The Wolfpacker

May 2017 Issue

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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22 ■ THE WOLFPACKER TRACKING THE PACK "The passion at our practice and the energy doesn't get much better, and I can speak from experience being at two different programs [Boise State and NCSU]. Definitely got a chip on the shoulder and got a lot to prove." ■ NC State redshirt junior quarterback Ryan Finley on the intensity around the program (ESPN.com) "Winning anywhere close to nine games in the ACC would be something, con- sidering the Wolfpack has won a total of nine the past two seasons. That's more or less the kind of improvement Keatts provoked in his first year at Wilmington. It doesn't seem likely, but his record suggests it's not impossible." — Columnist Luke DeCock on new men's basketball head coach Kevin Keatts (The News & Observer) "I talked to James more in the last 10 years of anybody in this business — very close friends. For me, he was a very important hire." — Keatts on his longtime friendship with assistant coach James Johnson (The Roanoke Times) "He did a little bit of everything, from [playing] linebacker to the way he was used in coverage, there's just a lot to like about him. When you talk about his size — 6-1½, 220 — he's a legit 4.4 athlete, you don't see guys like this very often. These types of athletes don't grow on trees, so I think Josh Jones will be one of the top 5-6 safeties off the board, somewhere on day two." — CBS Sports Senior NFL Draft Analyst Dane Brugler (TheWolfpacker.com) "Now we're talking milliseconds here, but I'm pretty sure Brock ran a faster 60. We've been trying to get them to race for some time now. I'd love to see it. If I had to put my money on someone, I'm putting it on Brock." — Former NC State catcher Andrew Knizner on who would win a race between his former teammates Trea Turner, now the starting shortstop for the Washington Nationals, and Brock Deatherage, who is a junior outfielder for the Pack (The News & Observer) "He tries to connect and make a bond with his athletes. … He makes it his job to ask us how we're doing every day, to make sure that we're OK to practice because he doesn't want us getting injured. He likes to get our opinions on how we feel about running certain races, if we feel prepared, or if we feel that there's anything he can do different. He definitely asks those questions which is good as a coach." — NC State sophomore Gabriele Cunningham on new assistant track coach Al- len Johnson, a three-time Olympian and the gold medal winner in the 110-meter hurdles at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta (The Technician) PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN QUOTING THE PACK Brad Debo, Baseball The freshman catcher/designated hitter from Durham, N.C., has made a quick transition to the college level. Through the win over UNC Greensboro April 11, Debo was leading all Pack hitters with a .380 batting average. His 41 hits included nine doubles and three home runs. Debo's .415 on-base percentage was also the best on the team. The success should probably not be surpris - ing considering Debo was named a first- team prep All-American after his senior season at Orange High by both Collegiate Baseball and Louisville Slugger. Baseball America had rated him as the No. 106 draft- eligible prospect in 2016. Stephen Franken, Men's Golf The hometown sophomore and product of Raleigh's Mill- brook High has been a model of consis- tency through April 11 for Hall of Fame coach Richard Sykes' final squad. In his first nine tournaments, Franken has finished in the top 20 a team-best six times, including five top-10 efforts. His overall 18-hole aver- age of 71.0 strokes and 54-hole average of 213.0 were also best on the team. Only classmate Davis Richards has matched his season-low single- round score of 66. Molly Hutchison, Softball At some point on April 8 in Atlanta, the Georgia Tech pitch- ers probably should have felt that it was time to pitch around Hutchison, NCSU's catcher/first baseman. Yet with the game tied 11-11 in the top of the seventh inning, Hutchison hit her third homer of the game to propel the Pack to a 12-11 win. Her three homers were a school single-game record and tied for the second most in a game in NCAA history. Hutchison, a senior from San Diego, also broke the school mark with seven runs batted in. Through April 9, she had 43 career home runs — six shy of catching Jen Chamberlin for second place on the school's all-time list. Anna Rogers, Women's Tennis The freshman from Stamford, Conn., has made an immediate impact for NC State. She helped the Pack win six straight ACC matches from March 19 to April 7, a streak that coincided with Rogers being bumped up from No. 3 singles to No. 2 singles in the lineup. She won five of six matches in that span, and nine of 10 overall. Her 17 wins in dual action through April 7 led the squad, and Rogers has teamed with senior Martina Frantova to be ranked No. 15 nationally in doubles. The two are 21-1 together, including 9-1 in ACC action. Alexia Zevnik, Women's Swimming Zevnik ended her Wolfpack career in award-winning fashion, taking home five All-America honors at the NCAA Champion - ships, including a runner-up finish in the 200 backstroke. That came after winning the ACC Most Valuable Swimmer award at the conference meet, where NC State fin- ished first to end Virginia's nine-year run of league titles. The native of Lasalle, Canada, has been selected to represent her country at the World University Games Aug. 19-30 in Taipei, Taiwan. One of her teammates on the national team will be Wolfpack freshman Mackenzie Glover. ■ PACK PERFORMERS

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