As more and more teams drop out of postseason play, the ‘transfer portal’ is starting to get mighty busy.
This isn’t going to be your normal year for transfers.
First, you have the pandemic-time rule that was passed prior to the season, which allows every player a free year of eligibility. Yes, that’s right. If you were a senior and you played all season long, you can come back and be a senior again.
If you were a senior, played all season, took care of your academics, and graduated, you are now a potential grad-transfer, who can transfer anywhere and have one more season.
Then there is the proposed ‘1-time transfer’ rule that was supposed to be voted on in January but was postponed to a later date. When that vote will be held isn’t clear, but if it were to pass, it would give ANY player 1-free transfer where they would be eligible immediately, without having to sit out a year.
All of that is coming to a head here as the 2020-21 season comes to a close. And this is where the fun begins.
NC State is still in the midst of a postseason run, set to play Colorado State on Thursday in the 2nd round of the NIT. However, it’s never too early to start the speculation, and you can bet the coaches are already on the phones, plotting their next moves.
First off, will Braxton Beverly, Devon Daniels, or DJ Funderburk come back? (We will have a full article on this when the season comes to a close). Beverly likely won’t have a ton of pro suiters, Daniels may want to prove to scouts that his knee is healthy, and DJ may want to showcase his jumper and versatility a bit more. So there are reasons to believe you could see them come back, but at this point, we’re not counting on that.
Once that is figured out, Keatts can get a clearer picture of his needs.
If Funderburk leaves then NC State has a gaping hole at the 4-spot. He’d love to have a stretch 4 that is both bouncy and can step out and shoot it. Maybe if he waits he’ll be able to find that, but it’s more likely that he’ll find an undersized 4 who can shoot and isn’t as much of a post guy. He’s already shown interest in one of these types… Kaiden Rice.
NC State interested in grad-transfer, 3-point specialist Kaiden Rice. Who is he and how would he fit with the Wolfpack?https://t.co/MgWjJLr5aJ
— Pack Insider (@PackInsider) March 15, 2021
Landing Rice would give Keatts a 6’7 shooter who could slot in at the 4 and give NC State another legitimate shooter on the outside. However, if you land a guy like that, you still have a need for a backup big man. If NC State is going to contend, they’re going to need a little more muscle in the paint behind Bates.
Then you have guys like Davidson’s Kellan Grady entering the portal. I mean, how do you pass up a 6’5 guard who has scored over 2,000 points in his college career?
Davidson G Kellan Grady (SR) has entered the transfer portal. Grad transfer. https://t.co/kLreLmLiUF
— Verbal Commits (@VerbalCommits) March 22, 2021
At the same time, with this buying bonanza coaches are going to see in front of them, they also need to stay focused on the long-term vision.
It’s tempting to go after a guy like Grady, but what would it do to the growth of your freshmen guards? What about the two incoming 4-star kids that were looking at some legitimate playing time for next season?
There is a lot to think about here, and it’s going to be hard for coaches to stay focused and not be tempted to grab one of these established talents for one year, at the expense of guys you are going to leaning on over the next 3 or 4. We think that would be a mistake and we don’t anticipate Keatts going that route.
We’ll also have to see if any attrition from the team occurs (there were 2 freshmen that logged almost no minutes during ACC play this season.) Will they stick around and work their way into the lineup with an easy exit strategy in front of them? You’d hope so, but nothing is guaranteed this offseason.
If the seniors do leave, we expect Keatts to focus on an established 4 man. We believe he’ll be patient and go after some of the biggest names to hit the portal. NC State would have a starting rolet for whoever comes in at that spot, and if it’s up to Keatts it’ll be a bouncy, versatile big who can step out and hit the 3 with consistency.
Either way, we are keeping a close eye on the portal and an ear to the ground. Things are already starting to break, with UNC’s 5-star freshman entering this morning…
— InsideCarolina (@InsideCarolina) March 22, 2021
WRAL’s Joe Giglio knows what’s coming…
Walker Kessler is the first player to transfer but he won’t be the last.
Between the pending one-time transfer rule change and the “super senior” class, college basketball is in for a major upheaval
— Joe Giglio (@giglio_OG) March 22, 2021
Stay tuned as the next couple of weeks are going to be pretty interesting, and it’s possible NC State’s roster next season isn’t going to look like you were expecting.