Kevin Keatts Hired

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    I guess this was the inevitable – multiple threads coming to grips with Keatts.

    -he’s ours got to love him
    -good news for him MG so f*#kd-up this past season that there should be no doubt improvement is coming
    -with the kids already staying, Keatt’s immediate happiness really rides on Johnson and Kapita. If those two stay I’m sure he is more than enough coach to have a remarkably better season than 16-17. Yurt’s definitely not ready he should stay and get another run at a real year of ACC basketball (MGs 16-17 season is actually remarkable in and of itself).
    -the memory of AD Yow (legacy if you want) rides almost solely on Keatts: He does well (makes State a top 25 team at least 4 of the 6 years of this contract) and Yow will go down as a GREAT AD – he flames out in the first 4 years of the contract and …sweaty GW was right.

    Looks to me K2T2 has the charisma to get the kids together and have a much better season next year!


    Gerontophobia, it never gets old.


    A thought about Sendek as it compares to Keatts.

    All Keatts has to do is be a little better. Sendek played in the ACC championship 3 of his 10 years (not a bad %)…He advanced to the ACC semis 6 of 10 I believe.

    Sendek came durn close to where we want to be – and many of Sendek’s problems were about ability to inspire confidence (an area V excelled in). If Keatts can be just a bit better – we’ll have a solid coach for 15 years.


    Funny that no one has mentioned the similarity between Keatts resume and Sendek’s.

    The more apt comparison is to Gott’s time at Murray State prior to being hired at Bama.


    Any word on Allen staying or leaving? Despite our altered perspective because Gott couldn’t motivate or engage the kids, let’s remember that college basketball is at least half recruiting. The other half is development, scheme and motivation so if Keatts can do all he will be fine.


    I am 67 and I agree. Go Pack.


    I am 67 and I agree. Go Pack.

    I bet you could do a mildly interesting, completely unsurprising correlation between usernames and ages with regards to anybody with a 44 in their name vs anyone with an 83 in their name.


    If you find your posts deleted, you know why. Even the ones in protest, meant with good intentions, are going bye-bye.


    I didn’t catch the counting cards reference so I stuck with Dustin Hoffman and assumed he meant Marathon Man.


    In Defense of Keatts’ Defense

    Not much of a defense…mostly just an attempt to get everyone to ignore UNCW’s defensive stats.

    Note that there was no discussion of UNCW’s defense in comparison to other teams from the same conference. If UNCW’s defense was near the top of their conference but sucked on a national basis, then there would be adequate reason to suggest that overall talent explains why UNCW defense had a poor national ranking. The absence of such of an argument makes me wonder if it was missed or if such an argument would just add more fuel to the fire that they were trying to put out.

    If you read the article by PackMentality linked in the “In Defense” entry, you can find some actual statistical analysis of UNCW’s defense and places it in the context of the CAA. My recommendation is to skip the “In Defense” puff piece and read Pack Mentality’s article.

    I think the takeaway here is that we have taken a chance on a coach with 3-years of NCAA coaching experience in a small conference. As much as you may like him, you have to admit this is a hire based more on potential than track record. We should realize that it is going to take some time to get things right. There may be reason to think he will have a top-25 offense next year. He has the track record. There is very little reason to think he will have a top-50 defense in the next 3 years. I think we need to be ok with that.

    I’m not going to be ok until I see positive results show up in the W/L column. But if we don’t see good results in the W/L record, then it’s pretty obvious where to look for the whys.


    I’m with Va on this – a bit of a flyer on the new coach. As Al Davis was fond of saying “just win baby”.
    I think maybe a good choice with the givens but he has to win. If not back to the spin cycle.


    Its good that there is a lot of excitement for the Keatts hire. Some are a little overboard I think, but that may reflect equal parts relief that we did it so much cleaner than the previous two, and excitement over Keatts’ potential.

    Definitely a better HC record than Les Robinson. Les had more experience, but not nearly as much success.
    As I pointed out earlier, he has a resume similar to Sendek’s. (Pitino protege, 3 years HC experience) But better.
    But thank heavens he has college HC experience, unlike Sid.
    And he got his degree six years before taking our job, much better than the six weeks (ish) with Sid.
    He’s an offense first coach, similar to Gott. (and that served us well for 4 years)
    And he’s not coming from the broadcast booth after a very sketchy exit from Alabama like Gott.

    So, based on that admittedly simplistic analysis, on paper the best Wolfpack coaching hire since Valvano. Reason for optimism.

    In my opinion, he’s said all the right stuff so far. Now we wait and see if he can deliver on the court. We’ll get some early indicators next year, but really won’t be able to make a final judgement on what we have for a few years.



    If you read the article by PackMentality linked in the “In Defense” entry, you can find some actual statistical analysis of UNCW’s defense and places it in the context of the CAA.

    PM’s article was good, but there was also a lot of quality commentary below it that provided some good counterpoints.

    UNCW defense improved in Keatts’ first two seasons. In his second season, he had 4 players 6’8″ or taller who combined to play about 42 minutes per game. Two were seniors who graduated. The best of them was 7 footer Gettys, who transferred, and was rumored to have been forced off the team due to off court issues. In his third season, Keatts only got 11 mpg from players 6’8″ or taller; 6 of the top 7 players in mpg were guards. This helps to explain why block percentage dropped so much, and why opponent 2 point FGP went up. Big reduction in rim protection.

    I totally understand that this is ultimately on the coach, who is responsible for building the roster. However, what it seems he did is to adjust to small lineup and maximize the roster he had. IMO he deserves credit for that. It also makes it seem that he will have more options and more room for defensive improvement with better athletes at State.

