Audio: Avent, Brackman Meet The Media

RALEIGH, NC -- NC State head baseball coach Elliot Avent and freshman pitcher Andrew Brackman met the media today. Here are excerpts from the interview and exclusive audio.

Andrew Brackman, a freshman right-handed pitcher for the Wolfpack, is 3-0 with a 1.20 ERA in seven appearances (four as a starter). The 6'10 standout has 34 strikeouts and just 13 walks in 30 innings of work. Opposing batters have just an .182 batting average against Brackman, who will start Friday night's home contest against Florida State.

Here's a sampler of what Brackman and coach Avent had to say when they met the media today.

Andrew Brackman
Can you talk about the year you're having in baseball and how it compares with your expectations?
I guess I didn't really have any expectations coming in. I just wanted to get out and help the team by throwing some innings. I guess this exceeded them but the season's not over yet.

Has it exceeded your expectations for this season and for what your potential and abilities are?
I don't know because coming in as a freshman you don't expect to get that much playing time. There are seniors and juniors in front of you that have been here and know the system. They know what to do.

How do you respond when people say you can be really good at this sport if you just drop the other one?
I love them both, and I don't really plan on giving up any of them. If one takes away from the other, then that's just the way it's got to be.

Is your plan just to play both?
My plan is to play both as long as I'm able to.

Coach Avent mentioned playing for the Olympic team. What would that mean to and would that nudge you in a direction to commit more to baseball?
I don't think so. It would be great to play for that team, but there are different things that would have to play in to that.

If I would be invited, I would probably go and play in that team, but I'd always have a basketball in my bag and I'd go find a place.

Which environment do you enjoy most?
I don't think I can trade in a packed RBC Center, but against Carolina on Friday night it was pretty packed too.

I like going out to the baseball field a lot. I like going outside. I get a farmer's tan... a pretty bad one. But, I like them both, and I don't think I can trade one arena for the field.

Head coach Elliot Avent
Coach Avent, what kind of impact were you expecting Andrew to have once he got away from basketball?

I wasn't expecting anything close to what Drew's done so far, to be honest with you. I kept telling Drew the more points he scored in basketball, the faster he threw the baseball. If he kept doing so well in basketball, he'd be throwing 100 miles an hour.

We brought him along very slow and we wanted to make sure he was ready. We didn't want to take a chance in damaging someone so valuable to two teams and with such a bright future.

I really didn't expect him to be able to do what he's done so far, and I think that's obviously a tribute to Andrew but also a tribute to Herb Sendek and his basketball staff for allowing him to do the things he did.

Most coaches aren't like that. When you recruit two-way players you say all the right things in the living room, but people become selfish and forgetful of what happened that night in Cincinatti. Herb Sendek, not once, has gone back on anything he told Andrew or me when we recruited him.

You've got to give a lot of credit to a fabulous athlete and a lot of credit to our basketball staff for allowing him to be as ready as he was.

Thoughts on what Andrew will be doing this summer:
Right now he's scheduled to go to Newport, Rhode Island and play in the New England Collegiate League. He could have gone to the Cape Cod, but it's a great town and a great league.

It's a coach that we know. He's such an attraction... make sure we can monitor exactly what happens. Not call the shots, but control the shots.

Providence is like thirty minutes away, obviously there's a place he can go play games.

I've had quite a bit of interest from the Olympic team... the Olympic team has called quite a bit. It's not set because he's had like five starts or something like that. They would never take a person with that few of starts, they are looking at guys who have done it a couple of years. But, they have a huge interest in Andrew about possibly going to tryouts for the Olympic team.

Coach, can you talk about what pitches Andrew throws and what are their effect is on hitters?
He throws good pitches, and they have a great effect on most hitters that I've seen.

Coach, you talked about sharing him with basketball. Any mixed emotions you see the NC State basketball team making a run the ACC Tournament and NCAA Tournament?
You don't understand, I love NC State. I love NC State basketball and beyond that Herb Sendek and I are close friends. There wasn't anyone pulling harder for NC State basketball than myself.

Andrew Brackman and Elliott Avent Audio (25:53)

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