Kevin Keatts was introduced as NC State’s next head basketball coach at Reynolds Coliseum Sunday afternoon. Keatts emphasized his expectations for his Wolfpack program, from conditioning and punctuality (don’t be late, kids!) to style of play. Here are a few excerpts:
.@CoachKeattsNCSU: “If you play for the front of the jersey, which is NC State, then the back will get credit."— Ian Pierno (@IanPierno) March 19, 2017
"At NC State we're going to pride ourselves on begin the best conditioned team in the country, outwork everyone else, win every 50/50 ball"— Jeff Jones (@JeffJonesSports) March 19, 2017
Keatts on competing vs. UNC/Duke: "I'm the coach at NC State. My job is to put best product on the floor...& that's all my focus is." #abc11— Ngozi_ABC11 (@Ngozi_ABC11) March 19, 2017
Keatts said at UNCW, "We had a unique style." Says uptempo, take a lot of 3s, pressure a lot & was 1 of only teams to make UVA "play fast."— Ngozi_ABC11 (@Ngozi_ABC11) March 19, 2017
Keatts is not BSing about the type of system he ran at UNC-Wilmington—they played faster than most teams, they created a lot of turnovers through their pressure defense, and yes, they took a lot of threes. Some folks that chafed over Sendek’s teams shooting a lot of threes are going to have to try to live with how modern basketball works.
Personally, I feel like Keatts won the press conference when he correctly cited his Wilmington team’s ranking in defensive turnover percentage. Mark Gottfried had no use for analytics but Keatts is clearly well-informed and that is a very good thing.
Keatts mentioned that he’ll probably start putting his staff together beginning this week; that obviously is something that takes time, but the makeup of his staff will play a huge role in his success in Raleigh. He’s got some holes to fill on this NC State roster, so he does need to move as quickly as possible with the staff.
Overall it was a solid first impression for the Pack’s new coach. Time to get to work.