NC State Basketball

Kevin Keatts: "We Had Some Chances"

February 16, 2019

NC State head coach Kevin Keatts met with the media after the Wolfpack's road loss at No. 2 Duke.

NOTE: Click the video above to watch the press conference.

Opening Statement:
I thought we competed. I thought we had some chances, we answered some runs. When you think about it, I told the guys in the locker room, I thought we competed and I thought we lost some of the toughness plays.

Give Duke credit – great team. He has done a tremendous job… great recruiting class that has actually lived up to the hype and they do a great job.

Zion [Williamson] is as good advertised. We didn’t have an answer for him. I thought he was obviously the best player on the floor when he was on the floor and RJ Barrett is very good.

I’m proud of the way my guys competed, but we have got to get a little tougher because we are not the biggest team.

Obviously, I thought we got beat up on the glass and in the paint.

On Markell Johnson:
I thought he was good. I thought he was a leader on the floor. He made plays when we needed to have them. His conditioning is still not all there, but when you look at his numbers, I thought he was effective. I thought he played... he did a tremendous job of finding guys when you talk about 10 assists and three turnovers.

I was happy. I don’t know if it’s his best one. I thought he played well at Pitt also.

Did he look more flexible and mobile?
Yes he’s starting to get back... the longer it goes on he’s getting his conditioning back.

Did Torin provide senior leadership?
I thought every guy we had on the floor competed. We did some really good things, but we lost to a better team on their home floor who was a little tougher than us today.

On the rebound percentage:
Not surprised, we have done a better job most games getting offensive rebounds. We didn’t have that tonight. We didn’t get the offensive rebounds. We typically get about 12 offensive rebounds a game and we didn’t get those.

On the other end, we gave up 14, which is certainly not a good enough form to win. I think they had 17 second-chance points. They hurt us. They beat us in the paint.

On not making the plays to further cut the deficit:
When Zion goes, obviously, they lose one of their big weapons. I thought we finished the half the right way. We came out and cut it eight and then in the second half we came out and they executed, got a couple big baskets, then we played from behind the rest of the half.

We cut it to single digits three or four times. Then we would give up an offensive rebound, miss a free throw block-out, those type of things. Those are things you have to do if you are going to have the opportunity to be a good team on the road.

On being down early in the game:
Any time a team goes up on you that much it’s a big moment in the game. Certainly, we have the type of team we can answer runs.

I thought we did some really, really good things. When you look at it, on the road, they made 21 free throws on the road, we made six. They got 14 offensive rebounds, we got five. Those type of things are not a great formula to help you win.

Do you think any of the roster issues were a distraction?
I don’t. 

I think our guys, I don’t think it bothered them at all. We were focused, we came in with a really good gameplan.

When you look at Barrett and Williamson, they were really, really good today.

On postseason play:
We played the best in this league. We played toe-to-toe with everybody in this league.

When you’re playing on the road in a hostile environment, you got to cut down your mistakes and be able to rebound the basketball.

I like my team. We have fought and competed with everybody in this league now and hopefully we will clean up some of the things we need to if we face a team like Duke again.

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Kevin Keatts: "We Had Some Chances"

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