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May 29, 2022

Elliott Avent

Devonte Brown

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Truist Field

NC State Wolfpack

Postgame Press Conference

North Carolina 9, NC State 5

ELLIOTT AVENT: Just proud of the way our guys played, not only to come back in this game and a game that just didn't start out the way anybody wanted to, and that's very disappointing and very tough to take in a game that is packed with so much emotion. Just proud of how they stayed the course. Came back, I thought did outstanding against North Carolina, and he was very, very good.

We were a little taxed in the pitching department and proud of Whitaker and Willadsen tried to come back but they were a little bit on fumes, playing with Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Tuesday, Wednesday this week. They were a little bit on fumes. Just to come back but just wasn't to be.

Q. Today's result, not what you wanted, but you get to the championship game, do you feel like this was a good week in terms of bidding momentum and heading into the NCAA Tournament?

DEVONTE BROWN: Yeah, I think it was a very good tweak. We all played hard. We had fun. Today's loss definitely hurt but I think now it's just a matter of forgetting and moving on and being ready for next week and trying to just play baseball and see how far we can go.

Q. I just wanted to ask you about Villaman's outing today, he's been very good for you guys and how everything just came together and how well he pitched for you guys after the early issues that you had.

ELLIOTT AVENT: Yeah, he pitched unbelievable. He went maybe five, six innings, if I had my glasses I could tell you, six pitches or something. He was unbelievable, and he's a back end guy, so for a guy like him to go in the fourth inning, that's unusual. That's what I thought the best thing he did, he went into a game, he's not used to being in that situation and he was just unbelievable. That guy has been pretty special.

Q. You guys were in a similar position last year, you made the championship game and reset and made it to Omaha. What's that reset process look like?

DEVONTE BROWN: I think the biggest thing is not letting this game affect us. I think come today, tonight, I mean, you can do all that on a little bit, think about it. But as soon as Monday hits, you've got to forget everything and prepare yourself and keep going and keep playing baseball. It's not over until it's over. It's a matter of us getting in on Monday and preparing ourselves and taking care of the little things and come together as a team.

Q. You've been in a number of these title games and yet to get a win. What makes these games to hard to win?

ELLIOTT AVENT: Probably the opponent on the other side of the field I guess. You've got two teams trying to win it and I think it's tougher in an ACC Championship, we played this tournament so many different ways. We played it double-elimination like the SEC. We've gone to more formats and now we have the pod situation.

So getting to the championship game is really tough and to get there, like every scenario is different. This time, we were a little attached on pitching but I'd say it's probably the team on the other side of the field.

Q. I wanted to ask you about Chris, you've seen him go and dominate games like he did today so often. What's so special about when he's on, how good he is and just what's that confidence level like for the whole team when he comes into the game?

DEVONTE BROWN: I think Chris just has that mindset that he's better than everybody else. He has that good stuff and I think that's what makes him so special.

I know me personally, I know when Chris comes in, I know he's going to do what he has to do and I know he's always going to give us a fighting chance. So I think I just love Chris, he goes about everything the right way. He's grown so much since I've met him on campus, and I just -- Chris is just a guy that you want. He's a guy that a lot of people want on their team and he just does so many things right. That's all you can ask for.

Q. Just wanted to ask you about the home runs that Honeycutt hit early on that, did you like your guys approach on those at-bats? What did you see happening there, because those obviously sort of changed the game pretty quickly early.

ELLIOTT AVENT: I think the first one, I think he might have hit a break willing ball, like a breaking ball that was up in the zone and I think he got three breaking balls that at-bat. He's a good hitter. He doesn't chase much.

Devonte can tell you, when hitters are in the zone, he's in a zone. I mean, there was a time this year that he wasn't hitting anything. They had him batting ninth and now he feels like every time he goes up, he sees the ball as big as a beach ball and that's a great feeling for a hitter.

Like I said, I think the first time he got a breaking ball that was up and got it. I think Willadsen came in -- put Willadsen in a tough situation and got a fastball first pitch. I don't know if Willadsen was loose, he said he was, but I don't know how comfortable he was, and fastball, he hit that pretty good. He's a good hitter, playing with a lot of confidence. He's a great player.

Q. I think by my calculation, only two players in the starting lineup played in game last year. How do you have guys like Brown and Willadsen, how vital are they going to be over this next course of a week to make that flip and forget about this and try to move on?

ELLIOTT AVENT: They will be as vital as they have been all season. Devonte broke his hand in the ball and couldn't even play and for a guy who has done the things he's done over the course of his career, a lot of players would have -- if they can't be out there, they would probably be the last one in the locker room, first one maybe in the street to get back to where they live but he was the first one at practice every day after he broke his hand and last one to leave every day, first one on the cage.

And he knew his value; since he couldn't add value on the field, wanted to be value with his leadership. That's who he is. What he, J.T., Villaman, Sam, even though he can't play, what all those guys have done all year is provided valuable leadership leadership, and that's why we are in this game today, and they will continue to do that next week.

Q. What do you like about your team the way you guys are playing heading into the NCAAs?

ELLIOTT AVENT: Pretty much everything. Pretty much everything. We're playing really, really good. We are playing smarter. Just talked to them in the locker room. We'll take this week to regroup and focus on things we do well and try to get that much better and little things and that's what it's going to come down to in a regional because everybody there is going to be good. Everybody this going to have a big-time arm. Some teams might have a great bullpen and you have to find a way to beat everybody there.

So we will take this week to reflect on what we are doing very well, which is a lot, and try to get that much better.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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