The Wolfpacker

November 2019

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 21 of 139

20 ■ THE WOLFPACKER TRACKING THE PACK BY JACEY ZEMBAL N C State fifth-year senior guard C.J. Bryce has played in two NCAA Tournaments, and is aiming for a third this season. Bryce enjoyed playing in the NIT with three games at Reynolds Coliseum last year, but he wants the Wolfpack back on the big stage for his last go-round. He participated in March Madness his first two years at UNC Wilmington, which was coached by cur- rent NCSU head coach Kevin Keatts at the time. The Charlotte native transferred to NC State following the 2016-17 campaign and redshirted. The 6-5, 210-pounder averaged 11.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 as- sists per game in his Wolfpack debut last year. He shot 46.8 percent from the field and 34.5 percent from three- point range. Bryce recently took some time with The Wolfpacker to discuss his basketball career at NC State: What is the importance of re- turning seven players from last year? "We definitely bring back some experience from last year's team. A little disappointed not being able to make the [NCAA] Tournament, and playing in the NIT. There are some experienced, hungry guys on the ros- ter. Guys are ready to play this year. "Guys are willing to get better ev- ery single day. They are staying after practice and getting up shots. They are working on their game when they can." What will be the key to build consistency? "I believe you build consistency by going hard every day in practice. When you get to those games in late February or March, you can rely on what you did in practice at the beginning of the season and offseason. It all pays off." You have been with Kevin Keatts all five years of your col- lege career between NC State and UNCW. Has you seen any differences from him at the two schools? "I've been with Coach Keatts for a while and he hasn't changed. He demands the most out of his players, to go hard ev- ery single day." What will it be like to open the season against an ACC op- ponent like Georgia Tech Nov. 5? "We have to be dialed in early this year. This group of guys, I think we are ready to do that." Will you take on more of an interior role at the start of the season with the team short-handed in the post? "With D.J. [Funderburk] being out, that will obviously hurt us, but we are looking forward to getting him back on the court [from suspension] as soon as possible. "As far as picking up his rebounds that he'll leave out there, and the defensive job that he does, that is a job that I'm willing to take care of." Your roommates, Pat Andree and Braxton Beverly, are both shooters, and then toss in Danny Dixon, who got hot at end of the season at UMKC a year ago — who is best shooter in your dwelling? "I'd have to go with myself. We have some really good shooters and just different players. Braxton can shoot from anywhere on the court. Pat can get his shot off against anybody with the size [6-8] that he has." How do you spend your free time on the road? "I spend my free time on the road trying to take care of my body as best as possible. I'll sleep, ice, stretch." What has the journey been like for you since those North Mecklen- burg High days? "It has been great with all the things that I've learned and experi- ences that I've had. I met a lot of great people. If I could, I'd do it again." Coach Keatts said if Beverly shot 45 percent from three-point land this season, he'd grow a goatee. Do you believe he could and would? "I don't know if coach can grow a goatee." Who would be easier for you to do an impression of, Coach Keatts or assistant coach Takayo Siddle? "I'd probably say Coach Siddle. He actually does the best Coach Keatts impression. Coach Siddle al- ways walks with a bounce. He is always energetic. He hates when you mess up his drills. "That is my guy and a good guy. It's great to be back and work- ing with him." Is it fun seeing former UNCW teammate Devontae Cacok in the Los Angeles Lakers training camp? "I'm proud of him and the steps that he has made, and the way he has grown the last couple of years. "I'm definitely looking forward to seeing him play against some of the best players in the league, and play with probably the best player ever in LeBron James." Would you want to get into coaching one day? "I used to say I never would. I thought I was too impatient and things like that. "Being able to watch these guys develop and these new guys come in and watch them grow as people, that's something I'd definitely love to be a part of." ■ GETTING TO KNOW: Bryce was a first-team All-CAA selection at UNC Wilmington and then followed head coach Kevin Keatts to Raleigh, where he redshirted before finishing third on the Wolfpack with 11.6 points per game last year. PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN C.J. BRYCE ■ BASKETBALL

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolfpacker - November 2019