NC State Basketball

Keatts: "What A Wonderful Game"

January 12, 2018
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NC State head coach Kevin Keatts met with the media after the Wolfpack's 78-77 win over No. 19 Clemson.


Opening Statement...
What a wonderful game and great game for us. I’m really proud of these guys. I know the biggest question that everybody has had coming into the game is could NC State win a big game, win another good game, after coming off a big game against Duke, and I thought our guys were tremendous. We played with great effort. We shared the basketball, as I like.

I thought Omer Yurtseven was unbelievable. It was great. He scored the ball inside and out.

When you look at our team, we did a tremendous job. We had 15 assists on 28 made field goals, only turned the ball over four times. We were very aggressive. We did a great job. We got our 40 deflections.

We were able to turn them over 17 times, and they only had 10 assists. (That is a) very good Clemson team. They are going to win a lot of games, obviously, and I think they were coming off winning 10 in a row, but I thought we answered the bell.

On what his priories are when reviewing the game and what the team can learn...
I will tell you this. When I went into the locker room, we played and we won a great basketball game, so I didn’t want to focus on those last couple minutes and take away from our great win. What I did tell those guys is to get used to winning. I feel like it was a team at the end that was so excited being there and not used to finishing the games.

When you look at us against Duke, we finished the game. We had some breakdowns in the last two minutes that certainly we have to clean up, and it was a team I think was a little surprised that we were winning. And we are a good basketball team, we are getting better, so I want those guys to know how to finish.

On if it feels like a new season now that they have won against two ranked teams...
I think every conference season is a new season. We look at it in thirds. We look at it as nonconference, conference play, and then we look at it as post season. So yeah, absolutely. I think it’s a new season for us.

On Markell Johnson being back...
Well first of all, I’m excited for Markell that it certainly worked out that way. He had maintained to me the whole time that he really didn’t have any involvement, and I’m happy for him.

It gives a body. It gives us a guy who can really play. He was the only returning guard that we had that had ever played in the ACC, and so it gives us that.

On an upcoming game against another ranked team...
I’m going back to the locker room. I’m going to call my wife and tell her how much I love her. My kids are in bed. I’m going to have a good time tonight for about 45 minutes, and then I’m going to get up in the morning and prepare for our next opponent, which is Virginia.

On the growth of Beverly and Batts with Markell being out...
Those two young men have had to grow up a lot quicker than I thought. Both of those guys are playing minutes that I didn’t imagine they would play coming into their freshman year. With that being said, I think it’ll help us down the road because they’ve got great experience.

On the last time he had to ice a free throw shooter at the end of a game...
I don’t remember. I don’t know. That’s a great question, but DeVoe is a great player, and he missed a free throw, and I’m excited that he did, but it certainly won’t define what type of player he is. I thought our timeout certainly helped, but I thought our fans were tremendous, and they got involved with it, and I’m glad it didn’t go in.

On Markell Johnson’s playing status for Sunday’s game...
I have not decided. Now, can he play? Yes, but I have not decided yet. I know you guys have got Markell questions, and my thing with him is that he hasn’t had a chance to practice with the team, and so I want him to get into some type of flow. I’ll take a look at him in the next couple of days, and if I feel like he’s ready to go Sunday, I’ll play him.

On Omer Yurtseven fitting into the fast pace...
I thought he would fit in great. That was one of the sales pitches I gave him to come back to school and obviously try to have a better year than he did last year. When you look at our style, our style is really good because it involves everybody.

If you look at Lennard (Freeman) and you look at Omer, both of those guys are shooting about 70, 60 percent from the field because it allows our post guys to have a lot of freedom and run a lot of pick and rolls.

On Omer Yurtseven’s success as a big...
I haven’t had a seven-footer do that because I haven’t had many, but his stat line was tremendous. We worked on that all week.

Give Clemson credit. They did a tremendous job at their place, icing pick and rolls, keeping us on the side, and we worked with Omer about picking and popping and kind of spacing away, and he made shots.

On Omer Yurtseven getting more freedom and confidence...
I think it’s freedom and confidence. We talked about that. He’s very comfortable with me as a coach and our staff. This particular group of players that he’s playing with, they believe in him, and they trust in him. They throw him the ball. He took 18 shots, and everybody was happy for him.

On Torin Dorn...
He’s been tremendous. You think about this. TD (Torin Dorn), I’ve moved him all over the place. I played him at small forward. I played him at power forward. He played a lot more minutes when Malik (Abdul-Malik Abu) was out, but he is a guy that leads us in rebounds. He makes shots, and you’re right. He didn’t have a great game, but he didn’t pout. He came in and finished the game for us.

On the enthusiasm of the crowd...
I told you guys we have a fun style. It’s fun for you guys to cover. Our fans really love it, and our players really enjoy playing in it. As we win games and people see that we play hard every night, I think it will be packed every time we play here.

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Keatts: "What A Wonderful Game"

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