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Kevin Keatts, Manny Bates, and Jericole Hellems discuss upcoming season at ACC Tip Off

Basketball is right around the corner.

NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

ACC men’s basketball coaches and players assembled in Charlotte for media day on Tuesday after a one-year hiatus that I’m sure they all just totally hated to have. Kevin Keatts, Manny Bates, and Jericole Hellems were on hand for NC State and you can probably guess at a few of the questions they got from media members.

Kevin Keatts had this to say about Bates’ near-transfer during the offseason:

During the off season there was a lot of communication — and if you guys want to let Manny touch on that I will, about possibly Manny Bates going somewhere else to play.

I will tell you in college basketball with the landscape of what basketball is about, those conversations will happen very often. It won’t just be Manny Bates. It won’t just be NC State. It will be every program, every coach.

But at the end of the day, after having a conversation with Manny and his mom, who is a tremendous lady, I think Manny understood the value of being at NC State, how he has developed, and we’re so glad and grateful that he’s with our program.

And Manny did not want to elaborate on any of that:

Just like Coach said, that kind of stuff is going to happen. I just want to have an honest conversation with him and my mom, and honestly I’m just glad to be back.

I can safely speak for all of us by saying that I’m glad he’s back, too. In more important news, Keatts said he’s going to let Manny shoot some threes this season, so we’ll see how that experiment goes. Manny insists that he is a top-six three-point shooter on the team, which is possible, I guess, but let’s just hope he doesn’t forget how tall he is. NC State’s offense needs him in the paint.

Bates and Hellems spoke a bit about getting back on the court in front of fans, and Hellems also talked about his leadership role on the team. (The moderator also wished him a belated happy birthday.)

You can read the complete transcript at the above link, or if you’d rather watch, Inside Pack Sports has the video.

New ACC commish Jim Phillips also spoke with media yesterday and there’s little to note except he uses the word “populate” like a weirdo.