    Also, I noticed an interesting defensive split: UNCW allowed 31.7 ppg in the first half of its games last season, which was #73 in the NCAA. They allowed 42.3 ppg in the second half of its games last season, which was #328 in the NCAA. Their best 3 guards averaged at least 33.5 mpg, and their best F averaged 25.9. It seems likely that they did not really have the depth to continue the pressure defense in the second half of many games, whether that means they pulled out of it more or were just less effective. He should have rosters at State with more depth. That would suggest the possibility of improvement in defensive metrics.


    He has a reputation for pressing and on-ball pressure, but his teams don’t have that statistical fingerprint.

    Complete Accident

    You want to see the biggest sign K2-T2, look at this.

    So much suck.


    That’s all I got in my last night in the desert.


    Both State and Indiana are tough places to win with high expectations. Indiana has a bit more of a tradition so the expectations are even higher. But Indiana has some built-in geographic recruiting advantages or no particular recruiting advantage. State actually has built-in geographic recruiting disadvantages. So some recruiting foothold is important or ability to recruit nationally or internationally.


    As recruiting is now worldwide I call male bovine manure. It is up to the staff to do right.Gott could recruit but was not much of a coach.



    Yes, with social media and http://WWW.Whatever, we are more a connected society. But, as many have pointed out and the articles written expound on, when a coach has “camps”, he gets leads on players to watch. He also establishes a repartee or understanding with many of the HS coaches…some of which “work at the camps”. That network is “usually” local and somewhat “clanish”. I THOUGHT that Coach Keatts talked about this and his success at getting talent because of his connections at Hargrove.

    Shaka Smart has had issues in establishing himself as a recruiter in the Southwest. Coach Doren has commented (and was also “critiqued” in that his base was the midwest and he had to establish a pipeline in NC, SC, VA, GA, FL, TN and PA. In some cases, he also had to “adapt” as the midwestern schools were not as AFAM dominated. Jimmy V talked extensively about “learning how” to recruit in Brooklyn and Harlem and having to use his resources and staff to aid that. That was, in his audio version of Lifetime Contract, a MAJOR topic.

    Y7 was international. BUT, if you follow Carl Tacy’s story (backed up by Tim Duncan, that “pipeline” was very small.

    I do think that Coach Keatts has the “network” that we need and also the “BB IQ” to understand WHAT type as well as specialty” players that we need. GOTT was a “Rabbit from HAT” recruiter and used his charm to cajole a recruit and bedazzle him where less flamboyant coaches did not have his gift of gab. That “personality skill” also was used, extensively, to recruit young (and perhaps a little older) females for his off campus pleasures…


    ^^I call your dung and raise you shenanigans.
    Location, location, location.
    There’s a reason why some programs (e.g., Butler, Oregon, etc) that have suddenly decided to focus on basketball are doing very, very well. The dank reality, that smart folks Millers are keenly aware of, is it ain’t just the coaching.


    Both State and Indiana are tough places to win with high expectations. Indiana has a bit more of a tradition so the expectations are even higher. But Indiana has some built-in geographic recruiting advantages or no particular recruiting advantage. State actually has built-in geographic recruiting disadvantages. So some recruiting foothold is important or ability to recruit nationally or internationally.

    I seriously don’t get the point. I can not even figure out if Indiana had a recruiting advantage or does not have an advantage. If the point is recuriting is important than I would Keatts will be ok with his connections and track record in that area.


    You can argue that Indiana does or does not have recruiting advantages, arguments supporting either are to some extent true. But Indiana does not have recruiting disadvantages, and places that do will have trouble pulling coaches that have a track-record of established success. There’s a reason why S. Carolina can get a Martin, and Virginia Tech can get a Buzz Williams where we are not so fortunate. Being in the ACC *and* in NC hurts the attractiveness of the job. (In fact, it is a flat-out unattractive job.) If either of those things were not true the job would be much more attractive. These are realities that we ignore when we create a list of 10 candidates, get the #7 candidate, and then assume something went wrong. This is not just a difficult job for a coach, its also one for the AD. It will be interesting to see if the AD search in two years takes a similar shape. I really don’t know if Keatts’ familiarity with HS coaches in NC will make any difference for the level of talent needed to compete in the ACC, my comments are not directed towards that.


    I have not posted here in years but I have read most of the articles and rants through the years. Something with the WordPress configuration along with moving away from RDU but anyhow. I think it is such an absolute crap shoot on any head coach hiring. VAWolf82’s point on Gillen being a prime example and there are so many others. There are only a very small handful of coaches you could take and replant anywhere in the country and they would be year in and year out S-16, E8, or F4 contenders. Mostly it is catching lighting in a bottle for 90+% of them.

    Now for our latest attempt, I was not really pleased with the overall process but at least it was not as appalling as the previous fiasco. The jury is definitely out on Keatts but I am hopeful. I am certainly willing to support him. So far he has said and done the right things from what I have seen and heard from afar. Who knows, Keatts may become the next Valvano, or Bubas, or Driesell. None of those three coaches had ever taken a power 5 program to the promised land before coming to the ACC. Heck, one of them never was a head coach anywhere before largely making Duke a household name. Maybe Keatts will be that
    kind of guy.

    Finally, the real dilemma as I see it is not so much the HBBC or HFC but the next AD. We have had some dooseys over the past 30 years. IMHO our problems are a direct result of the horrible “leadership” we have “enjoyed” from our administration. If we get another Turner, Fowler type of dunce as our AD you can
    hang it up, because then it will not matter if this hire turns out to be the next Bubas or the next Robinson, Lowe etc. They will ruin the program regardless.

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