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NC State Basketball

D.J. Burns: "It's Exactly Where We Wanted To Be"

March 14, 2023

NC State forward D.J. Burns met with the media to discuss the Wolfpack advancing into the NCAA Tournament, Creighton, and much more.

NOTE: Click on the video above to watch the interview.

You haven't seen a lot of grannys in Denver?
I hope to. Yeah. I told all the guys, make sure you figure out how your granny can get on the Internet and get her flight. Just go ahead and figure that out now. We got a couple days.

What was it like for you yesterday hearing NC State's name called and knowing you're going dancing?
Oh man, it was amazing for my guys, man. A lot of them ... I think me and Casey are the only players that have been in the tournament before, so it meant everything to be able to help those guys get there.

What kind of advice do you have to give some of those guys who haven't been in the NCAA tournament?
You just got to leave it all on the floor. Don't leave nothing behind you or you going home. You be able to recharge for the time you get after, before the next game, but don't leave nothing on that floor.

It's going to be a challenge with Creighton. Their big man is pretty talented. Do you view that as a personal thing for you to step up to? How does the team react to something like that?
I'm going to be ready. That's all I got to say. I'm going to be ready regardless who it is. It doesn't bother me.

Do you relish the opportunity a little bit more when it is a big man that kind of has the notoriety that theirs does to kind of show...
I'm going against whoever is in front of me. Don't really care who you are.

What do you take away from your previous experiences in the tournament or experience and how do you bring that? Is it something that you kind of take away and bring to this one?
So just trying to be a leader. Times like that, their attention could be high. Everybody get a little argumentative with each other sometimes and just try to mediate it. Keep us looking at the main goal instead of the little stuff.

The way you were used by Coach Keatts as the season went along, is it fair to say it kind of evolved as you figured the staff out and they kind of figured you out?
Yeah. I would say unfortunately, although it was at some of my teammates' expense. God really blessed me with the opportunity to be able to showcase my talent more often, so it's a blessing.

Do you think that started with the Wake Forest game?
I'd probably say it started probably Miami, at Miami, just because that was the first game that I went from playing nine, 10 minutes to 30. So that's kind of when it started.

What is it like for you when you see the Creighton big man who is slender? What kind of goes through your mind when you see a slender big man?
I’ll just have to go at him. That's it.

DJ, have you played at altitude, and are there any concerns with playing in something that?
Yeah. I've been there before for some tournaments, so I know what it is to expect, but we going to play hard regardless. I really haven't even really thought about it much.

Also, have you told the guys anything that’s different... [that] affects you any type of way on the court?
No. They were the ones talking about it, so I didn't have to say anything.

What are your favorite memories of NCAA tournament at Winthrop?
Probably just being with the guys, seeing how excited they were to have the opportunity. We haven't won a game there, obviously, but just being excited, and we didn't care who it was. We were just excited to be there and we were going to give it all we got.

Now that you're here at this moment in the NCAA tournament, how do you look back on this year with State? Is it everything that you wanted it to be? How many good memories are there?
Not exactly everything we wanted it to be. A few games I feel like we could have pulled out that we didn't, but it's exactly where we wanted to be at this point of the year. So I say that we did fairly well.

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D.J. Burns: "It's Exactly Where We Wanted To Be"

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