NC State Wolfpack – Chatham Journal Newspaper http://chathamjournal.com Experience the World of Chatham County, NC Thu, 22 Feb 2018 23:16:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://i1.wp.com/chathamjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/10888465-four-newspaper-pile-isolated-on-white-background-Stock-Vector-newspaper-icon-headline-5580d7a0v1_site_icon.png?fit=32%2C32 NC State Wolfpack – Chatham Journal Newspaper http://chathamjournal.com 32 32 Experience the World of Chatham County, NC NC State Wolfpack – Chatham Journal Newspaper Experience the World of Chatham County, NC NC State Wolfpack – Chatham Journal Newspaper http://chathamjournal.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://chathamjournal.com/category/sports/acc-basketball/nc-state-wolfpack-acc-basketball/ TV-G 63016882 Video: NC State vs Boston College post basketball game quotes by Kevin Keatts and Jim Christian http://chathamjournal.com/2018/02/21/video-post-nc-state-vs-boston-college-basketball-game-quotes-kevin-keatts-jim-christian/ Wed, 21 Feb 2018 16:17:25 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=8449 Raleigh, NC – Here’s a collection of post-game quotes from NC State basketball coach Kevin Keatts and Boston College basketball coach Jim Christian plus select players. NC State won the game over Boston College, 82-66 Head Coach Keatts (Opening Statement)…

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Raleigh, NC – Here’s a collection of post-game quotes from NC State basketball coach Kevin Keatts and Boston College basketball coach Jim Christian plus select players. NC State won the game over Boston College, 82-66

Head Coach Keatts
(Opening Statement)

“Like most of you guys, the first five minutes of the game, I was going to get up and leave because we had not scored. It’s weird. For whatever reason, we did not make shots early. I was okay with it because they only had six points. But by the end of the half, we ended up with 44 points. When you look at the first half, the two guys that were great were obviously Braxton (Beverly) and Sam Hunt. They did a tremendous job shooting the basketball. I think between the two of those guys, we made eight threes. I’m proud of these guys. Our main focus coming into this game was to defend the three-point line. Those guys lead the ACC in made threes in a game, and I thought we did a tremendous job holding them 4-for-25. When you look at Robinson and you look at Bowman, those guys are elite guards, the best backcourt team in the country and in the ACC, and I thought, for the most part, our guys stepped up to the challenge. We had some great contributions from a lot of people. It was good to see Malik (Abdul-Malik Abu) get in there and do some different stuff. I told the team after the game that when you’re not playing well, just root for your teammates, and I thought we did that. I’m excited this group has gotten to nine (ACC) wins, and it means a lot, especially on the home court.”

Head Coach Keatts
(On Sam Hunt’s play)

“I rested him for a bunch of games so he could run down the stretch. No, I’m kidding. I took the NBA approach with him. I just didn’t let him play for four or five games. No. I think he is shooting the ball well. Someone told me he is 10-for-13 in I don’t know how many games, but it’s Sam’s birthday. I didn’t know it. If I did, I would have found more minutes for him to play, but he’s been good. He’s been making shots for us. That shot he made in the corner by the bench was special.”

Coach Kevin Keatts

(On what happened to Markell Johnson’s hand during the second half)
“I have no idea. I don’t know if it was a fashion statement or not. I let the trainer deal with that. The only time I can tell you (is) if he can’t play. I’ll know that, but I don’t know that. If he comes up here, you ask him. Or I’ll ask him and tell you later on, but I don’t know.”

Coach Kevin Keatts

(On the team’s offensive explosion of 13 field goals in a row)
“I thought we made the right reads. When you look at us, 19 assists on 29-made field goals. We did a good job. They took our roll guy away with the corner man, and I thought our guards came off and found the corner shooters. We were able to step up and make shots. I thought we played well. We found a way to win when I didn’t think we were particularly sharp today. Even though, when you look at us, we scored 82 points, but we didn’t play a flawless game in all. We were a little rusty for whatever reason.”

Coach Kevin Keatts

(On what triggered the switch to go from 0-for-8 to 17-for-19)
“I think we had to score eventually, or we were going to be in trouble. What happens is that I don’t know we were 0-for8. I’ve got to go back and look at it. I do remember a couple of things. I remember Leonard (Freeman) coming in and thinking, ‘I’m going to get a lift.’ He missed a layup. We missed free throws earlier. We just didn’t play well. There’s no explanation for it, the first five minutes of the game. And then, like I said, we found a way to get 44 points to be in the half. If you look at the halftime score, we started out 6-0 and went into half 44-28. So I think we’re maturing as a team because obviously, earlier on in the year, I don’t think we could have come back from that when we didn’t play well.”

Coach Kevin Keatts

(On what this break until next Sunday’s game looks like)
“We’re going to rest tomorrow, and then I don’t know how much I am going to do on Thursday. I do know tomorrow we are 100 percent off. We may come back in on Thursday and do some film work, may get in the gym a little bit. But we’re locked in. I told our guys that it’s easy to say right now, ‘I’m banged up. I’m a little bit hurt,’ but who isn’t? Everybody in the country that’s still playing meaningful basketball has got some bruises, and certainly we’ve got to be able to play through some of that. Now, if you’re hurt, you’re hurt. I want our guys to be mentally strong at this point in the year.”

Coach Kevin Keatts

(On whether Lavar Batts is healthy)
“Lavar is healthy. It was more of just a coach’s decision. I needed some more shooters on the floor to make some shots to be able to open it up the way they were playing us. So he hasn’t done anything wrong.”

Coach Kevin Keatts

(On whether the corner is Sam Hunt’s comfort zone when shooting the three)
“You know what? He’s always been, if you go back and look at the young man’s career, he’s always been a very good three-point shooter. Sam Hunt’s been a very good basketball player in his career. He has over 1,000 points. So he’s always been able to make shots, but its tough. Tt’s rare that you can get a guy that can make corner threes. A lot of guys can make if from the top of the key. A lot of guys can make it from the wing, but the three-point shoot is tough from the corner. He’s been huge for us the last few games.”

Coach Kevin Keatts

(On the Louisville championships he was a part of and the banners being taken down)
“Well I found out today, obviously. We were getting ready for a shoot-around, and with social media, I found out today, and all I’m going to say on it is that I’m just disappointed.”

Coach Kevin Keatts
(On the importance of the win as March approaches for the team)

“I told you guys that this group of guys are in uncharted waters when we got to six wins, so now it’s getting deeper and deeper. Every win builds confidence, and I know you’re talking about ‘bubbles’ and all of that, but I don’t even talk about that. I don’t even know about all of the brackets that say where you’re at. I just try to win the next game. I’m excited. I don’t take it for granted. Our guys have played very good basketball. To have nine wins in this conference, it means a lot. I’m proud of these guys. I can’t think of a game where these guys didn’t give tremendous effort and played hard. In all of our games, I can’t tell you we’ve done everything right, but I can tell you we’ve played extremely hard.”

Coach Kevin Keatts
(On 20 wins being enough to earn a spot in the NCAA tournament regardless of what happens in the ACC tournament.)

“That’s not my decision. I believe we’ve done a lot of good things to be considered as an NCAA team.”

Braxton Beverly, Guard

(On turning everything around in the first half)

“We just picked our energy up. The energy comes from the defensive stops we get, so once we started getting stops and getting out and running, we started getting easy ones. Once that builds momentum, it feels like you’re not going to miss.”

Braxton Beverly, Guard
(On being on the NCAA Tournament Bubble and what this win means)

“These wins are huge. We’re trying to go make some noise in the tournament. We’ll keep doing what we’re doing now and keep getting wins.”

Braxton Beverly, Guard
(On the team starting cold and then getting hot)

“It was pretty crazy, but it shows the talent we have and the unselfishness we have. With all the assists, all the baskets we made, and everyone finding everyone for the best shot each possession, it works out pretty well.”

 

Braxton Beverly, Guard
(On getting to nine ACC wins and if it exceeds expectations)

“We feel we can play with anyone in the country, as long as we come out and do what we know to do each and every night. We’re not really looking at it as exceeding expectations. We just see it as all the work we put in the preseason and throughout the season.”

 

Sam Hunt, Guard
(On coming off the bench to spark the shooting turnaround)

“My teammates did a great job of finding me in open spots, and I was able to knock down the threes. I’m glad I was able to give us a spark to give us the lead.”

 

Sam Hunt, Guard

(On if making shots is contagious throughout the team)

“Seeing your teammate make a basket, and then you get going and the next guy gets going…it’s not about one person. It’s about a whole team, so luckily we were able to make shots throughout the whole game.”

 

Sam Hunt, Guard

(On his shooting confidence over the past few games)

“My confidence is high, not just because of me but my teammates. They do a great job of telling me to shoot and finding me. We work out before practice, after practice, so my confidence stays because I’ve been putting in the time and effort.”

 

Sam Hunt, Guard

(On the successes coming in as a transfer)

“I said every week I’m really living the dream. I couldn’t imagine this, I couldn’t ask for this. I never knew what it was going to be like. I just knew I was going to be playing in the ACC. For us to be doing what we’re doing now, it’s a dream. We’ve got to finish up strong and then go into the ACC Tournament hot.”

 

Abdul-Malik Abu, Forward

(On tonight’s win and how big it is for the team)

“It was very huge. Every game is really important. We’re playing meaningful basketball right now, and we want to play in the tournament, and we’ve got the ACC Tournament to look forward to too, so we’ve just got to go out there and give an extreme effort every change that we get.”

 

Abdul-Malik Abu, Forward

(On what the games mean to him being a senior)

“It means everything to me. I want to go far. I want to play in the tournament again, survive and advance, but it’s just the little things that lead up to that.”

 

Abdul-Malik Abu, Forward

(On what the team needs to do to make it to the tournament)

“Just keep competing. We feel like we can play at a level and compete with some of the best teams in the country, so we’ve have to go out there every game and prove that and just keep building.”

