NC State will be hosting Samford Graduate transfer post player Wyatt Walker (6’9”/240) this weekend for an official visit, and is planning to one to Wisconsin the following weekend.
Wyatt Walker (6’9) grad transfer from Samford will visit NC State this weekend & then Wisconsin the following week. 2 years of eligibility left. Career 12 ppg / 8 reb avg pic.twitter.com/TgWT8eA93b
— Wisconsin Hoopz (@hoopz_wisconsin) April 10, 2018
Walker missed all but two games last season due to a leg injury, and was granted a redshirt. As a result, he has two years of eligibility remaining, and is available to play immediately in 2018-19.
As a Sophomore, Walker averaged a double-double, posting 12.9 (58.6 FG%) points and 9.7 rebounds per game (17 total double-doubles).
If you watch Walker’s film below, if you’re anything like me, your expectations will be blown away. Walker has great ball-handling skills and passing vision for a post-player, can run the court, and has great control of his body.
In my opinion, out of all of the possible transfers NC State is in the mix with, Walker should be the top priority. An experienced big man will be pivotal to the development of new Wolfpack big men big men Manny Bates, Ian Steere and Derek Funderburk.
Rothstein (CBS) hearing NC State could play PG heavy, be one of ACC’s fastest teams
Jon Rothstien (CBS college basketball reporter) tweeted out something we found pretty interesting a couple days ago.
Hearing NC State could use three PGs — Markell Johnson, Blake Harris, and Braxton Beverly — together in spurts this season. Wolfpack should be one of ACC’s fastest teams.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 19, 2018
Instead of just retweeting this, we wanted to dive into it just a bit. Rothstein has great sources and wouldn’t tweet this if who he was hearing it from someone on (or close to) the staff. So there is no question about its authenticity, it’s more about what this might hint at for this year’s team.
If you watched Kevin Keatts’ team last season, then you know he likes to play small and fast. The 6’5 Torin Dorn played most of his minutes at the 4 and found a ton of success there. However, this year Keatts has a group of more versatile bigs (Funderburk, Steere, Walker).
This means there may be times when Keatts might feel comfortable shifting Dorn to the 3. If he does that, he’ll also be shifting freshman Jerricole Hellems to the 3 (he is likely being groomed for the ‘Dorn role.’) In this scenario the Pack is now busting at the seems with guards. You’d now have Markell, Beverly, Blake Harris, Devon Daniels, Eric Lockett, and CJ Bryce vying for the remaining 2 guard spots.
Now that scenario is probably not happening a majority of the time. Usually, you’ll see Walker at center and Dorn as the PF. This means that a combination of Johnson, Beverly, Harris, Daniels, and Bryce will fill out the 1 through 3 spots. If this tweet is correct and Keatts goes with Johnson, Beverly, and Harris (the 3 PGs) you’d be sitting Devon Daniel, CJ Bryce, and Eric Lockett.
If you ask us, this is very unlikely. Daniel and Bryce are two extremely important pieces for Keatts. Daniels is by far the best scorer on this team and Bryce is the quintessential Keatts-guy. He’s played for him at UNC-W, he defends multiple positions, he is a great decision maker and is a valuable slasher from the wing. And then there is Eric Lockett, who you’d be wrong to discount as an after thought. From everything we’re hearing, the staff is loving Lockett and he’s going to get minutes on this team.
So what scenarios can we actually expect to see the 3 PGs on the court together?
Our guess is that you might see it when there is foul trouble, or when NC State is in a late game situation and they need elite ball-handling. What we are saying is, don’t read this tweet and bank on seeing that lineup a bunch this season.
Obviously, Keatts wants to prepare for anything, so practicing a lineup with the 3 PGs is worth it. The bigger takeaway here is that Keatts options are nearly unlimited. He has two (sometimes 3) deep high-level talent at every position, so he may look to get creative early in the season.
And as far as speed? Rothstein hints that this 3 PG lineup makes NC State one of the fastest teams in the ACC? We’d argue that this is the fastest team in the ACC with their expected starting lineup of Markell Johnson, Devon Daniels, CJ Bryce, Torin Dorn and Wyatt Walker.
