Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Rick Pitino Says Kevin Keatts is ‘Great’ Hire for N.C. State
INDIANAPOLIS — Rick Pitino says Kevin Keatts is a “great” hire for N.C. State.
“When I left for the arena, it wasn’t a done deal,” Pitino said after Louisville beat Jacksonville State, 78-63, in a first-round game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“If it is they’ve hired one hell of a basketball coach because he’s absolutely great, as a recruiter as well as a coach.”
Keatts, a former Pitino assistant at Louisville, left UNC-Wilmington for N.C. State, according to ESPN. He will now be coaching against his former boss in the ACC.
Keatts was reportedly a finalist along with VCU’s Will Wade. N.C. State announced before the end of the season that Mark Gottfried would not return next season.
Keatts met with N.C. State AD Debbie Yow on Friday, per multiple reports.
Keatts has gone 72-28 in three seasons at UNC-Wilmington with back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances.
The Wolfpack will lose freshman point guard Dennis Smith Jr. to the NBA Draft.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.