Boston College Head Coach Jim Christian

(On what went wrong for BC in the first half)

“I think everything we did right in the first four minutes. We were very energetic at the point of the ball screen. We were getting back and matching in transition. We were containing the ball, and then we just stopped. We just stopped. We let some good shooters open. Once a couple of good shooters get going, that’s what happens. It was all transition, it was all ball screen, it was nothing else. A couple of one-on-one three-point shots. That’s been our problem. We have yet to understand that you have to play 40 minutes of basketball hard and compete to have a chance to win in this game. It’s not about shooting. The shots will eventually go in. We didn’t shoot the ball well, but we could have still had a chance if we played harder for 40 minutes. The lulls that we have, when the lead balloons to 17 or 18, and then we fight back, and then we give up another couple of layups. We just have to get tougher at that point. That’s really the truth, and I’m not taking anything away from them. They are a really good basketball team, and it’s always a combination of both, but from our perspective, if we can’t get tougher at those moments, you cut it to eight, you cut it to six, you give up back-to-back layups or dunks, then you’re not going to win in this league on the road. You’re not.”

 

Boston College Head Coach Jim Christian

(On concern at the start of the game)

“No. I mean, I thought we got great shots, and we just didn’t hit them. Like I said, I’m concerned with effort. I’m more concerned with the first ten minutes of the game effort we’re playing with. Shots will go in. Again, if you’re going to have a chance you have to make shots, so I’m more concerned with the effort.”

 

Boston College Head Coach Jim Christian

(On his team’s effort in the second half)

“I think it’s understanding that point. I think it’s understanding that you fought so hard to cut it to eight, and we gave up back-to-back layups. So that’s it, that these possessions, when they’re at eight, they’re really important possessions now. So all the work put into that point, you better play even harder there. If you watch the really good teams in our league, when they get a chance, when it’s at eight with six minutes to go or seven minutes to go, no easy shots are coming. They’re going to have to hit a tough one late clock. We gave up back-to-back layups and then a dunk in transition, which you guys miscommunicated. That’s the next step for us. If we want to be one of those teams, because then you can overcome bad shooting, you can overcome a Jerome (Robinson) going a whatever he went, 4-for-20, you can overcome all that if you understand that. Regardless of what happened previously, it’s eight. It’s eight. We had two guys bat the ball, and it went out of bounds. We had the ball in our hands. Those are plays you have to make if you want to win in this league. Again, I’m not taking anything away from them because they have to make the plays, and that’s a great thing for them, so I don’t want it to be one-sided because a lot of times guys come in here, and they tell their story, but they make all the good plays and they’re a good basketball team. They played great.”

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NC State Wolfpack surges past Boston College Eagles, 82-66 http://chathamjournal.com/2018/02/21/nc-state-wolfpack-surges-past-boston-college-eagles-82-66/ Wed, 21 Feb 2018 15:22:46 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=8446 Raleigh, NC – Braxton Beverly and Sam Hunt shot a combined 9-for-10 from three-point range, and Allerik Freeman put up a team-high 20 points as the NC State men’s basketball team powered its way to an 82-66 win over Boston…

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Raleigh, NC – Braxton Beverly and Sam Hunt shot a combined 9-for-10 from three-point range, and Allerik Freeman put up a team-high 20 points as the NC State men’s basketball team powered its way to an 82-66 win over Boston College inside PNC Arena Tuesday night.

With the win, NC State improves to 19-9, 9-6 in the ACC, while Boston College falls to 16-12, 6-9 in the ACC.

Allerik Freeman led the way in scoring for the Pack, with 15 of his 20 points coming in the second half. Beverly’s scored 16 on 5-for-6 shooting from the three-point line, tying his career high number of threes in a game and the most that he has knocked down in conference play. Torin Dorn and Hunt added 12 apiece, as Hunt went a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range.

Despite missing its first eight shots, NC State shot 63 percent from the field in the first half. The Pack did not make its first field goal of the game until a Torin Dorn lay-up off an offensive rebound with 12:46 to play in the first half, but from that point on NC State hit 17-of-19 shots to end the half.

Both the Wolfpack and the Eagles started slow from the field. Boston College gained an early 6-0 lead on 3-for-10 shooting and held the Pack scoreless for the first 7:20 of the game. Abdul-Malik Abu got the Pack on the board with a free throw at the 13:40 mark and Dorn’s lay-up cut the deficit to 6-3. Dorn’s lay-up was the start of 13 consecutive made field goals for NC State as the Pack led by as many as 20 points in the first half.

NC State shot 9-for-9 from behind the arc in the first half and assisted on 15 of their 17 made field goals.

NC State’s lead fluctuated between 10 and 16 for a majority of the second half until BC cut the deficit to eight points, 74-66, with 3:13 to play. The Pack responded by holding the Eagles scoreless the rest of the game, closing the game out with an 8-0 run.

Boston College was led by Ky Bowman who finished with 21 points and five steals. The Eagles finished the game with 20 offensive rebounds and had 42-30 points in the paint advantage.

The Pack returns to action Sunday evening inside PNC Arena when it hosts No. 25 Florida State. The game will begin at 6 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU.

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NC State Wolfpack heads North to face Syracuse http://chathamjournal.com/2018/02/13/nc-state-wolfpack-heads-north-face-syracuse/ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 00:31:48 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=8429 Raleigh, NC – The NC State men’s basketball team travels to Syracuse, N.Y. to face the Syracuse Orange Wednesday evening at 9 p.m. inside the Carrier Dome. The Pack are currently towards the end of a stretch of games where it…

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Raleigh, NC – The NC State men’s basketball team travels to Syracuse, N.Y. to face the Syracuse Orange Wednesday evening at 9 p.m. inside the Carrier Dome.

The Pack are currently towards the end of a stretch of games where it plays five out of seven games on the road. The Pack plays at Syracuse Wednesday and at Wake Forest on Saturday before closing the season with three of its last four games at home.

Wednesday’s game against Syracuse will be televised on the ACC Network with Tom Werme and Dan Bonner calling the action. The game will be shown in the Raleigh area on WRDC (My Network TV). Other stations in North Carolina showing the game are: WMYT-TV (Charlotte), WMYV-MyTV (Greensboro- Winston-Salem -High Point), WITN-D2 (Greenville-New Bern-Washington), WILM-IND (Wilmington). A complete list of network affiliates can be found here: http://theacc.com/sports/2017/12/9/acc-network-mbb-180214.aspx

NC State fans can also listen to Gary Hahn and Tony Haynes on the call on the Wolfpack Sports Network.

Pack Tracks

– NC State could not complete a season sweep of UNC-Chapel Hill on Saturday afternoon as the Pack fell to the Tar Heels, 96-89. The Pack had six players reach double figures, led by Torin Dorn with 21, and NC State forced 19 turnovers and had 12 steals in the game – both stats are the most for the Pack in an ACC game this season – but the Tar Heels scored 61 points on 78.1% shooting in the second half to win.

– The NCAA revealed the current Top-16 Seeds in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, Feb. 11. NC State has 4 wins over Top-16 teams (Duke – 7, Clemson – 9, UNC-CH – 12, Arizona – 15). The Pack is tied with UNC-CH for the most wins over teams in the selection committee’s Top-16.

– Markell Johnson had his double-digit assist streak snapped as he finished with nine against the Tar Heels. He had double figure assists in five straight games becoming the first player in NC State history to achieve this feat prior to UNC-CH. In 18 games this season, the sophomore has 141 assists and is averaging 7.8 per game. In eight ACC games, Johnson is averaging 9.4 assists per game (75).

– The Pack has had double-digit offensive rebounds in every ACC game, but two this season and ranks third in the ACC in offensive rebounds per game (13.08)

Yurtseven Finding Comfort Level in Sophomore Season

NC State sophomore center Omer Yurtseven came to college last season as a consensus five-star player, but the Istanbul, Turkey native had an up-and-down season as a freshman. Now, as a sophomore a confident Yurtseven is becoming the No. 1 priority on opposing team’s scouting reports.

– On the season, ranks second on the team in scoring (13.8) and leads in rebounding (6.9), field goal percentage (59.9%) and blocks (43). In 12 ACC games, leading the team in scoring (15.8), rebounding (7.0), blocks (23) and field goal percentage (55.8%).

– In six ACC home games, Yurtseven is averaging 19.2 points on 59.2% shooting (50-of-84), including 46.7% (7-of-15) from three-point range. Also averaging 7.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks.

– Yurtseven had a career-high 29 points on 12-of-18 shooting, including 5-of-6 from three-point range in win over #19 Clemson on 1/11.

– Named Co-ACC Player of the Week on Jan. 22 after averaging 25 points on 65.7 percent shooting in a win over Wake Forest (Jan. 18) and a loss to No. 25 Miami (Jan. 21)

– One of 20 student-athletes to the preseason watch list for this year’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award.

Another Sophomore making an impact for the Pack

Omer Yurtseven’s fellow sophomore teammate Markell Johnson has also seen his impact on this year’s Pack team increase as well.

– Johnson leads the Pack in assists (141 / 7.83 per game) and steals (35 / 1.94 per game) this season. He’s currently on pace to finish with the highest assist per game average at NC State since Chris Corchiani averaged 9.6 assists per game in the 1990-91 season. His steals per game average would be the best mark at NC State since Clifford Crawford average 2.13 (66 in 31 games) in the 2002-03 season.

– Johnson has not played in the required 75% of games to rank in ACC stats yet (he missed 7 games for a violation of the Student-Athlete Code of Conduct), but his current stats would lead the ACC in assists and steals if he were eligible. His 3.14 assist-to-turnover ratio in ACC play would lead the league, as well.

– Has had three or more steals in seven of 18 games and seven or more assists in 12 of 19 games.

– Johnson had a career-high 20 points in the win at No. 10 UNC-Chapel Hill on 1/27. He added 11 assists for his second career double-double. He scored or assisted on 15 straight NC State points from the 2:58 mark of regulation through the 2:25 mark of overtime. He clinched the win with two free throws with :04 seconds remaining in overtime.

– Johnson has had double-digit assists in five straight games from 1/21 to 2/7. He’s the first player in NC State history to have five straight games of double-digit assists.

– In the last six games with Johnson back in the starting lineup, NC State has assisted on 135 of its 205 field goals (65.9%). In the seven games Johnson missed, NC State had 108 assists on 199 made field goals (54.3%).

