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Photo by Steve Murphy/Inside Pack Sports
NC State Basketball

Kevin Keatts: "We've Got Fight in Us"

February 17, 2024

NC State head coach Kevin Keatts met with the media following the Wolfpack's 78-77 win over Clemson Saturday evening.

NOTE: Click on the video in the player above to watch Keatts’ interview.

“We wanted to bring [D.J. Horne] on stagger screens. I had both Ben [Middlebrooks] and Mo [Diarra] in there, and I know both of those guys set good screens. Clemson traditionally doesn’t switch, so I thought he’d be able to come off with a little bit of freedom. I thought he’d either come off and get a wide-open three or be able to turn the corner and make a jump shot. I thought he made a great run in the lane.”

“I’m just happy for our guys. We have fought all year long, and we’ve got eight [ACC] wins. There’s a lot of basketball left. We’re still fighting for seeding the ACC Tournament, and to be quite honest with you, we’re sticking to one game at a time. A lot of people look at it as a sprint; for us, it’s a marathon. You take one game at a time. This team doesn’t need anybody to believe in them but the guys in the locker room, and that’s what they’re doing.”

“We always have a quick turnaround. It doesn’t matter who we play. It seems like we play every late game and then a Monday or Tuesday game. We’re used to that.”

“We’re locked in. We’ll get a chance to celebrate this tonight until noon tomorrow, and then we’ll start preparing for Syracuse.”

“I just think our focus was there. We could easily have 10 wins. I thought we had too many focus breakdowns at the end of games, and I thought, for the first time, we got these guys locked in, and they executed.”

“I don’t know there’s anybody in the country that’s had a great five-game stretch like D.J. Horne, and when you’re playing like that, like they always say, ‘Ball don’t lie.’ He got the chance to step up and make some shots.”

“I just think we’ve got the fight. We’ve got fight in us and in our staff. We preach and talk about how our culture is built around A.R.T.T.: accountability, relentless, toughness, together. When we go through something, we fall back on what our core values are, and that’s where we are. These guys have a lot of fight in them, and they believe."

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