Get ready folks. The next couple of weeks are going to be NIT and transfer news heavy for the men’s basketball team.
We already hit you with the prep-piece on the transfer market, Keatts’ interest, and potential targets. Now we’re adding another guy to the mix…
According to Stockrisers.com, NC State head coach Kevin Keatts held a virtual meeting with 6’6 grad-transfer wing, Davion Warren, from Hampton University.
NC State’s Kevin Keatts and his staff completed a virtual meeting with Hampton transfer Davion Warren last night, he told @Stockrisers. 21.5 point per game scorer shot 45% from the field.
Arkansas, Pittsburgh, Texas A&M, amongst those also in the mix.
— Jake (@jakeweingarten) March 23, 2021
Warren is a scoring machine. He averaged 21 points per game for Hampton last season and shot 45% from the floor. He’s a strong, athletic guard, however, he’s not a great shooter from the outside, shooting just 30% from 3 point range.
Now, as noted, other teams are in the mix here, and whether or not State lands Davion, there is something to take note of here.
We have two confirmed instances where Keatts has be either contacting or showing interest in a grad-transfer. First it was Kaiden Rice of The Citadel.
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
Now it’s Davion Warren. These two are different players, one a shooter, one a slasher, however, they are both in the 6’6-6’7 range. So what does this tell us?
Keatts seems to have an eye on a swing guard or wing type player. Maybe he envisions Hellems slotting in at the 4 and playing one of these scoring wings at the 3? Maybe he just wants to have a more experienced perimeter scorer who can slash to help as Cam Hayes and Shakeel Moore continue to grow and while Breon Pass and Terquavion Smith get their feet wet.
With one scholarship available, in our eyes, the main hole needing to be filled is in the frontcourt. With Funderburk likely leaving, NC State has Manny Bates and then a lot of inexperience. They have Ebenezer Dowuona who may start to fill out and back up bates, but are you ready to bet your season on that? Then you have Earnest Ross, the 6’9 four-star who is coming in, but as good as he is, he hasn’t shown complete consistency at the high school level either. These guys may need time to develop.
NC State has a great pitch for a 4-man. Come in, drift out and stretch the defense. Shoot a little bit, but be able to defend the opposing 4 and protect the rim when Manny has to sit. Maybe Ross is that guy, or maybe Keatts is going to zero in on that when more becomes available on the portal.
For now, it seems like he is eyeing these tweener-guard/wings, and look, that is Keatts’ game. That was his game in Wilmington. He was always a little undersized, but always quicker, faster, and more interchangeable than his opponents. And there is something to be said for that.
It’s clear that NC State is likely going to bring in an experienced player with a nice resume. They have minutes to sell. The question is, how many will they bring, and who will it be?
At this point, it’s just too early to tell.
As for Davion Warren, this is a kid who was a JUCO MVP, came to Hampton for his final two seasons, and lit it up as a senior. He’s 6’6 and 210, so he’s a pretty strong guard. He’s got good handles and great energy on both ends of the floor. He won’t be an elite scorer for NC State, but he would give them some experience and a guy with size who can slash and get to the rim. With Daniels leaving, that’s something this team desperately needs.
We’ll keep you updated on the transfer movement as stories break…
*image from HBCUGameday.com