Constant Defensive Pressure leading to Opponent Turnovers

– The Pack has forced 12 of 25 opponents this season into 16+-turnovers. Four times, the Pack has forced opponents into 20 or more turnovers in a single game. The last NC State team to force opponents into 20 or more turnovers four times in a season was the 2009-10 team. The last seven NC State teams (2010-11 team through 2016-17 team) only twice forced opponents into 20 turnovers. In Keatts first four games at NC State, his teams forced opponents into 21 (VMI), 24 (Charleston Southern), 27 (Bryant) and 22 (Presbyterian) turnovers.
– The 27 turnovers NC State forced Bryant into on Nov. 14 are the most turnovers the Pack has forced an opponent to commit since Mount St. Mary’s had 27 on Nov. 22, 2002.

– In 25 games, the Pack has forced 385 turnovers. The 15.4 turnovers forced per game ranks 36th in NCAA Dl and are the most forced turnovers by a team from the ACC.

– The Pack has a +3.30 turnover margin this season which ranks second in the ACC.

– In ACC play, the Pack is 6-1 when it has less turnovers than its opponents and 0-5 when it has more turnovers than its opponents.

Pack Already Have Most Steals Since 2012-13 Team

– With 197 steals in 25 games, the Pack has already surpassed last season’s total steals total of 162, as well as the 2015-16 (149), 2014-15 (138) and 2013-14 (173) NC State teams. The Pack is currently on pace to finish in the top-10 in season steals in program history.

– NC State leads the ACC and 40th overall in NCAA DI with 197 steals.

– NC State recorded 14 steals in the win over Bryant on Nov. 14. It’s the most steals in a game for NC State since the Pack had 16 steals in a win over Boston College on Jan. 19, 2012. It was a 192 game span between 14+-steal games for the Pack.

Nine Games Against Top-24 RPI Teams

–  Through games of Feb. 12, NC State has played nine games against teams currently ranked in the top-24 in the RPI. That is the most in the country. Saturday’s game against No. 10 RPI UNC-Chapel Hill will be the ninth game this season against a top-21 RPI opponent. 36% of the NC State’s games this season have been against top-24 RPI opponents. The Pack is 4-5 in those game.

Bench Production

–  NC State’s bench is averaging to score 22.9 points per game this season. The Pack’s bench has outscored the opponents bench, 572-407 this year.

–  NC State’s bench has outscored the opponents bench in 17 of 25 games this season.

–  The Pack’s bench has outscored the opponents bench in eight of 12 games in ACC play and has tied the opponents bench in scoring in two other games. Only Clemson (19-13) on 1/11 and Miami (33-30) on 1/21 have outscored NC State’s bench in conference play.

–  In the win over No. 2 Arizona at the Battle 4 Atlantis, NC State’s bench outscored Arizona’s, 39-6. Braxton Beverly had 20 points off-the-bench for the Pack in the win, while Omer Yurtseven had 11 points and a team-best nine rebounds.

–  Against Penn State, NC State’s bench outscored the Nittany Lions, 39-9. The Pack’s bench consisting of Yurtseven, Sam Hunt and Lavar Batts, Jr., combined to shoot 12-for-15 from the field (80 percent), including 9-for-10 from three-point range.

–  In the win at No. 10 UNC-Chapel Hill, Allerik Freeman came off-the-bench and scored a career-high 29 points, tying an ACC record for most threes with a miss, connecting on 7-of-7 from three-point range.

Winning the Turnover Battle

– The Pack is +80 in turnover margin. Pack has forced 385 turnovers and only turned it over themselves 305 times. +80 turnover margin is the second-best in the ACC. Major turnaround from last year. Last season, NC State finished the season -67 in turnover margin.

70 is the Magic Number

When the Pack scores 70 or more points this season, NC State is 16-4. When the Pack scores 69 or fewer points, NC State is 0-5.

Winning the Rebounding Battle

– NC State enters Wednesday’s contests vs. Syracuse having outrebounded eight of its 12 ACC opponents this season.
– Last season, the Pack was outrebounded in ACC play in 10 of 18 games.
– The Pack ranks third in the ACC, averaging 13.08 offensive rebounds per game (327 in 25 games). The Pack has had double-digit offensive rebounds in every ACC game except for two this season (9 vs. Miami on 1/21 and 7 vs. UNC on 2/10). NC State is only 2 offensive rebounds shy of the total the team had last season (329 in 32 games)

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UNC Tar Heels defeat the NC State Wolfpack, 96-89 http://chathamjournal.com/2018/02/12/unc-tar-heels-defeat-nc-state-wolfpack-96-89/ Mon, 12 Feb 2018 05:51:22 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=8403 Raleigh, NC – The NC State men’s basketball team came up short against No. 21 UNC-Chapel Hill Saturday afternoon, falling 96-89 in front of a sold-out PNC Arena crowd. With the loss, NC State falls to 16-9 (6-6 ACC), while…

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Raleigh, NC – The NC State men’s basketball team came up short against No. 21 UNC-Chapel Hill Saturday afternoon, falling 96-89 in front of a sold-out PNC Arena crowd. With the loss, NC State falls to 16-9 (6-6 ACC), while the Tar Heels improve to 19-7 (8-5 ACC).

Torin Dorn led the Pack with 21 points on 10-of- 15 shooting. Allerik Freeman followed him with 17 points, and Malik Abdul-Abu (12), Markell Johnson (12), Braxton Beverly (11), and Omer Yurtseven (10) joined them in double figures.

The first half was a game of runs, as the teams traded momentum through the first 20 minutes of the outing. After UNC-Chapel Hill built up a 10-point lead (28-18) midway through the opening period, NC State fired off 19 unanswered points in just over seven minutes of play. In that span, the Pack held UNC-Chapel Hill to 0-of- 14 shooting and forced four Tar Heel turnovers.

UNC's Luke May takes ahot.The Tar Heels closed the half on a 7-0 run of their own as NC State took a 37-35 lead into the intermission.

Despite shooting 60 percent from the field in the second half, the Pack was met by an offensive explosion from the Tar Heels. Luke Maye, who tallied just six points in the first half, put up 27 second-half points on a 12-of- 14 shooting performance.

UNC-Chapel Hill missed just seven shots in the final 20 minutes on the way to knocking down 78.1 percent of its second-half attempts.

The Pack trailed for a majority of the second half, but an Abu dunk that turned into a three-point play brought NC State within two points, 85-33, with 1:33 to play. UNC-CH’s Kenny Williams nailed a three-pointer on the Tar Heels next possession though to push the deficit back to five and the Pack would never get any closer as North Carolina salted the game away at the free throw line.

The Pack snagged 12 steals in the loss, its second-most in a game this season and most in an ACC game, but the Tar Heels 56.3 percent shooting for the game and +17 rebounding margin proved too much to overcome.

Up next, NC State returns to the road next week as the Pack plays at Syracuse on Wednesday night. The game is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. and will be shown on the ACC Network.

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NC State Wolfpack falls to Virginia Tech, 85-75 http://chathamjournal.com/2018/02/08/nc-state-wolfpack-falls-virginia-tech-85-75/ Thu, 08 Feb 2018 12:35:48 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=8384 Blacksburg, VA – The NC State men’s basketball team had its three-game win streak snapped Wednesday evening as the Pack fell to Virginia Tech, 85-75, inside Cassell Coliseum. NC State falls to 16-8, 6-5 in the ACC with the loss, while…

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Blacksburg, VA – The NC State men’s basketball team had its three-game win streak snapped Wednesday evening as the Pack fell to Virginia Tech, 85-75, inside Cassell Coliseum.

NC State falls to 16-8, 6-5 in the ACC with the loss, while Virginia Tech improves to 17-7, 6-5 in the ACC with the win.

The Pack trailed by 18 points early in the second half, but battled back to cut the deficit to six with over 10 minutes remaining in the game, but could get no closer.

Omer Yurtseven led NC State with 20 points, while Markell Johnson registered a double-double with 15 points and 10 assists. The 10 assists extend the sophomore’s double-digit assist streak to five games. Yurtseven and Johnson were the lone NC State players to reach double figures. Abdul-Malik Abu led the Pack with a game-high seven rebounds.

The game was back-and-forth for the opening 10 minutes with both teams exchanging the lead. A Torin Dorn jump shot with 8:50 left in the first half tied the game at 23, but Virginia Tech responded with a 12-0 run to take a 35-23 lead with 5:43 left in the half. The lead would grow to as many as 15 points before NC State cut it to 13, 47-34, at the break.

Yurtseven scored eight points in the first four minutes of the game, but picked up his second foul at the 15:24 mark of the first half.

In the second half, the Hokies extended the lead to 18, 55-37, with 17:22 to go, but the Pack would not quit as NC State responded with an 18-6 run over the next six-plus minutes to cut the deficit to 61-55. The Hokies scored the next six points to extend the lead back to 12 and despite another response from NC State to get within seven with 6:51 to play, Virginia Tech would not allow the Pack to get any closer.

Justin Robinson led the Hokies with a game-high 32 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field. The 32 points are the most NC State has allowed an opponent to score this season.

NC State ended the game with a 34-27 advantage in rebounding, but Virginia Tech had a 56-30 points in the paint advantage.

The Pack returns to action Saturday afternoon as it looks for a season sweep of UNC-Chapel Hill when the two teams meet inside a sold-out PNC Arena at 2 p.m. The game will be televised on the ACC Network.

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Wolfpack visits Pittsburgh for midweek battle with the Panthers http://chathamjournal.com/2018/01/24/wolfpack-visits-pittsburgh-midweek-battle-pitt-panthers/ Wed, 24 Jan 2018 15:28:37 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=8362 Raleigh, NC – The NC State men’s basketball team aims to even its ACC record Wednesday evening when it takes on Pittsburgh at the Petersen Events Center. The game is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. and will be a RSN telecast with Wes Durham…

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Raleigh, NC – The NC State men’s basketball team aims to even its ACC record Wednesday evening when it takes on Pittsburgh at the Petersen Events Center.

