someone to go to North Carolina and NC State. Me being one of the first guys to do that, I believe it’s different, but I’m enjoying it so far. I can’t wait to get started.

Coach (Levi) Watkins recruited me when he was at Ole Miss. He’s been with me since my Sophomore year, I believe. Just having that relationship with them makes it easier every day.

Just being back, it’s going to be very fun, especially now. The hype is crazy. I can’t wait to be back home and get started, and hopefully win that National Championship.


Styles was the 2nd leading scorer for Georgetown this past season, averaging 12.8 points per game, while grabbing 5.8 boards. He shot 36.8% from three.

Originally, Sytles was a consensus 4-Star prospect in UNC’s 2021 recruiting class. 247Sports ranked him as the #62 overall player nationally, and the #2 player in the state of North Carolina, playing for Kinston High School.

After two seasons with the Tar Heels, Styles entered the Portal, and took an Official Visit to NC State and Georgetown, and ultimately chose the Hoyas.

Styles will be spending his final year of eligibility with NC State.

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NC State Basketball

WATCH: Getting to Know NC State’s Mike James



NC State Men’s Basketball is releasing videos helping fans get to know the new players on the 2024-25 roster.

Below is the video of Louisville Transfer Guard Mike James (6’5″/200), with a transcript underneath.

I last played at the University of Louisville. I spent three years there. Played two. Redshirted my first year because of injury. I enjoyed my time there, but all good things got to come to an end, and I’m here at North Carolina State. 

Entering the Portal is just like going through High School recruitment again. You’re getting your phone blown up every other hour, every single day. You’ve got to get on long phone calls. You’re kind of going through the process again, but this time, you kind of know what you want. You’ve been through College Basketball, so you know what questions to ask, what to expect, and you kind of just get straight to the point. I feel like the process was similar, but different this time. It went a lot quicker, and I knew exactly what I wanted. I want to win at the end of the day. Playing time is earned, and all that stuff. You’ve got to come in here and take care of that. 

Winning is very important, and I haven’t done that so far, but that’s the one thing I want to change about my college career. Seeing y’all go on that run was really appealing to me. 

I like to get to the basket. Draw fouls. Finish at the rim. Knock down shots on the perimeter. Defend 1-4 positions on the other end. 

I want to come in and win. I want to be a leader for our team. I’m an older guy now, so I want to be a leader. I want to come in and win another ACC Championship, and make another NCAA Tournament run. 


This past year, James averaged 12.6 points per game (3rd on the team) and 5 rebounds. He’s extremely physical and aggressive, taking 47% of his field goal attempts at the rim (making 46%). As a result, he draws a lot of fouls, ranking 10th in the ACC in Fouls Drawn, and 4th in Free Throw Rate. James made opponents pay this year when they put him on the line, making 81.8% from the charity stripe, which ranked 15th in the ACC.

James shot the ball better as a Redshirt Freshman, than he did this past season. His Effective Field Goal Percentage in 2022-23 was 55.8%, which ranked 19th in the ACC, and his True Shooting Percentage of 59.6% ranked 14th.

News broke about James entering the Transfer Portal back on March 25th, and NC State was quick to reach out. Kevin Keatts and his staff recruited the former 4-star prospect out of high school heavily, but he ultimately chose the Cardinals.

After redshirting his first year in Louisville due to torn achilles, James has been a starter for the Cardinals the past two years.

He does have the ability to knock down a three, making 34.8% for his career.

James has 2 years of eligibility remaining.

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