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What will Baylor’s Freeman bring to NC State?

NC State Basketball

What will Baylor’s Freeman bring to NC State?

As you probably realized, we took a couple weeks off here at PackInsider. Of course, during that time news was flooding in. One such headline was the addition of grad-transfer Al Freeman from Baylor. Freeman will be eligible to play this coming season, so how will he fit and what with the Pack need him to provide?

Freeman is a big guard who can shoot it. He’s not overly athletic, and he’s not super quick, but he can get buckets with hands in his face. If you want to draw a comparison, think Trevor Lacey. While Lacey had more smooth of a handle and a prettier jumper, both guys play with a similar style. We’d say Lacey was much more polished and seemed to have that killer instinct as a scorer. It’s not yet known if Freeman is that guy you want shooting your final shot, or if he will rise to the occasion of go-to scorer, but if State is going to be successful he’ll likely have to do both to some extent.

Slotting in as a 2 or a 3 in Keatts system, we believe Freeman will pair well with Torin Dorn’s slashing style of play. He can create his own shot, but he can also shoot it off the catch.

Digging into his stats, Freeman was pretty consistent when he got minutes. During his sophomore campaign, he played 30 minutes per game and averaged 11.3pts on 8.7 shots per game. He shot 42% from the field (which is good) and 38% from 3 (think Terry Henderson consistency from beyond the arc).

His junior year he saw his minutes drop off a bit as more talent was added to the Baylor roster. Freeman played 23 minutes per game and averaged 9.4 points per game. He attempted 2 less shots per game and hit on 43% of them. From 3 pt range he shot 40% as a junior which would have been good for best on NC State’s team last season.

At the end of the day, Freeman is going to be a good addition to this ball club. For the first time in a while NC State isn’t going to have a point guard who dominates possession, which honestly is a good thing. They will rely on guys like Freeman, Dorn and their post guys a lot more. Will it take the Pack’s offense up a notch? Maybe, maybe not, but basketball is a heck of a lot more fun to watch when everyone is involved and the team chemistry is good. I think Keatts will be good on both of those fronts for NC State, and Freeman fits well with that type of situation. is an independently run content site that exclusively covers NC State basketball and football. Started in late 2007 by two former students with the goal of integrating the latest in web content delivery into a Wolfpack sports site, free of charge to the user.



  1. wolfpack74

    May 26, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Henderson was denied sixth year. What has happen to Markell, staying or going?

    • Wolfer96

      May 27, 2017 at 12:40 am

      That’s too bad. Haven’t heard much about Markell lately so maybe that’s a good sign. He’s the starter this season so not sure why he wouldn’t return quite honestly.

  2. Wolfer96

    May 25, 2017 at 6:17 am

    Worst case scenario involving losses of Henderson and Markell means that this is our lineup:

    PG – Batts
    SG – A. Freeman/Newman
    SF – Dorn/Kirk
    PF – Abu/Hicks
    C – Yurt7/Freeman

    Like to know if A. Freeman or Newman have enough ball handling to play backup at PG? If Markell stays then we should be solid at PG.

    • wolfpack74

      May 25, 2017 at 1:21 pm

      Newman, really? Sounds like Southern conference basketball to me.

      • wolfpack74

        May 25, 2017 at 1:23 pm

        Sorry, Colonial Athletic Association basketball.

      • Wolfer96

        May 25, 2017 at 8:24 pm

        He’s a good shooter. Just need to get him to a passable level on defense and get him open looks on offense. We can sit him in the corner and have him run baseline to baseline for open looks out of the post or dribble penetration. I don’t see him playing a ton of minutes but 8-10 minutes in an up tempo offense is feasible.

  3. Wolfer96

    May 25, 2017 at 6:12 am

    If we look at the 1-3 postions… even if Henderson doesn’t get extra year and we lose Markell, we start a freshman at PG and we have several wings.

    Leaving: Smith Jr (PG), Rowan (SG/SF), Henderson (SG)?

    Returning: Dorn (SG/SF), Newman (SG), Kirk (SF), Markell (PG)?

    New additions: Batts (PG), A. Freeman (SG)

  4. Wolfer96

    May 25, 2017 at 6:00 am

    If you look at the roster even if Freeman is not 100% we appear to be ok in the front court.