The game is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. and will be a RSN telecast with Wes Durham and Jason Capel on the call. A complete list of nationwide affiliates showing the game can be found here: http://www.theacc.com/sports/2018/1/16/mbask-rsn-180124b.aspx

Wolfpack fans can also listen on Wolfpack Sports Network with Gary Hahn and Tony Haynes calling the action.
2018 NC State basketball players
Pack Tracks
– NC State suffered its first ACC home loss on Sunday as 25th-ranked Miami defeated the Pack, 86-81. The Pack shot 54.4% for the game, its highest shooting percentage in an ACC game this season, but Miami shot 57.6%, including 10-of-19 from three-point range to win. Omer Yurtseven led the Pack with 28 points, one shy of his career-high, while Markell Johnson passed out a career-high 14 assists. The 14 assists are the third-most by an individual in PNC Arena history.
Omer Yurtseven was named ACC Co-Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 25 points a game on 65.6% shooting against Wake Forest and Miami. Yurtseven had 22 points, eight rebounds and 1 block in the win over Wake Forest on Thursday. On Sunday, he had 28 points on 12-of-16 shooting and added six rebounds and two blocked shots.
– Over the last five games, Yurtseven is averaging 20.2 points per game on 61.1% (44-of-72) shooting. During the last five games, Yurtseven has led the Pack in scoring and rebounding four times.
– The Pack has used seven different starting lineups in 20 games this season. Torin Dorn is the only player to start every game for NC State this year.

Yurtseven Finding Comfort Level in Sophomore Season
NC State sophomore center Omer Yurtseven came to college last season as a consensus five-star player, but the Istanbul, Turkey native had an up-and-down season as a freshman. After a 12-point, 16-rebound performance against Pittsburgh on Jan., 17, the seven-footer never scored more than 10 points or had more than five rebounds in a game the rest of his rookie season. Now, as a sophomore a confident Yurtseven is becoming the No. 1 priority on opposing team’s scouting reports.
– On the season, ranks second on the team in scoring (13.6), rebounding (6.7) and field goal percentage (61.5%) and first in blocks (36).
– In seven ACC games, leading the team in scoring (16.7), rebounding (6.8), blocks (14) and field goal percentage (56.5%).
– The sophomore has been more involved in offensive end of floor this season. As a freshman, Yurtseven averaged 5.3 field goal attempts per game. This season he is averaging 9.4 field goal attempts per game.
– Yurtseven has 92 field goal attempts in seven ACC games this season. He only had 83 field goal attempts in 17 ACC games as a freshman.
– In four ACC home games, Yurtseven is averaging 23.8 points on 64.1% shooting (41-of-64), including 50% (7-of-14) from three-point range. Also averaging 6.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks.
– Yurtseven had a career-high 29 points on 12-of-18 shooting, including 5-of-6 from three-point range in win over #19 Clemson on 1/11.
– One of 20 student-athletes to the preseason watch list for this year’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award.

Constant Defensive Pressure leading to Opponent Turnovers
NC State head coach Kevin Keatts came to Raleigh promising that his program would pressure the opponents full court and create turnovers.
– The Pack has forced half its opponents this season into 16+-turnovers. Four times, the Pack has forced opponents into 20 or more turnovers in a single game. The last NC State team to force opponents into 20 or more turnovers four times in a season was the 2009-10 team. The last seven NC State teams (2010-11 team through 2016-17 team) only twice forced opponents into 20 turnovers (2010-11 team forced East Carolina into 20 turnovers on 11/18/10 and 2016-17 team forced Virginia Tech into 20 turnovers on 1/4/17). In Keatts first four games at NC State, his teams forced opponents into 21 (VMI), 24 (Charleston Southern), 27 (Bryant) and 22 (Presbyterian) turnovers.
– The 27 turnovers NC State forced Bryant into on Nov. 14 are the most turnovers the Pack has forced an opponent to commit since Mount St. Mary’s had 27 on Nov. 22, 2002.
– In the first four games this season, the Pack forced its opponents into more turnovers than made field goals.
– In 20 games, the Pack has forced 312 turnovers. The 15.6 turnovers forced per game ranks 49th in NCAA Dl and are the most forced turnovers by a team from the ACC.
– NC State recorded 14 steals in the win over Bryant on Nov. 14. It’s the most steals in a game for NC State since the Pack had 16 steals in a win over Boston College on Jan. 19, 2012. It was a 192 game span between 14+-steal games for the Pack. NC State has 159 steals in 20 games this season, a mark that ranks second in the ACC and 49th overall in NCAA DI.
Lennard Freeman
Healthy Freeman Having Best Offensive Season of Career
NC State senior Lennard Freeman had offseason leg surgery prior to the 2015-16 season and after playing through pain, elected to have offseason leg surgery again prior to the 2016-17 season and sat out the year to recover.
– A career 3.6 points per game average coming into the season, Freeman has reset his career-high three times this season and is averaging 10.5points per game through 19 games. He opened the year with 15 points against VMI, had 20 against Bryant and then had 23 in the Pack’s win against Presbyterian.
– Freeman is shooting a team-best 67.5 percent from the field this season. Freeman would lead the ACC in FG percentage, but falls short of the minimum number of field goal makes to rank among ACC leaders.
– In 103 career games coming into this season, Freeman had only scored in double figures six times, he’s scored in double figures in 10 of 20 games this season.
– The game against Presbyterian on Nov. 16 was the 107th career game for Freeman. It was the first time in those 107 games that Freeman led NC State in scoring. Freeman led the Pack in scoring for the second time in his career with 19 points in a 103-71 win over South Carolina State on Dec. 2.

Winning the Turnover Battle
– The Pack is +67 in turnover margin. Pack has forced 302 turnovers and only turned it over themselves 230 times. +67 turnover margin is the second-best in the ACC. Major turnaround from last year. Last season, NC State finished the season -67 in turnover margin.

Freshman Braxton Beverly Shining in Freshman Season
– Freshman guard Braxton Beverly has seen his production go up as the Hazard, Ky. native has gotten more comfortable playing at the college level this season. Beverly wasn’t cleared to play for NC State this season until Tuesday, Nov. 14 after initially being declared ineligible by the NCAA.
– Beverly currently ranks second in the ACC with a 2.79 assist-to-turnover ratio. The freshman guard has had only two games this season with more turnovers than assists and has had one turnover or fewer in nine of the 18 games he’s played in this season.
– After only having 10 assists in the first six games of the season (1.7 per game), Beverly has 68 assists in the last 12 games (5.7 per game)
– For the season, Beverly is shooting 36.5 percent from three-point range, but he has been feast or famine from three-point range this season. He has not connected on a three-pointer in six of 18 games this season. In those six  games he is a combined 0-for-19 from three-point range. In the 12 games he’s made a three-pointer, he is averaging to hit 2.6 per game and is shooting 47.0% (31-for-66) from long-range.

Clutch Free Throw Shooting for Freshman Beverly
Freshman guard Braxton Beverly has been Mr. Clutch at the foul line late in close games this season. The Hazard, Ky., native is 24-of-27 (88.9%) from the foul line with less than four minutes left in the second half.
– In the win over No. 2 Arizona, Beverly went 7-for-9 from the foul line in the closing minutes. He knocked down two free throws with 3:21 left to give the Pack an 80-75 lead, made two more with 2:02 left to go up 84-76 and knocked down two more free throws with 1:48 to play to give NC State an 86-76 lead.
– In the win over Penn State, Beverly made two free throws with :52 seconds left to give the Pack a 79-74 lead. He made two more with :30 seconds left to give NC State an 82-76 lead.
– In the win over Clemson, Beverly made two free throws with :09 seconds remaining to give NC State a 78-73 lead. The Pack won the game 78-77 when Clemson missed a free throw with :01 second left.
– For the season, Beverly is shooting 89.5% (34-of-38) from the foul line and has hit 18 straight free throws.

70 is the Magic Number
When the Pack scores 70 or more points this season, NC State is 13-2. When the Pack scores 69 or fewer points, NC State is 0-5.

Shooting Success for Pack Trio
– NC State’s Torin Dorn, Lennard Freeman and Omer Yurtseven have all been efficient scorers for the Pack this season.
– Dorn is shooting 54.1 percent from the field this season (99-for-183) and has shot 50 percent or better in 13 of 20 games.
– Freeman is shooting 67.5 percent from the field this season (79-for-117) and has shot 50 percent or better in every game, but three this season.
– Yurtseven is shooting 61.5 percent from the field this season (115-for-187) and has shot 50 percent or better in 16 of 20 games, including 15 of the last 17 games.

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NC State 96 vs Duke 85 post-basketball game quotes http://chathamjournal.com/2018/01/07/nc-state-96-vs-duke-85-post-basketball-game-quotes/ Sun, 07 Jan 2018 14:24:47 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=8311 Raleigh, NC – Here are the post-game quotes from the NC State Wolfpack vs Duke Blue Devils basketball game on Saturday, January 6. Head Coach Kevin Keatts (Opening Statement) “First of all, I would like to thank the students and…

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Raleigh, NC – Here are the post-game quotes from the NC State Wolfpack vs Duke Blue Devils basketball game on Saturday, January 6.

Head Coach Kevin Keatts

(Opening Statement)

“First of all, I would like to thank the students and fans. When this place is packed like that, this is one of the toughest places, if not the toughest place, to play in the country, and I thought our fans were huge. They did a good job of lifting us up, especially in the first half. We got behind a little bit. All week, we have been talking about the guys needing to play together, and one of the things I said about this team is that in order for us to be very successful, we have to play together. We had seven guys in double figures. We shared the basketball. We had 17 assists and only 10 turnovers. I challenged those guys the last couple days that if we had a chance to win the game, we had to win the rebound battle, and I thought we did that getting 14 offensive rebounds and only giving up 12. Also, we wanted to do a great job in getting out in transition. Give Duke a lot of credit. It’s a very good basketball team. Bagley is as good as advertised, and I’m proud of my guys. I thought they did a tremendous job. Starting ACC play on the road at two tough venues for us to bounce back and get a great win, you have to be proud of these guys.”

Head Coach Kevin Keatts

(On Lavar Batts Jr. providing a spark off the bench)

“I thought he was great. I thought Lavar grew up today. He came in at a moment where we were really struggling to score the basketball and just the energy he brought to the team. He got to the rim. He found guys, made some great passes. When you look at him and Braxton (Beverly), they are both babies in the ACC, and they both have been forced to grow up quick, and they both are doing a good job in it.”

Head Coach Kevin Keatts

(On what changed in the team’s offensive rebounding)

“Well, we talked about it. I think coming in, their (Duke’s) percentage was unbelievable, the shots they miss and get back right at 44% of their misses. I wasn’t happy at our first timeout because I felt like they beat us to a lot of 50/50 balls. I told them it wasn’t just going to come from the post position. Everybody has to come into rebound and do a good job of rebounding the ball and blocking out.”

