RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The N.C. State men’s basketball roster is dotted with a good mix of veterans along with a large freshman presence.
“I like our team,” said Wolfpack head coach Kevin Keatts. “Our guys are working really hard. The great thing about freshmen is what they don’t know they don’t know.”
But what they do know is that this season will be unlike any they’ve ever experienced.
COVID-19 has put a heightened awareness on doing the right things.
The Wolfpack five-man freshman class will have to grow up fast.
“I do have concerns and the concerns is how are we going to be able to pull it off?” said Keatts. “At this time right now we’re testing once a week. Soon within the next week or so we’ll go to three times a week and there’s a possibility we could end up at seven times a week.”
Part of the college experience is going out and meeting people from different backgrounds. The upperclassmen have gotten to do that.
The freshmen will not be able to have such freedoms.
“When I was a freshman, I had it a lot easier than these freshmen,” explained N.C. State senior Devon Daniels. “These freshmen can’t really feel what it’s like to go to the normal parties and such.
“But we’re all grown men it’s not like I have to baby-sit. We know what we’re here to do. We know what our goals and aspirations are.”
Still, this season will be a challenge for all involved from the fifth year seniors right down to the first year players. Making good decisions has never been more important.
“I thought the NBA did a tremendous job,” said Keatts. “That being said they were in a bubble. We’ve got to try to creat a bubble within our own selves on campus but it’s totally different.”
Senior guard Braxton Beverly is confident the young guys know what’s at stake and that they’ll do everything they can to keep safe.
“We have a lot of mature freshmen,” said Beverly. “They’re not out here acting like freshmen. And I think they do understand this is different times.”
A time that calls for a tight circle within the team.
“We’re all in this together and we’re going to make it work,” said Daniels.