Partner With Kevin Keatts as He Helps the State of North Carolina
You can make a difference in helping those that are hurting in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence through parntering with NC State. You can also partner with one of their greatest basketball players of all-time in TJ Warren.
Now, you can partner with NC State Men’s Basketball head coach Kevin Keatts as well.
Proud to announce a partnership with @UWNorthCarolina to assist those in need on the coast after Hurricane Florence. I’m hoping my coaching peers can donate to help the people get back on their feet! pic.twitter.com/ZhXmYFEe4S
— Kevin Keatts (@CoachKeattsNCSU) September 19, 2018
Send your socks, t-shirts and hats to the address below:
Hurricane Florence Relief
5738 Dillard Dr.
Cary, NC 27518
Other NCAA Men’s Basketball coaches and Sports Media are rallying behind what Keatts is trying to do.
College hoops coaches have always been great in terms of helping those in need. Let’s hope they step up like NC State coach Kevin Keatts has done to help those affected by Hurricane Florence. https://t.co/RCX8BbNiou
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) September 19, 2018
— LeVelle Moton (@LeVelleMoton) September 19, 2018
— Jeff Gravley (@jgravleyWRAL) September 19, 2018
Here’s some of what Keatts said to Joe Giglio of the News & Observer about his heart behind this initiative:
“It’s tough,” Keatts said. “I have so many great relationships with friends in the Wilmington area. I could hear it in their voice, on the other end of the phone, how they sounded. They’ve lost power, they’ve had their houses torn up. It really touched me. I lived there and I realized that could be any of us.”
“I just wanted to get involved and try to help,” Keatts said. “I think it’s important to help when you can because at some point, everybody is going to need help. If I can assist in a time of need, I want to be able to do that.” (N&O)
VIDEO: Devon Daniels preparing to shoulder the load for NC State
Devon Daniels may be new to NC State, but he knows that a lot is going to be asked of him this season.
When you look at the Wolfpack roster, most people key on Markell Johnson and Torin Dorn as the keys to the season. It makes sense. These guys are known entities, but just as important to the success of the Wolfpack is Daniels.
The transfer from Utah is the one guy on the roster who has the skillset to fill in for last year’s leading scorer Al Freeman.
Of course, this team is going to want to run. They are going to play fast and look to get out on the break, but there will be a lot of times when things slow down, or when plays break down. Those situations are where Al Freeman bailed out the Pack time after time, and this year that job is going to fall on the shoulders of Devon Daniels.
From the looks of it, he’s taking that role pretty seriously.
Daniels averaged 10 points in only 27 minutes per game last season. He shot an impressive 57% from the floor and a juicy 40% from long range. It’s safe to say that the kid proved he can score it. However, at Utah, he was a role player. At NC State he’s going to be relied on for a lot more.
Forced to sit last season due to transfer rules, Daniels got his body ACC ready, polished up his skill set and even added a little more bounce to his game.
Fast breaks gon be lit this year 👀🐺 ig: dev.d3 pic.twitter.com/mJpy0hHIhF
— Devon Daniels (@doubleD_2106) August 2, 2018
Everyone knows that preseasons videos are mostly just fuel for the hype-train, but Daniels has posted videos like this before and it seems as if this type of workout is less the exception and more the norm. And if that’s the case, then NC State fans have a good reason to get excited.
Want to discuss whether or not Devon Daniels is going to live up to the hype? We’re talking about it here on the message boards.
OUR TAKE: An in-depth look at NC State’s non-conference schedule
Earlier today, the full 2018-19 NC State basketball schedule was announced.
There had been games announced here and there, and the ACC docket was already set, but this is the first time we’ve seen the full non-conference schedule and it’s pretty interesting.
Here are some of our notes and thoughts on the early season matchups…
- NC State plays their first 6 games at home and they should be relatively easy. That is a good thing. This is a team with a lot of new pieces, and it’s going to take a little while for this group to get kicking on all cylinders. (It may also take time for these guys to get used to the substitution patterns in Keatts system.)