Head Coach Kevin Keatts

(On the team’s confidence)

“It (the win) certainly helps. I will say this: I don’t think this team ever lost confidence. I’ve said this all along. We had a tough start, starting on the road the first two games of the ACC. We just needed to get home and sleep in our bed and get some home cooking, and certainly it worked out.”

Head Coach Kevin Keatts

(On who made the biggest difference sharing the basketball)

“I think it was everybody. I think it started with Al Freeman. I sat down with Al, and I sat down with every guard, and I told them, ‘If we’re going to be successful with this group of guys that we have, we’re going to have to play off each other.’ I thought everyone made the right passes, and I thought everyone played unselfish. If you look back at our games that we won and we played well, we really shared the basketball.”

Head Coach Kevin Keatts

(On what he said to the team right before the half)
“You know, we talked about staying the course. We wanted them to, all night long, have to play against our half-court defense. If you look at Duke, they are so talented, but they score so much in transition. They score so many points off of offensive rebounds, we felt like if we could keep them off of the glass and we did a great job of sprinting back and not giving them easy baskets, then we would have the opportunity to win the game.”

Head Coach Kevin Keatts
(On how the team played with poise)

“We talked about experience. When you look at Duke, Bagley (is) unbelievable. They all are. One thing I told our guys is, ‘You’re going to play against Grayson Allen, who is a tremendous basketball player, and four freshmen, who all in high school as talented as they are, they played high school last year.’ So, we told our guys to use their experience and play like veterans, and I thought they all did.”

Head Coach Kevin Keatts
(On Omer going up against Bagley)

“I thought he (Omer) played well. He scored around the basket, I thought he did a tremendous job. The scouting report, checking Bagley, when you’re checking the numbers, you’re going to say Bagley had 31, but what did he have, 10?  I thought he did a great job of forcing him to his right. The kid made some tough shots. We played against a really great freshman this year with Bagley.”

Head Coach Kevin Keatts
(On whether this is his biggest win so far at NC State)

“Since it’s my (first) ACC win, I think it’s the best one that I’ve got so far. No, it’s a great win, but what I told our guys, I said, ‘Every win that we have, I want you to celebrate and be excited about, but don’t be satisfied.’ Just because we beat the number two team in the country, that’s not what we’re trying to build. We want to build a program where we are consistent every night.”

Coach Kevin Keats
(On difference in practice this week)

“No, and that’s been tough on me. We have practiced well. I think I told you guys before the Jacksonville game that we shot the ball well, but we haven’t shot it well in the game. Then in Jacksonville, obviously we made shots. Then finally our hard work and practice, if you ever saw a practice…well I shouldn’t say that because everyone’s going to try and go to practice now. But we practice extremely hard and our guys play extremely well, and we just hadn’t had that same energy and effort once we got in the games, and I thought we did tonight.”

Head Coach Kevin Keatts
(On learning from big wins)

“I don’t know what my team learned, but I know what I learned. Every team that we play, I’m going to tell them that they’re ranked number two in the country. Listen, we have a good season going on, and when you look at it, obviously this league is tough. If you look around a league, and I’m guessing on this, but I would say 75 to 80 percent of the home teams have won in the first three or four games, and so having the opportunity to come back home after just starting on the road two games, I think it made our guys feel a little more comfortable, and our students and fans were tremendous.”

Head Coach Kevin Keatts
(On players stepping up with Markell Johnson out)

“It’s two guys that have stepped up in that situation. Braxton (Beverly) obviously has to play a lot of minutes, but Lavar Batts is starting to come, so now I have the ability to play him and mix Sam (Hunt) in there and then give Al (Freeman) and also Braxton a little breather and they can play off the ball. So by those two, Sam and Lavar, playing a little better, it’s actually helped our team.”

Head Coach Kevin Keatts
(On depth in the front court)

“It’s great. One thing that we do have is we’ve got three guys that play in our front court that I feel real comfortable with. I see it as three starters. I rotate those guys in and out, and I thought all three guys played great for us.

Head Coach Kevin Keatts
(On the team not losing confidence after losses)

“Looking back at the Notre Dame game I thought it was more Notre Dame playing well than us playing bad. When you look at it, they made 11 threes, and that same Notre Dame team went on the road and won at a tough Syracuse place today without two of their starters, so I thought that they played well. I didn’t think we scored the ball at Notre Dame, and that’s the reason why we lost the game because we weren’t able to score (and) because we didn’t share the basketball.”

Abdul-Malik Abu, Forward

(On the second win against a top team)

“It definitely sweet, and it felt good. When we lock in and do everything right, that’s the outcome we are going to get. I’m just super proud of all these guys. It just took a little bit from everyone, some really big shots, and it turns out to be a happy outcome.”

Abdul-Malik Abu, Forward

(On winning this kind of game at home)

“It’s very big. We had the crowd behind us, and we had a lot of support. We just wanted to go out there and win it for the fans. The outcome of the game is the outcome we wanted. For right now, we just want to keep moving forward and racking up these wins.”

Lennard Freeman, Forward

(On the team staying focused)

“We just got to stay focused. We are still learning and getting better. We just got to have the same focus and bring the same intensity every game. If we can do that, we can beat anybody.”

Torin Dorn, Guard

(On taking momentum into the rest of conference play)

“It definitely helps, and we can use this as momentum, like you said, to string some wins together and get this thing turned around. I was just saying to the guys that’s the kind of focus we need to have every game, not just when it’s at home or against Duke. If we have that same focus every game, we will be fine.”

Omer Yurtseven, Center

(On matching up against Marvin Bagley III)

“He is really talented, and I just focused on playing my game and showing everybody that I can play on the same level as him.”

Omer Yurtseven, Center

(On his assertiveness in the game)

“I would say it was one of my best games. I just rose and responded to the challenge.”

Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski

(Opening Statement)

“Congratulations to Kevin, his staff, and his team, and NC State fans. They played great right from the start, and to come back after I know they had two disappointing performances and really played with an incredible nerve and experience. I thought it started with their big guys. Their big guys were very strong and physical in a really good way, and their veterans Dorn and (Lennard) Freeman played like men, which they are. And we played young, which we are. I thought they played with a lot of poise. We started out well, I think we had an 11-point lead. Then we just started taking jump shots and just made some really foolish mistakes and all the sudden lost the lead. We did the same thing against Florida State, but we were able to come back from it. We did not play with much poise. We were frantic, and I thought they made us that way. Obviously, they deserve to win. My hat’s off to them for turning that around. Kevin and his staff, when a squad does, that even though they beat you. We are a very young team, and we’re not deep, and we haven’t played much in this last month. So that a Boston College loss, and they were very good, All of the sudden, there is an exam break, and then there is one game against Evansville, and then there’s a Christmas break, and then we played well against Florida State. Basically, we played three games in a month, and the reality of the continuity of what you have to bring every day is not there yet. It’s not there, and I hope I’m making sense to you, but we’ve had one job a week, three jobs in a month, and you have to come to work every day. If you’re an injury-riddled team, then that’s a good thing, but if you’re trying to develop toughness and togetherness that’s not a good formula, and it showed tonight. I am disappointed in all of us, me, my staff, and the team, in not being able to figure that out yet, but we have to figure that out.”

 

Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski

(On NC State’s rebounding improvement during the game)

“I just think they were persistent. We may have won the first couple rounds or

whatever, but they were still fighting. Look, they’ve gone through a lot, those big guys, so if they see us getting a little bit tired or not approaching it for a certain amount of time, they’re going to take advantage of that, and they did. That’s what our guys have to

understand, when they’re 18 and 19 years old, but they’re playing against

guys who have played, have lost, have won, have been hurt, and we’re their

opportunity. They’ve never experienced anything like that where a team that you see on

tape is not the team that shows up against you. We have to be able to handle that, but

again, State was really good. They were really good, and we weren’t able to handle that.”

 

Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski

(On what has to happen for Duke to get more production from the bench)
“Older players. Guys who get older real quick. We don’t have a deep bench. With Marques (Bolden) out, and that’s not an excuse for tonight. I’m not saying that. It’d be good to have him, but our top seven players, four of them are big guys. That creates a different dynamic. Alex (O’Connell) has got to play better. He came in, and I though he was real nervous tonight. That happens when you’re trying to grow.”

 

Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski

(On what needs to change with the defense)

“To keep working. What answer would you want me to say? To keep working at it. It’s pretty simple.”

 

Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski

(On NC State having bigs come off the bench and provide valuable minutes)

“He’s developed a good rotation there. We’re trying to do that with Marques (Bolden). All three of his guys played well tonight. I mean really well tonight. They outplayed us. Some of this stuff isn’t hard. We got beat. It’s not like some altruistic thing here or the world is going to change. We played crappy defense. We were frantic. They played their butts off. We’ve got to get better. To me, it’s that simple. Now, the process of getting there, that’s what we have to figure out. For the most part, we’ve been able to do that, and hopefully we’ll be able to do that again. If we don’t, then you’re going to see us lose again, and then you’ll ask if we’re working on our defense, and I’ll tell you that we are working on our defense but it’s not working. This isn’t really that complicated.”

 

Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski

(On if the press contributed to the turnovers)

“I don’t think their press…I thought when we broke the press, we didn’t have poise and finishing. The turnovers hardly ever occurred at the initial point of their press. Normally, we would want someone to speed us up because we can score. Our decision making after we broke it was not good. That’s what produced the turnovers: poise at that time. We turned it over a lot.”

 

Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski

(On Marques Bolden’s status)

“The reason that we didn’t put anything out today, he had a number one MCL sprain, which is the lowest. Jack (White) fell into his leg early in the week, and he’s actually making good progress. We weren’t sure until today if he was going to be able to play. We didn’t feel comfortable enough for it. Hopefully, he’ll be back next week. Now that it’s out there, we’re not trying to hide anything. We just thought he’d be ready. Why put something out and then say, “Oh, he’s okay.’ At the shoot around today, we told the TV people that he wasn’t going to play. Hopefully he’ll get well here in the next week.”

