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NC State Basketball

Kevin Keatts on Duke: "They Made Us Pay For Our Mistakes"

March 4, 2024

NC State head coach Kevin Keatts met with the media following the Wolfpack's 79-64 loss to No. 9 Duke Monday evening.

NOTE: Click on the video in the player above to watch Keatts’ press conference. A selected transcript is provided below.

Opening Statement

One of the stories of the game is giving up 19 offensive rebounds which is never a good situation for you. It’s weird when I look at this stat sheet because Duke got 12 more shots than us, and typically that’s who we are. We turn people over and get more possessions. It was a really good game. We took the lead, 46-45, and then kind of went on a run, and to be honest with you, we had some defensive breakdowns that we had not allowed the entire game. We gave up an offensive rebound where I thought we stood and watched. We didn’t switch a screen, and Kyle Filipowski ended up making a three-pointer. Then obviously when we stopped scoring a couple times, Duke got out in transition and made some baskets a little bit. It’s a good basketball team, but when you are playing against a good basketball team, you can’t have those breakdowns, and that’s what happened to us in the second half. I thought that, offensively, we had stretches where we didn’t make shots. D.J. Burns was really good tonight. I really wanted to win the game because of the way he played, but I thought that we had moments where the one-day prep kind of showed because, in the second half, we didn’t go a good job of following our scouting reports. I’ll give Duke credit; I thought that they responded and made shots. You can have mistakes against certain teams but not the really good teams. The really good teams really make you pay, and they made us pay for the mistakes we made down the stretch.

On the entire team needing to be role players as they head into postseason...

We need everyone to be on their game. Mohamed Diarra has to rebound the basketball; that’s his game. Jayden Taylor has to be really locked in defensively and drive the ball to get to the free-throw line. D.J. Horne has to make shots for us. D.J. Burns has got to be able to score the ball and also be efficient passing the basketball. Michael O’Connell has to be solid. We don’t need anybody to be anyone else. We just need the best version of them. It’s one of those things where when you get into the ACC tournament [you have to win to reach the NCAA Tournament]. I did it for three years at the mid-major level where you knew that you had to win the tournament in order to go. My last year at UNCW, we had won 28 games, and all I’m thinking about all day going in is that, if I don’t win my 29th game, I’m not going to the NCAA Tournament. In our situation, not only us, it’s 10 teams that are going to have this conversation: “We have to get hot and get hot at the right time, and we have to try and win the tournament, and that’s the way it is going to happen.”

On Burns shutting Kyle Filipowski down...

Duke does not have a legitimate post guy other than Ryan Young, so we knew that we could get advantage on it. The disadvantage is that they were going to put us in ball screens, so it’s a chess match. Where Burns scores, we are going to bring him out and make him ball screens. I thought that we did a good job for most of it. He didn’t like the way he played the last couple of games. He and I after shoot around had a conversation and talked about how he can stay on the floor and I told him to stop slapping down on every guard that drives. He is trying to rake every guard and that is just not a good thing. The reason why he hasn’t played well is because he couldn’t be on the floor because he fouled so much. We need him as an inside-out threat because he can pass the ball and all that other stuff.

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