    Bigs leaving: Anya, Kapita

    Bigs returning: Yurt7, Freeman, Hicks, Abu

  5. Wolfer96

    May 25, 2017 at 5:58 am

    I think Yurt7 made the right move. His freshman season exposed his weaknesses. He needs to work on his strength and physicality. How does he fit into new uptempo offense? This will be a good measure of Keatt’s coaching ability. I want to see how he incorporates a 7 foot center into that offense.

  6. wolfpack74

    May 18, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Can we just no show for every game next year?

    • Wolfer96

      May 19, 2017 at 3:38 am

      We’ll just have to play small ball all season. It’s not like we haven’t had to before. Honestly, I can’t even remember the last time we had a solid true center (maybe Todd Fuller). Every decent center I can think of the last 10 seasons or more were playing out of position. CJL, Ron Kelly, Hickson, Simmons, Powell, …

  7. Wolfer96

    May 18, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Looks like Kapita is signing with an agent. He didn’t even get invited to the combine. Guess he has money troubles or something.

    • wolfpack74

      May 18, 2017 at 10:13 pm

      Probably academic problems too.

      • Wolfer96

        May 19, 2017 at 3:29 am

        That’s the part I can’t understand. I mean every one of these kids has access to tutors. It’s practically impossible to fail. And if they are so stupid that they can’t pass freshman classes with tutoring then they shouldn’t be in school in the 1st place.

        • wolfpack74

          May 20, 2017 at 6:51 pm

          I agree 100%. Let them go to D league or overseas. Stop the chaos in the college.

  8. Wolfer96

    April 26, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    Now Kapita is testing the NBA waters. Coach Keatts let’s sign some bigs as insurance. There was a time when kids enjoyed college life. What’s not to like… girls, parties, fame, and playing the game you love. Crazy how so many want to leave after a year when the chances of making it in the NBA are so slim. Obviously statistics classes should be mandatory for FB and BB players.

  9. Wolfer96

    April 22, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    We need bodies at the 2 & 3 positions so this is good. Hard to beat senior level experience. I’m really interested to see the results of the next season. Gott set the bar low at 4 ACC wins so I would assume Keatts can manage to beat that by at least a game or two.

    • wolfpack74

      April 24, 2017 at 2:41 am

      So you are basically saying that we should not watch NC State basketball next year. I am tired of 4 to 6 wins in the ACC.

      • Wolfer96

        April 25, 2017 at 1:56 am

        If you think change will happen over 1 season I don’t know what to tell you. We can sort of assume that Keatts will be an improvement based on his history with UNCW but I doubt he’s a miracle worker. I’ll judge him fully when he has his own guys. He has to implement his system, change the culture, and bring in guys that can play his style. It will take time.

        • wolfpack74

          April 25, 2017 at 2:16 am

          I have to disagree. His players have never beaten a Power Five school. He must raise his own standard to win in the ACC. I don’t believe he is the right coach for State. I’m also hoping that I am wrong on this.

          • Wolfer96

            April 25, 2017 at 3:22 pm

            Well he wasn’t my 1st choice either but what’s done is done. In his defense, he wasn’t exactly recruiting ACC caliber players at UNCW. So to me his recruiting class for next season will be telling. If we can at minimum keep the recruiting at a similar level and up the coaching then that alone will equal more wins. How many more wins? Let’s wait and see.

          • Wolfer96

            April 25, 2017 at 3:25 pm

            I ask myself how do I like Keatts compared to the hires of Sendek, Lowe, and Gottfried? And I think the answer for me is that I like him better than all those guys. Is he the one that will lead us to the promised land? We have at least 4 seasons to see.

          • Sundrop Drinker

            April 26, 2017 at 1:29 am

            His players, at the before-he-got-there cellar dwellers, have never beaten a p5 school, though have come close on several occasions, with little talent, means that he is a crappy coach and will do nothing at State. Gotcha. Go pull for another team please. I think a guy that went 262-17 and won 2 National Championships at Hargrave, while having to recruit a new team every year, can get the job done

          • Wolfer96

            April 26, 2017 at 3:08 am

            Hey let’s not act like success at one level guarantees success at another. Plenty of good college coaches have flamed out in the nba and visa versa. The fact is Keatts does not have power 5 head coaching experience so to say he will do this or that is premature. We have him for at least 4 seasons so let’s give him time and pray that he does better than his predecessor.

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