 

Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski

(On Grayson Allen’s struggle to get involved)

“Grayson didn’t play well. Bottom line. He’s played real well, but in our two losses, he didn’t play well. We need him to play well all the time or be strong all the time. Again, I’m not blaming it on him. I’m just saying when it’s not there, you know it’s not there, and it hurts you in every way. This group only has one veteran like that. Again, that’s why the youth can show more if that one veteran is having a human night where it’s not good. His impact on our team is huge on this group, to be steady, to be him. Again, they’re doing stuff to not make him him. When I say that, it all starts with them (NC State) playing well and really hard. They played really hard. Again, congratulations to them.”

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NC State Wolfpack knocks off second-ranked Duke, 96-85 http://chathamjournal.com/2018/01/07/nc-state-wolfpack-knocks-off-second-ranked-duke-96-85/ Sun, 07 Jan 2018 13:52:46 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=8298 Raleigh, NC – For the second time this season, the NC State men’s basketball team knocked off the nation’s second-ranked team as the Wolfpack downed No. 2 Duke 96-85 Saturday night inside PNC Arena. It was the first time in program history that…

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Raleigh, NC – For the second time this season, the NC State men’s basketball team knocked off the nation’s second-ranked team as the Wolfpack downed No. 2 Duke 96-85 Saturday night inside PNC Arena.

It was the first time in program history that NC State has beaten two teams ranked No. 2 or higher in the regular season.

In head coach Kevin Keatts’ first ACC win and NC State’s first ACC win of the season, Omer Yurtseven and Torin Dorn each finished with 16 points to lead the Pack in scoring. Yurtseven tied his career high in field goals made with eight, while also finishing with nine rebounds to lead NC State on the boards. Allerik Freeman added 15 points, five rebounds and had a career-high five assists. Freeman was also perfect from the free-throw line, knocking down all seven of his attempts.

Rounding out the Wolfpack’s balanced attack was Braxton Beverly who chipped in 14 points, Lennard Freeman who was a tower of strength inside with 13, and Abdul-Malik Abu who contributed 10. Lavar Batts, Jr. also provided a spark off the bench as he added a career-high five assists and grabbed four rebounds.

NC State’s bench was pivotal in the win as it outscored Duke’s bench, 25-4. The Wolfpack’s defensive pressure created 22 points off turnovers and the squad had 20 second chance points. The Pack also shut down the Blue Devils’ three-point attack as Duke was held to just 20 percent shooting from behind the arc. The Wolfpack also had the advantage on the boards, out-rebounding Duke, 34-32. Free throw shooting was also key to NC State’s win, as it converted on 23-of-25 attempts for 92 percent.

NC State players huddle before the free throw.<br><i>photo by Gene Galin</i>Tonight’s win was a case of déjà vu for NC State as the last time Duke entered PNC Arena ranked No. 2 (Jan. 15, 2015) the Wolfpack prevailed, 87-75. It also marked the first time since 1995 NC State has defeated Duke in back-to-back games.

NC State has now defeated Duke the last four times the Blue Devils have come to PNC Arena ranked first or second in the associated press poll.

Duke led in the early stages of the game, but NC State took the lead with 7:29 on the clock thanks to a 12-0 run capped off by a Sam Hunt three-pointer from the left corner to take the lead, 28-27.

The remainder of the half was a back-and-forth battle. Yurtseven closed out his 10-point, six rebound first half with an emphatic two-handed put-back dunk to give NC State a 43-41 lead going into halftime.

Dorn came out of halftime and set the tone for what was a 12-point half early; he banked in a turnaround jump shot high off the glass giving NC State a 45-41 lead with 19:36 on the clock and the Wolfpack never looked back.

While Duke narrowed the margin to three points, 61-58, with 12:56 remaining in the half the Wolfpack remained composed down the stretch. A pick ‘n’ roll between Allerik Freeman and Abu resulting in a thunderous Abu dunk to put NC State ahead by seven with 9:42 remaining, however Duke brought cut it to a three-point game with just 3:59 remaining.

Beverly and Dorn’s hot shooting late in the game ensured Duke did not cut into the score any further. Beverly knocked down a timely three-pointer with 2:46 left to play to which Duke answered with a pair of Marvin Bagley III free throws. 

Dorn’s three with 2:02 on the clock followed by another pair of Beverly free throws with 1:47 saw the lead grow to nine, putting the game all but out of reach for Duke. Batts, Jr., iced the game with a pair of free throws of his own with 0:40 seconds left in the game giving NC State an 11-point lead and the 96-85 victory.

Up Next: NC State returns to action on Thursday, Jan. 11, when it takes on the Clemson Tigers (14-1, 3-0) at home. The game is scheduled to begin at 9:00 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.

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NC State Wolfpack heads to Notre Dame for Wednesday night game http://chathamjournal.com/2018/01/03/nc-state-wolfpack-heads-notre-dame-wednesday-night-contest/ Wed, 03 Jan 2018 22:56:51 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=8255 Raleigh, NC – The NC State men’s basketball team (10-4, 0-1) continues ACC play Wednesday evening as it travels to Indiana to face Notre Dame (11-3, 1-0). The game is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. and will be shown…

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Raleigh, NC – The NC State men’s basketball team (10-4, 0-1) continues ACC play Wednesday evening as it travels to Indiana to face Notre Dame (11-3, 1-0).

The game is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. and will be shown on the ACC Network. Tim Brando and Cory Alexander will have the call. Television affiliates carrying the game in North Carolina include: WBTV-CBS (Charlotte), WMYV-MyTV (Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point), WITN-NBC (Greenville-New Bern-Washington), WRAL-NBC (Raleigh-Durham) and WILM-Ind. (Wilmington). A complete list of nationwide affiliates showing the game can be found here: http://theacc.com/sports/2017/12/9/acc-network-mbb-180103a.aspx

Wolfpack fans can also listen on Wolfpack Sports Network with Tony Haynes and Chucky Brown calling the action.

Notre Dame leads the all-time series with the Pack, 6-4, but all four of NC State’s wins in the series have come in the state of Indiana. The Pack is 3-2 all-time at Notre Dame and also has defeated the Fighting Irish in a neutral site game in Indianapolis.

Pack Tracks

NC State opened ACC play on Saturday, falling at Clemson, 78-62. The Pack led for a majority of the first 15 minutes of the game, but the Tigers ended the first half on a 13-2 run to take a nine-point lead into halftime and NC State could never get closer than six points in the second half. Braxton Beverly led the Pack with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting, while Omer Yurtseven added 12 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. Yurtseven also tied his career-high with five blocks. 

Welcome to the ACC, Coach Keatts: In his first season as head coach of the Pack, Kevin Keatts is getting a quick look at how tough the ACC gauntlet can be. His NC State team is opening the ACC schedule with two road games, the first Pack team since 2007-08 to start ACC play with consecutive road games and the Pack’s ACC home-opener on Saturday is against preseason favorite Duke. In addition, four of the Pack’s first five ACC games are against teams that start the New Year ranked in the top-15 in the RPI. (vs. Duke (1), home/away Clemson (14) and at Virginia (15)). 

NC State has scored in 100+ three times this season, the most since doing it four times in the 1995-96 season. The Pack has defeated Jacksonville, 116-64, VMI, 102-67, & South Carolina State, 103-71.

Freshman Braxton Beverly Shining in Freshman Season

– Freshman guard Braxton Beverly has seen his production go up as the Hazard, Ky. native has gotten more comfortable playing at the college level this season. Beverly wasn’t cleared to play for NC State this season until Tuesday, Nov. 14 after initially being declared ineligible by the NCAA.

– Beverly currently ranks second in the ACC with a 3.06 assist-to-turnover ratio. The freshman guard has had only one game this season with more turnovers than assists and has had one turnover or fewer in eight of the 12 games he’s played in this season.

– After only having 10 assists in the first six games of the season (1.7 per game), Beverly has 42 assists in the last six games (7.0 per game)

– For the season, Beverly is shooting 37.5 percent from three-point range, but he has been feast or famine from three-point range this season. He has not connected on a three-pointer in five of 12 games this season. In those five games he is a combined 0-for-14 from three-point range. Beverly has made multiple three-pointers in the other six games he has played on this season. In the seven games he’s made a three-pointer, he is averaging to hit 3.1 per game and is shooting 47.8% (22-for-46) from long-range. 

Shooting Success for Pack Trio

– NC State’s Torin Dorn, Lennard Freeman and Omer Yurtseven have all been efficient scorers for the Pack this season.
– Dorn is shooting 55.0 percent from the field this season (71-for-129) and has shot 50 percent or better in 9 of 14 games, including five of the last six games.
– Freeman is shooting 72.6 percent from the field this season (61-for-84) and has shot 50 percent or better in every game, but one this season. He has shot 16-for-21 (76.2%) in the last four games.

– Yurtseven is shooting 64.5 percent from the field this season (69-for-107) and has shot 50 percent or better in 12 of 14 games, including 11 consecutive games entering Wednesday’s contest at Notre Dame.

Constant Defensive Pressure leading to Opponent Turnovers

NC State head coach Kevin Keatts came to Raleigh promising that his program would pressure the opponents full court and create turnovers.

– The Pack has forced eight of its 14 opponents this season into 16+-turnovers. Four times, the Pack has forced opponents into 20 or more turnovers in a single game. The last NC State team to force opponents into 20 or more turnovers four times in a season was the 2009-10 team. The last seven NC State teams (2010-11 team through 2016-17 team) only twice forced opponents into 20 turnovers (2010-11 team forced East Carolina into 20 turnovers on 11/18/10 and 2016-17 team forced Virginia Tech into 20 turnovers on 1/4/17). In Keatts first four games at NC State, his teams forced opponents into 21 (VMI), 24 (Charleston Southern), 27 (Bryant) and 22 (Presbyterian) turnovers.
– The 27 turnovers NC State forced Bryant into on Nov. 14 are the most turnovers the Pack has forced an opponent to commit since Mount St. Mary’s had 27 on Nov. 22, 2002.

– In the first four games this season, the Pack forced its opponents into more turnovers than made field goals.

– In 14 games, the Pack has forced 229 turnovers. The 16.4 turnovers forced per game ranks tied for 42nd in NCAA Dl and are the second most forced turnovers by a team from the ACC.

