Story Poster
Jericole Hellems
Manny Bates
Dereon Seabron
NC State Basketball

LOCKER ROOM REPORT: Wolfpack Players

February 1, 2021

Several NC State players met with the media via Zoom following the Wolfpack's 76-73 road loss versus Syracuse Sunday evening.

NOTE: Click on each player’s respective thumbnail to watch each interview in the player above.

Jericole Hellems

How different is it basically playing with your back to the basket against Syracuse’s zone defense?

“Coach prepared us right. We watched film and figured out ways to attack the zone and play with a pace in the zone. It’s nothing new to me, but it’s not always the best way of scoring. I got it done for a little bit, but I didn’t finish the game how I wanted.”

What did you see that was encouraging from the younger players who played more minutes?

“I think we had a great first half. The guys came off the bench with energy and gave good minutes, winning plays, and all of that. It’s just that we’ve got to be able to finish games and make the right play when it comes to winning time.”

What was the game plan like for passing the ball around the zone?

“We’re just trying to find little gaps in the zone that could either be open or get an outlet to myself, Manny, or whoever was in the middle so they could find the shooters on the outside.”

How do you keep from being deflated, knowing that you’ve got a lot of season to play?

“It’s just like you said: we’ve got a lot of season to play. We’ve got things to work on and make adjustments like any other team would do if you lose a player or have a player go down. We just have to be mentally strong on and off the court, and we’ll be fine.”

What did you see from your younger teammates? How can they improve from this game?

“We all played a pretty good first half, like I said. There are still things that we need to work, and those young guys are willing to learn. We’ve just got to use the time that we have to improve.”

Manny Bates

What additional pressure that you put on yourself or motivation that you gave yourself, knowing that D.J. Funderburk was going to be out and you were going to have to play big minutes?

“There really wasn’t any pressure. I try to take every game with the same approach. I know Coach wants me to continue to block shots and get more rebounds, so that’s my priority for every game, not just this game.”

What was the plan to contain Quincy Guerrier?

“We just had to stay sound on defense. That was the main part. We know that he’s a very versatile player, so we had to maintain him in the paint, and I feel like we did a pretty good job today.”

What do you think Dereon Seabron can add on the wing going forward?

“Dereon is extremely versatile. He’s six-seven, six-eight. He has the ability to bring the ball up the floor. He can score at the rim. He’s developing his shot, so there’s going to be a lot to come for Dereon in the future.”

Was there an adjustment for you from a rebounding standpoint knowing that, against the zone, there may be more opportunities for some offensive rebounds?

“There was no adjustment. Like I said before, I take every game with the same approach, just rebound and block shots, and everything else will come.”

What do you think about the bar being raised for your own expectations?

“I always like a challenge. I can always go to games like this, granted they’re not wins, but from a personal aspect I’m building every game. I’ve just got to stay in the gym and keep getting better with every game.”

Dereon Seabron

Now that the team has played this first game without Devon Daniels in the lineup, how do you feel everyone has accepted the challenge to make up for his production?

“Everybody has the opportunity to step up and make plays. He was certainly a big piece of our team, so with him gone, somebody else has to pick up the slack.”

How much does it help to have a guy like Bates playing on that back line for you when you’re defending in those tough situations?

“It helps a lot because sometimes, when you get blown by, you know Manny’s there to block a shot. Even if you mess up a defensive assignment, he’ll come clean it up.”

What was the game plan for picking apart the zone?

“We knew they’d be in 2-3 the whole game, so during the whole week in practice, we just worked on catch-and-shoot, getting one more to the corner, and knocking down open shots.”

Was the foul with about 20 seconds left just a learning experience for you?

“Yeah, it was a learning experience. After I committed the foul, I knew that wasn’t the right play to make. It was just in the moment of it. He was playing with the ball in my face, and I thought I could get the steal.”

Can you explain the difference between guarding Kadary Richmond versus guarding Joseph Girard, III?

“We knew Richmond was a driver. He wanted to attack the basket the whole night. With the other guard, he was mostly shooting, and even if you do run him off the line, he was going to get a two-dribble pull-up, or he’ll shot-fake you and try to shoot over you."

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