RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The North Carolina State men’s basketball team is about to embark on a business trip to the Bahamas, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any time to have some fun.
“We are going to do some snorkeling, I’m going to get them on a lazy river, I’m going to get them on some slides, we’re going to have a good time,” N.C. State head coach Kevin Keatts said smiling. “We want to do some team-building stuff but I want these guys to have some fun. I wanted these guys to be able to relax, have a good time, kind of grow but enjoy their experience.”
The NCAA gives teams a four-year window to schedule foreign trips. The Wolfpack was eligible to travel a year ago, but COVID-19 concerns made it difficult. The decision not to go one year ago may prove to be a huge benefit for this team as N.C. State has a handful of new players looking to get on the same page on the court.
“It’s huge,” Wolfpack senior guard Casey Morsell said. “Last year, chemistry played a big role in the season (11-21 record) that we had. This opportunity is big in terms of us getting to know each other and fully grow as a team. This trip will play an essential role in how we head into the season.”
It will also give the Wolfack a chance to play on the same floor they’ll be on three months from now when they head back to the Bahamas to compete in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. N.C. State will face defending national champion, the University of Kansas, to kick off the event.
The Wolfpack will play a Bahamian squad and the Puerto Rican national team on their first Bahamas trip. Keatts said he’d like to win both games, but that’s not what’s most important.
“I’m going to play a lot of combinations, I’m going to mix some things up,” Keatts said. “For me it’s a fact-finding mission for me to figure out who plays together and what we need to work on.”