NC State Basketball

ACC MEDIA DAY: C.J. Bryce and Markell Johnson

October 8, 2019

NC State senior guard C.J. Bryce and Markell Johnson briefly fielded questions during the official press conference at ACC Media Day in Charlotte, North Carolina.

C.J. and Markell, Coach Keatts talked about returning seven guys and the importance of that and what the team feels like going in the season. Markell, being one of those returners, just what you can say about the decision to come back after testing the waters of the NBA?
We definitely bring back some experience from last year's team. You know, like Coach mentioned. You know, not being able to -- a little bit disappointed not going to the tournament, playing NIT, definitely experienced some hungry guys on the roster.

Guys are ready to play this year.

MARKELL JOHNSON: Just picking off of what C.J. said, having the experience of coming back, you know, with the pieces we have coming in. I thought it was just a great decision for me to come back.

For the students, from the podium, what's the key to consistency? How do you build consistency?
I believe that you build consistency by going hard every day in practice. You know, when you get to those games in late February, March, you know, you can rely on what you did in practice at the beginning of the season and offseason.

THE MODERATOR: Markell will take the dive and say exactly what C.J. said. That's fine.

As a result, Markell, you get the next question. You're the leading returning three-point shooter in terms of percentage in the league; you also have been a leader in assists for a couple of years. Last year your steals were down somewhat from the previous year. You took a nasty fall and hurt your back last year. In hindsight, did that play a part in your defensive game? And secondly, what are your expectations this year?
Before you answer that, why were your steals down, Markell? I want to know that!

MARKELL JOHNSON: I really don't know why my steals were down. I would say I wasn't really that locked in defensively last year as I am this year. This year, you know, make it to the tournament, not only to make it to the tournament but make a run in the tournament.

C.J., you have been with Coach Keatts for a lot of years at UNCW and NC State. What jumps out is the fact that like last year, NC State was one of the very top offensive rebounding teams despite playing just one big man. How do you do that? How do you become such a force rebounding with just one big?
You know, I have been with Coach Keatts for a while, you know, he hasn't changed. He demands the most out of his players to go hard every single day.

That happens to be in the offensive rebounding range last year, but we want to go hard in every category and be the best at whatever we do.

How cool is it for you to be in Charlotte your senior year at an event like this?
It is great. I actually wish that the ACC Tournament was this year again. It is great being home. You know, seeing a lot of familiar faces here, and I'm glad I can do it with Coach Keatts and Markell Johnson.

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