– NC State recorded 14 steals in Tuesday’s win over Bryant. It’s the most steals in a game for NC State since the Pack had 16 steals in a win over Boston College on Jan. 19, 2012. It was a 192 game span between 14+-steal games for the Pack. NC State has 115 steals in 14 games this season, a mark that ranks third in the ACC and 37th overall in NCAA DI. 

Winning the Turnover Battle

Not only have the Pack been forcing turnovers, but they have been protecting the basketball, too. NC State has had 10 or fewer turnovers in six of its 14 games this season.

– The Pack is +55 in turnover margin. Pack has forced 220 turnovers and only turned it over themselves 160 times. +55 turnover margin is the second-best in the ACC.

– Major turnaround from last year’s team. Last season, NC State finished the season -67 in turnover margin, including -14 mark in non-conference games.

Healthy Freeman Becoming an Offensive Force

NC State senior Lennard Freeman had offseason leg surgery prior to the 2015-16 season and after playing through pain that season, elected to have offseason leg surgery again prior to the 2016-17 season and sat out the year to recover.  Now fully healthy, Freeman has started his senior season with an offensive outburst.

– A career 3.6 points per game average coming into the season, Freeman has reset his career-high three times this season and is averaging 12.1 points per game through 13 games. He opened the year with 15 points against VMI, had 20 against Bryant and then had 23 in the Pack’s win against Presbyterian.

– Freeman is shooting a team-best 72.6 percent from the field this season. Freeman would lead the ACC in field goal percentage, but falls short of the minimum number of field goal makes to rank among ACC leaders. To be listed you have to average 5 made field goals per game, Freeman has made 61 field goals in 14 games (average of 4.4 per game).

– The senior is connecting on 72.4 percent of his foul shots (42-of-58). The Washington D.C. native, entered this season a career 47.9 percent free throw shooter.

– In 103 career games coming into this season, Freeman had only scored in double figures six times, he’s scored in double figures in 8 of 14 games this season.

– Has already scored 157 points this season, the most points he has ever scored in a single season in his career.

– The game against Presbyterian on November 16 was the 107th career game in an NC State uniform for Freeman. It was the first time in those 107 games that Freeman led NC State in scoring. Freeman led the Pack in scoring for the second time in his career with 19 points in a 103-71 win over South Carolina State on Dec. 2.

– Freeman, who entered this season as a player best known for doing the gritty things that don’t show up in the box score, has also set career-highs with three steals and three blocks this season, both set against Presbyterian.

Bench Production

–  NC State’s bench is averaging to score 25.4 points per game this season. The Pack’s bench has outscored the opponents bench, 340-235 this year.

–  NC State’s bench has outscored the opponents bench in 10 of 14 games this season.

–  In the win over No. 2 Arizona at the Battle 4 Atlantis, NC State’s bench outscored Arizona’s, 39-6. Braxton Beverly had 20 points off-the-bench for the Pack in the win, while Omer Yurtseven had 11 points and a team-best nine rebounds.

–  In the game against Northern Iowa, NC State’s bench outscored the Panther’s, 30-2. Yurtseven led the team in points (17) and rebounds (13) in the game against UNI.

–  Against Penn State, NC State’s bench outscored the Nittany Lions, 39-9. The Pack’s bench consisting of Yurtseven, Sam Hunt and Lavar Batts, Jr., combined to shoot 12-for-15 from the field (80 percent), including 9-for-10 from three-point range.

Abu Climbing NC State Career Charts

–  NC State senior forward Abdul-Malik Abu is steadily climbing the NC State career record book. The Boston, Mass., native entered the season with over 1,000 career points and is aiming to become the first player since Todd Fuller from 1993-96 to lead the program in rebounding for three consecutive seasons.

–  Abu currently sits in 45th place on the NC State career scoring chart, 19th on the program’s career rebounding list and fifth on the Pack’s career offensive rebound rankings.

Pack Rewriting NC State/PNC Arena Record Books in Kevin Keatts First Season

–  NC State has already broke three PNC Arena records and one program record in the first few months of the Kevin Keatts era. This season marks the 19th season NC State has called PNC Arena home. The arena opened on October 29, 1999.

–  NC State’s 116 points against Jacksonville on Dec. 22 is the most in PNC Arena history. (Previous mark was 113 set by UNC-Chapel Hill against Mount St. Mary’s on March 21, 2008.) It is the most points in a game for NC State since defeating UNC Asheville, 120-71, on Dec. 20, 1995.

–  NC State’s 19 three-pointers against Jacksonville on Dec. 22 are the most in PNC Arena history and the most in program history. The previous high in PNC Arena was 17 three-pointers by ECU on Nov. 15, 2011 against Northwestern. The previous program high was 18 against Florida State on Feb. 10, 1992.

–  NC State’s 31 assists against South Carolina State on Dec. 2 are the most in PNC Arena history. The previous high was 28 set twice prior to this season. The Pack had 28 assists in the win over Jacksonville on Dec. 22. In two of the first nine games at PNC Arena in the Kevin Keatts era, the Pack had the most and tied-for-second most assists in a game in the 19-year old arena.

–  NC State’s 52-point win over Jacksonville on Dec. 22 (116-64) is the second-largest margin of victory in PNC Arena history (55; NC State 99-44 over Campbell on Nov. 26, 2004 is largest). It’s the largest margin of victory for NC State since Dec. 1, 1998 vs. Army (+61, 94-33).

–  NC State forced Bryant into 27 turnovers on Nov. 14. It ranks as the third-most turnovers in a game in PNC Arena history. It’s the most turnovers the Pack has forced an opponent to commit since Mount St. Mary’s had 27 on Nov. 22, 2002.

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NC State 95 vs Bryant 72 basketball post game comments http://chathamjournal.com/2017/11/15/nc-state-95-vs-bryant-72-basketball-post-game-comments/ Wed, 15 Nov 2017 20:41:46 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=8141 Raleigh, NC – Here are the NC State vs Bryant basketball game post game comments. NC State Head Coach Kevin Keatts Opening Statement: “What a good night for us because I think we learned a lot from tonight. We had…

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Raleigh, NC – Here are the NC State vs Bryant basketball game post game comments.

NC State Head Coach Kevin Keatts

Opening Statement:

“What a good night for us because I think we learned a lot from tonight. We had some adversity early where I thought Bryant came out and did a great job pushing the pace and made some shots early, and we got behind. I’ve been telling these guys all along that in order to be a great pressing team, you’ve got to have some come-from-behind victories. Obviously, we did a great job at the end of the half, closing the half, and I thought our press was really good. You know we forced those guys, which was really four guards, into 27 turnovers. We had 14 steals ourselves. We played very unselfish basketball when you look at it, 15 assists on 36 made field goals. The way we play for our guys just to have 7 turnovers was really good for our program, and we’re moving in the right direction, so very positive game for us. We can take a lot from it. I’m excited about this team. I felt like we took a big step forward especially on the defensive end. When you look at it, I told the guys in the locker room, they took 52 shots, and we were able to get 79 shots up because of our press and with our deflects and the steals that we had. (I’m) very, very excited to have Braxton Beverly. I kind of put him in a tough spot. So you guys will understand, I’ll give you how this thing worked. I got a phone call from our compliance department that said that Braxton would be eligible. It was around five, I would say a little close to five, I don’t know the exact time. I called Braxton. He thought it was an April Fools joke. He was like, ‘Really?’ And I was like, “Yeah, go get your uniform. Put your uniform on.’ Now, I had been telling KB (Kirk Brown), our equipment manager, to bring his uniform for every game because I’m a smart coach because I knew that the NCAA would do the right thing, and I’m very grateful for those guys. Obviously, they came to this decision and giving him the opportunity and (I’m) excited about him. With that being said, he and I walked in here, and one thing I told him was, I said, “If I got cleared about 5:15 or 5:30, and I played a game at 7:00, I probably would have had 30 points.” Which makes me a little bit better player than Braxton right now. (He was) a little nervous, and rightfully so. I put him in a tough spot, meaning that I could’ve waited and probably played him on Thursday, but I was so excited. I wanted to see him out there and (I’m) glad to have him out there. I thought he did a good job. The other guys have been able to get some first game jitters out of the way, when you talk about a scrimmage and an exhibition and a couple games, and this was his first college game. I’m excited about him. I’m going to turn it over because I know you guys may have some questions for him.”

Guard Braxton Beverly
(On finding out he was eligible and was going to play)

“Like he (Coach Keatts) said, when he called me, I didn’t believe it at first. I was like, ‘Don’t start playing with me. Don’t get me excited for no reason.’ It was really great to finally get out there and play my first game. Like he said, (I shot) one-for-seven, got the first game jitters, first college game, but overall, I’m really happy I’m finally out there.”

Head Coach Kevin Keatts
(On additional information that led to the NCAA’s new decision”

“He has no idea what the new information was. I think his lawyer handled most of that stuff. A lot of the stuff was behind the scenes, and even myself, I don’t know. We’re just grateful that it happened.”

Guard Braxton Beverly
(On the fans’ reaction to him playing)

“I was very excited. The first two games here, I’ve seen signs and posters and everybody yelling “Free Braxton,” and finally I’m free. I saw a poster that said “They finally let him go,” and it was a great feeling. (I’m) playing for such a great fan base. I’m finally playing in college and have my first game. To have that support, it’s amazing.”

Guard Braxton Beverly
(On fan support)

“It’s been unbelievable. Everything going on social media, everything I read was nothing but great stuff like how they’re going to have my back and, no matter the outcome, they’re always going to pull for me and root for me, so it’s really great to have that.”

Guard Braxton Beverly

(On his mental outlook through the process)

“I had to maintain hope if I was going to keep pushing forward. The biggest thing I tried to do, the first two times I didn’t get the decision I wanted, but I was just trying to take the positive out of the negative situations and use each day to continue to get better and mature and get ready for this moment.”

Guard Braxton Beverly

(On the reaction from his teammates)

“They were as shocked as I was. When I came in and told them, they kind of looked around and were like, ‘We play in like an hour, and they just now told you?’ I said, “Yeah, that’s the news I got.’ So they were going crazy in the locker room for me, so it was great.”