- NC State plays at Wisconsin in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. This will be the team’s first road game and will be their first true test. Wisconsin is coming off a tough season in which they finished 9th in their conference. However, they have a ton of returning talent including their star forward Ethan Happ (who averaged 17 ppg last season.)
- Less than a week later, they play a rebuilt Vanderbilt team in Miami. A tough turnaround for the Pack as they head from Wisconsin to Miami, Florida for the HoopHall Invitational to face off against Vandy. This is another big name school who struggled last year, finishing 12-20 and coming in 2nd to last in the SEC. However, they have some big-time freshman joining them in 2018. Darius Garland is the #14 player in this class and the #2 PG. Head coach Bryce Drew compared him to Trae Young over the summer. They are also adding the #11 player in the class (and #3 PF) Simisola Shittu. Add on that they have two good bigs who transferred in and are eligible this year (Yanni Wetzell and Matt Ryan) and Vandy seems to have a very good shot at improving on their disastrous 2017-18 season.
- Then NC State takes on Western Carolina at Reynolds. This is the first that we’ve heard that WCU would be the Reynolds game, but it makes sense. Former NC State assistant (who was also the former WCU head coach) Larry Hunter, recently passed away and will likely be honored during this game.
- NC State takes on Penn State in Atlantic City. This is a game for the “Boardwalk Classic” which isn’t a tournament, but more like a day where a bunch of teams play in Atlantic City, NJ. The Pack beat Penn State last season 85-78 in a ‘grind-it-out’ kind of game but was lit up by Tony Carr for 29 points. Lucky for Keatts and company, Carr is in the NBA now, so that threat has passed. However, Penn State is no pushover. They finished 9-9 in the Big Ten, good for 6th place (and an eventual NIT championship). This year their main guy will be Lamar Stevens. He’s a junior who really came into his own last season. He dropped 13 against the Pack last year but really got things going at the end of the year. His 28 points outburst in the NIT Championship sets the stage for his coming out party in 2018-19.
- NC State takes on #10 Auburn on Dec 19th. The Tigers, led by Bruce Pearl, were one of the more surprising teams of 2017-18. They finished with the second most wins in program history (26) and notched a 4-seed in the NCAA Tournament. If you watched Auburn last season, you know that they play an uptempo, defensive heavy brand of basketball. This should make for a really fun, fast-paced matchup. While they did lose a few key guys from last season (Mustapha Heron), they are returning star guard Jared Harper. He’s a junior who was the team’s 3rd leading scorer and put up 5.4 assists per game. While he’s only 5’10, he can really create and has near unlimited range. They also bring back guard Bryce Brown, the team’s second-leading scorer from a season ago. But the biggest news is the return of former 5-star, 6’11 monster, Austin Wiley, who was suspended last season in connection with the sweeping FBI investigation around college basketball. Wiley almost entered the draft, but he decided to come back, giving Auburn an elite big to pair with their dangerous duo of guards. This matchup is easily the toughest of NC State’s non-conference schedule.
- They finish with 2 winnable games heading into conference play – USC Upstate and Loyola Maryland close out the non-conference schedule. After going through a bit of a gauntlet in late November to mid-December, they finally get a few games to work out some kinks heading into their ACC opener vs. Miami
As you can see, NC State has what I think is a decent non-conference schedule. They open up with some easier games which will give them time to gel and figure themselves out. Then they play some good (but beatable) teams in late November and cap it off with their biggest test yet… #10 Auburn.
It seems like this layout allows the Pack to ramp up at a nice cadence. This is helpful seeing as it’s going to be their first season playing the way the Keatts’ system was meant to be played.
— Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse) September 13, 2018
This schedule does give them chances for a few resume builders before conference rolls around, but they’ll need to take advantage of those few chances or it will hurt them come March.
Want to talk about the non-conference schedule or see what other State fans think? We are discussing it right here in the forum.
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