N.C. State basketball coach Kevin Keatts had the chance to address the Centennial Authority, the PNC Arena landlord, for the first time Thursday.
Keatts said he likes the place – a lot. He said the Wolfpack will have more practice there. It’s the kind of arena, he said, that can impress recruits.
Here’s what he had to say:
“Obviously I’ve been around for a long time, even though I look young, and I had the very good fortune of being a prep school coach for 12 years. Given that, I had the opportunity to visit a lot of arenas in the country. I would tell you, I’m biased now but I really believe this, we’ve got the best arena in the country. It shows well.
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“When I first took the job I had the opportunity to take a look around here and when I first saw the locker room it blew me away ... It almost gives us a feel that we’re a pro team, which is really great. When we show recruits around I think it’s one of the best selling points. ... I really don’t think there’s a bad seat in the arena. I can take them up as far as they want to go and look at it.
“A little different from the other staff, we plan on using this building a lot for practice. We’re going into our sixth practice now and we will have our second practice (Thursday) in PNC, which is great. When you have an arena like PNC often you don’t have the opportunity to play or practice in that arena before you play games and it doesn’t give you a homecourt advantage. With me, I want to get over here as many opportunities as I can. The locker room is beautiful. … It’s a wonderful building, and I want to utilize it as much as I can.
“A little bit about our season, coming in as a new coach we’ve got a long ways to go. … Excited about our opportunity. There are 15 teams in the ACC and when I go the ACC media day in a few weeks I hope and I pray they pick us No. 15, because, just to let you know, we will not finish 15th, just so you know that.”
That said, Keatts excused himself and left the meeting. For practice.