NC State Basketball

Kevin Keatts: "We're Not At Full Strength"

November 4, 2019
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NC State head coach Kevin Keatts met with the media to discuss his team and the season opener against Georgia Tech.

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


Injury updates...
We’re a little banged up. We’ll make a game-time decision on a couple of guys. I won’t say who, but right now, we’re banged up.

We’re not at full strength. We’re hoping that a couple of guys will be ready to play at 8:30 tomorrow night, but right now, I don’t know that we’ll have a lot of bodies as I’d expected going into the season opener.

How disappointing is that with a season opener against a conference opponent?
I think it’s disappointing, but as we know, injuries are a part of the game. We hope we have everybody, I’m not saying we won’t, but there’s a good chance that we could have a couple of guys out.

Update on D.J. Funderburk:
We’ve allowed D.J. to be back at practice. He’s practiced with us for a few days now. He will not play tomorrow.

How does that change things with how you’re doing things?
When you look at the D.J. Funderburk situation, we’ve got to depend a lot on Manny Bates. That’s a good thing for us because he’s been able to play in a scrimmage and an exhibition game, and he’s got those practice reps. We’re going to have to depend on some other guys if those few guys can’t go.

Is it still indefinite on D.J., or is there a timeline?
I don’t have a timeline. I couldn’t tell you when he’s going to return or when he will play in a game. I will say this: he’s starting to move toward the things I’ve asked him to do, and that’s why we’ve allowed him to come back to practice, but he will not dress out tomorrow night.

How much has Manny’s play helped you with lineups?
He allows us to gamble a little bit. He allows us to get in the passing lane. He allows us to make a few mistakes on the perimeter because of his shot-blocking ability, and he can clean up a lot of our mistakes.

He’s going to be a really good player. The unfortunate thing is that he needs a little bit more game experience to be a great player. I’m excited because he’s gotten every rep for the last two or three weeks. He’s played well for us.

More on the opener vs. an ACC team...
These games are exciting. I’m excited for our league that we have the opportunity to play against an ACC team. That being said, it’s still early. I think it’s early for everybody.

I would be disappointed if we were the only team playing an ACC opponent, but we’re not. It’s the entire league outside of Duke, and Duke’s playing Kansas. It’s a great opportunity to showcase our league on opening night.

I’m excited about that part of it, but when you’re coming off a summer with the tough things about summer that when you usually start a season, sometimes you’ll have a suspension.  Sometimes, you may have injuries entering into a game. You don’t have the luxury of bringing guys along because right there, you’ve got an ACC game to start the season.

Is this something you like or would you rather move into it differently?
I would tell you to reserve and ask that question at 10:30 tomorrow. We don’t control it. I don’t control game times. I don’t control who we play. A lot of the stuff is our conference, and some of it is driven by TV. We’ve just got to play the games that are presented to us, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Thoughts on Georgia Tech...
I’ve watched tape from last year, and quite frankly, we just didn’t make shots. When you look at two of our guys that started on the perimeter, Braxton was 0-for-8 from three, and C.J. Bryce went 0-for-4 from three. Those two guys were 0-for-12.

We’ve got to make shots. We got great shots. I just thought we didn’t make shots in that game. I’ve looked back at it and saw some things we could do better and some things that worked that we’ll continue to do tomorrow night.

Other than a win, what do you hope to take away?
We’re coming out of the gates, and we’re expecting to win every game we play. We just have an ACC opponent. We will be a better team two weeks from now, but that being said, everybody can make that statement.

I want to see how our guys play together. I want to see how far we’ve come along from the time we played Mount Olive and ECU in the closed scrimmage.

That being said, I think some guys have got some great opportunities to be able to play and show people who they are, and as a team, we’ve got a chance to show people who we are right now.

We’re a work in progress. I know that sounds funny entering into the game, but I think every coach in the country will tell you on Nov. 5 they’re nowhere near where they need to be, and they’ll get better.

Anything you can do to help your post players against James Banks and Moses Wright?
We’ve got to do a great job of helping those guys rebound the basketball. When you look at those two guys last year, even though we won the rebound battle, I think they both did a great job of giving Georgia Tech second and third opportunities.

We can’t just rely on our fours and fives to rebound the basketball. We’ve got big wings in C.J. and Devon. Those guys have to do a great job in rebounding, also.

Discussion from...

Kevin Keatts: "We're Not At Full Strength"

1,447 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by Red Terrors
ValleyWolf
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Not at full strength should not have been uttered. Negative.
First time I heard excuses from him before a game.
Red Terrors
How long do you want to ignore this user?
KK is tempering expectations.
The ACC is tough and his teams typically haven't been great on defense.
The pressure is on basketball with the football team displaying major suckitude.
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