According to Jon Rothstein of CBS, NC State will meet with Kevin Keatts today, calling the ‘primary candidate’ to fill the coaching vacancy.
NC State will meet today with UNC-Wilmington's Kevin Keatts, per multiple sources. Has emerged as a primary candidate to fill vacancy.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 17, 2017
Say what you want, but if NC State offers Keatts then it means that Archie Miller said no. Miller is the #1 option for NC State per just about every source we’ve spoken to. So either Miller said no through backchannels or NC State is basically interviewing Keatts and waiting for Dayton to lose, at which point they will speak to Miller.
Keatts checks a lot of boxes that NC State is looking for, however, one (and we think it is the biggest one) is not checked. Keatts is a proven assistant and a proven recruiter, but if NC State is looking for proven success at a competitive level, they won’t get it with Keatts. We’re not saying he can’t do it, we’re just saying hiring him would be taking some true risk. Winning at UNCW is great and he really turned that program around, but that is the colonial conference. Keatts has yet to even beat a top 50 RPI team, in fact, he hasn’t beaten a single team coming from a power 5 conference.
So the intangibles are there for Keatts, but he’s far from being a sure home-run hire for NC State (if that is the route they go). Rothstein saying Keatts is the ‘primary candidate’ means NC State likely missed on a few before coming to that conclusion.
What this likely means, however, is that Keatts is above Wade on NC State’s list of options.