Head Coach Kevin Keatts

(On Beverly’s readiness to play on short notice)

He had no idea actually about the scout report either. He was on the scout team. He’s been on the scout team running. He was Bryant’s best player for the last couple days. It’s amazing. I’m excited for him. Obviously, this young man’s worked extremely hard. With my background being at Hargrave Military Academy, knowing that a kid went there as a senior and then he went there as a post-grad, he spent two years there. I’m excited for him. What a great kid. He deserved it. Like I said, I really appreciate the NCAA taking another look at it and giving him this opportunity.”

Head Coach Kevin Keatts
(On the message to his team after a rough start)
“Just stick together. It’s funny. In basketball, for whatever reason, you never lead the games from beginning to end, and what I told those guys  (was), ‘Stick together. They (Bryant) made a run, (and) certainly we’ll have our run.’ I thought Bryant came out with a lot of energy. They played well. They made shots early, and I just told my guys to just stay the course. A lot of times, when someone gets a lead on you, you can take bad shots, and the lead will increase, but I thought our guys stayed focused, and obviously once we started playing, we were able to get into our presses, and I think our press was the difference.”

Head Coach Kevin Keatts
(On Lennard Freeman’s performance)
“He’s big and strong and physical around the basket, and from the time that I’ve taken the job, I’ve really concentrated on him scoring with his back to the basket. There are not a lot of guys that have the size that he has. He’s becoming a really good post player for us. He’ll have an important year and an important role for us. I’m happy for him. I think he had a career night, obviously, with 20 points. He’s a guy we feel comfortable throwing the ball inside to.”

Head Coach Kevin Keatts
(On Torin Dorn’s role)
“I feel like when I first took the job, he was someone who could be really special in the system because he’s got the ability to score inside and out. I thought he did a really good job kind of mixing this game up. He was very aggressive getting to the paint, finishing around the rim, and I thought he had a really good game. He was effective in every way, got some deflections, did a great job on the defensive end.”

Head Coach Kevin Keatts
(On where he sees Braxton Beverly fitting into the rotation)

“I’ve got two young guys that I think are going to be really good basketball players in an NC State uniform. We talk about Lavar (Batts, Jr.) and we talk about Braxton, and I’m able to now not have to play Al (Allerik Freeman) and Sam (Hunt) and Markell (Johnson) so many minutes, where I could bring those guys along slowly. They give us depth, and Braxton will be fine. You’ll see a different Braxton Beverly as he gets a couple games under his belt. He can make shots and run the team also.”

Head Coach Kevin Keatts
(On the busy schedule to start the season)

“I kind of like it. It’s weird. I walked in the other day, and I was like, ‘Man, I was just here yesterday.’ I think this playing every other day will help us in the future in some type of tournament down the road because we’ll be battle tested because we’ve been able to play every other day.”

Head Coach Kevin Keatts
(On Abdul-Malik Abu’s progress)

“Malik’s coming along. We’re still running. We’re taking shots with him now. He’s starting to move a little bit (more) effective. I don’t have a time frame for when he’s going to play, but he is getting better.”

Guard Torin Dorn

(On his dunk)

“I just go out and play. Honestly, I saw the defense. My man was up high, and me and Markell made eye contact, and he made an amazing pass. I just jumped, and the rest is history.

Guard Torin Dorn

(On the teams playing style)

“It fits me a lot. I think I can drive and attack and get to the basket and just play aggressive. The space, the floor being so open, it creates a lot of space, a lot of driving lanes.”

Guard Torin Dorn

(On getting off to a shaky start)

“They started off six-for-six. They were making some tough shots. They’ve been off since Friday. We’ve played two games back to back. Give it up to those guys. They just made those shots early. When you’re a pressing team and a trapping team you have to stay the course, and we were able to turn up the pressure defensively.”

Guard Torin Dorn

(On finding out Braxton Beverly would be eligible to play)

“We found out right before the game. I was in the hot tub before the game, and they walked in and said Braxton was cleared, and we all just kind of jumped on him and embraced him. We were really happy for him. Honestly, I had no clue. We are not even worrying about it.  We were just focusing on the game, and we were just surprised really.”

Guard Torin Dorn

(On how much he likes the press)

“Its good. I think that the pressure causes problems for the offense and gives us easy points and easy buckets.”

Guard Torin Dorn

(On trusting the press)

“When you turn teams over and you are able to push tempo, there are always going be times when you can come back and play to the lead. We should never get flustered after we go down ten or down 20 for that matter. With the press, we are always able to come back and chip into leads.”

Guard Torin Dorn

(On what the team has to work on)

“There are always things we can work on. They scored, how many, 72 points? We didn’t hold them to zero, so there are always things we can work on, but it feels good sitting at 3-0.”

Forward Lennard Freeman

(On his performance tonight)

“We came out, we played hard, that’s really it. I played hard. The baskets were falling for me. I still think I have to do better defensively, but it was a great team win. I just so happened to score more than I usually score, but I still have a long way to go.”

Forward Lennard Freeman

(On the moment when Braxton Beverly checked in)

“It was crazy. I knew our fans were going to go crazy as soon as he went in. I didn’t even see him check in, but once I heard the crowd start going crazy, I was like, ‘Yeah, that must be Brax checking in right now.’ It’s great to see him out there. I’m happy for him. Everyone’s happy for him.”

Forward Lennard Freeman

(On when the team found out Braxton Beverly could play)

“We didn’t even know, honestly. We didn’t know until probably when we got to PNC to go out on the court. He came in and was getting taped. He was like, ‘I’m getting ready to play.’ We didn’t know until about an hour before the game.”

Forward Lennard Freeman

(On staying calm through a slow start)

“That’s just how we play with the presses and everything. When you get down, (with) the way we press, we can score quick baskets like that. When we got down, Coach Keatts just said to stay the course, just chip away. That’s what happened. With our press, we turned them over a little bit, fought back, and won the game by a lot.”

Forward Lennard Freeman

(On if the team was looking for him to score)

“That was the game plan. Coach Keatts said to play bully ball. We’re bigger than them, so try to go inside, play inside-out, and don’t force them in there. Shooters can get open, and if they don’t dig down, we go to work. That was the main thing, just playing inside-out.”

Forward Lennard Freeman

(On Coach Keatts’s enthusiasm)

“That’s what I love about Coach Keatts. In practice, he’s working out with us sometimes. He’s into it just as much as we’re into it. When he’s out there, it feels like we have a sixth defender out there. He’s on the sidelines screaming and yelling. I love it.”

Forward Lennard Freeman

(On how thankful he is)

“Life’s so great right now. I’m feeling good. We’re 3-0, and school is good. Everything’s going great right now. 2017 is a good year.”

Forward Lennard Freeman

(On what a good stat line means to him)

“I’m not even going to lie. Honestly, I didn’t even know I had 20 (points) until I came out of the game. I was just out there playing. It was a good performance. I’m just glad we got the win. It would’ve been a waste if I’d had 20 points and we lost, so I’m just happy we won out there.”

Forward Lennard Freeman

(On Torin Dorn’s dunking)

“Torin didn’t even know he had that in him. That’s the dunk of the year so far. When he did that, that definitely got us rolling. He didn’t even know it. That’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”

Forward Lennard Freeman

(On how much fun he’s having)

“After sitting out last year, everything is fun. The bus ride here is fun. Warming up is fun. Everything’s fun. I’m glad to be out here, glad to be a part of this team. It’s going to be a great experience.”

Forward Lennard Freeman

(On his career high scoring performance)

“I score every now and then. It’s just the way we play, gets the bigs a little bit more involved. When we play, everyone shares the ball. Any given night can be anybody’s day. Today was just my day.”

Forward Lennard Freeman

(On being compared to T.J. Warren)

“Let’s not get carried away. There’s only one Tony Buckets.”

Forward Lennard Freeman

(On what he’s passing on to Darius Hicks)

“The coaches just always tell me to tell him a little bit about everything. (I) just give him a little bit of wisdom and some stuff that I’ve learned. I just tell him to go hard, be aggressive. He’s like me in my freshman and sophomore years. I wasn’t as aggressive.”

Forward Darius Hicks
(On turning the game around after a slow start)
“I honestly don’t know why we came out sluggish, really. When we started picking it up on defense and started making little plays and 50-50 balls, that really got us energetic and got us in the game.”

Forward Darius Hicks

(On causing multiple turnovers with the press)
“Its fun. When you start turning it over, its real fun. We have a variety of different presses. It just depends on what Coach Keats calls. We just mainly try to get the first ball handler and get the ball out of his hands really quick.”

Forward Darius Hicks
(On being able to play with Braxton Beverly)

“That was really exciting because that’s one of my brothers. He’s been working so hard and stuck with it when the NCAA hit him with the deny and appeal. He stayed with it and stayed positive. It’s really good to see him out there.”

Bryant Head Coach Tim O’Shea

Opening Statement:

“We talked about it at the end of the game. We had to do a good job with our turnovers, and obviously we had that stretch where we did a very poor job, and we’ve got very good guards, but that’s NC State’s game. I thought we played really well for periods of time, but we just couldn’t sustain it, and our problem was the turnovers. When you look at our shooting percentage, we shot the three well. The second half, we got better handling the ball, but the first half we had that stretch I had to use three of our four timeouts in the first half. That’s something we’re going to learn from. We’ve got a relatively young team with the freshmen and sophomores, so I think this will help us down the line. When you play teams at this level and you’re on the road, you really have to play at the top of your game, and again, we couldn’t have asked for a better start.”

 

Bryant Head Coach Tim O’Shea

(On doing well against the press in the first half but not doing as well later in the game)

“Guys got a little hesitant. We wanted to enter the ball to what we call “on the rails”: enter it to the big and catch a handoff, which we did in the second half. We had no trouble. That’s what pressure does to you. I played for Gary Williams in college, and he was a big presser, defensive coach and Tom Davis back at Boston College in those days. Teams will get rattled at times, and our guys are young, a sophomore point guard, sophomore two-guard. (Ryan) Layman’s a freshman, and as soon as they made a run, and they do have some great athletes, they’re going to be a factor in the ACC with that athleticism. We had a bunch of turnovers, and that’s all I can say. We settled down, and I thought we did a pretty good job. We handled the ball and scored pretty well.”

 

NC State 95 vs Bryant 72 basketball post game comments appeared first on Chatham Journal Newspaper.

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