N.C. State is in full rebuilding mode, and at that stage, organizations return to the basics. That’s what new coach Kevin Keatts is doing ahead of the 2017-18 season.
“Obviously as a head coach I’m trying to get these guys to trust what I’m saying and play hard for me every single day” said Keatts according to WNCN.com. “But I think more importantly, I’m trying to get them to trust each other, I think they’ve got to learn their teammates, just knowing where guys are supposed to be on the court is a great thing, but if you hang together and know that guys have your back off the court, I think that trickles down onto the court.”
Keatts has done everything he can to build that trust – even playing ping-pong with his players in the locker room. It will take time, maybe even multiple years, but Keatts hopes this basic coaching tactic will help N.C. State become relevant in men’s basketball once again.
In the last two seasons, the Wolfpack have gone 31-34 and failed to make the NCAA Tournament. Furthermore, it’s been 30 years since N.C. State advanced past the Sweet Sixteen.
Prior to coming to Raleigh, Keatts led North Carolina-Wilmington to two CAA regular season and tournament championships. As a result, they were in the NCAA Tournament each of the last two years. Keatts is 72-28 as a head coach, which includes a 29-6 mark from 2016-17.