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Dereon Seabron is going to the NBA. The only question is, will it be next year?

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Dereon Seabron is a new name for a lot of NBA Draft junkies, but NC State fans saw this coming.

Actually, that’d be a lie. You didn’t see this coming. We didn’t either. Nobody did.

Seabron committed to NC State as a mostly unknown 3-star prospect out of Norfolk, VA. His only other offers were from ECU, Minnesota, Providence, and VCU. Upon arriving at NC State he was redshirted (academic redshirt). The first time NC State fans got to see him play was last season’s opener against Charleston Southern. It was a mostly uneventful debut where he logged 15 minutes and scored 6 points. He played sparingly and had some decent moments, but most of last year he looked like he was still trying to figure things out. He was was a little hesitant on his drives, and rarely attempted an outside shot. What stood out to most NC State fans is how dangerous he could be on the break.

Then in late February, with NC State struggling (losing 7 of their last 9), Keatts made a change. Seabron started to get minutes.

On February 20th against Wake Forest, he logged 33 minutes, led the team with 13 points, and grabbed 9 rebounds. This got Wolfpack fans’ attention.

He struggled over the next two games, but then he gave us another taste. On March 3rd, in a must-win game for NC State, Seabron went for 17 points and 13 boards, notching his first double-double. Then in the first round ACC tournament loss, he went for 11 and 8.

Coming into this season, Seabron was expected to be a contributor. But one of the best players in the ACC? Not a chance.

Then games started and Dereon Seabron just looked different. He was bigger, stronger, he looked sure of himself, but the biggest thing is that over the offseason, he learned to play a lot more physical.

Seabron was always extremely fast, took huge strides, moved well laterally, and had a good handle. But the question was; If he can’t shoot, aren’t teams just going to sag off and mob him if he tries to force it into the lane?

Yep, that’s what they are doing, but Seabron has become a bully. He is driving with purpose and demanding defenders step up and get set. He’s inviting contact, not getting bumped off his line, and protecting the basketball like a running back (or at times cuffing it) hiding the ball from defender’s swipes. What we’re also seeing is that when he gets through the initial contact, he’s using elite-level footwork to slither around help-side defenders and get to the rim.

Seabron is also changing speeds on his drive. His initial attack is as if he’s shot out of a cannon, but he’s able to stop on a dime or shift down as he’s taking his continuation steps, which settle him as he goes to finish.

The thing is, we didn’t see most of that last year. Seabron has enhanced nearly every aspect of his game this offseason, which is amazing. Overall of my years watching NC State only Manny Bates has such a drastic change in a single off-season. (Note: Both were under Kevin Keatts). Seabron had simply decided he wasn’t going to let the league dictate the type of player he would become, he made the decision.

Now, 15 games into the season, Dereon Seabron is likely one of the leading candidates for ACC Player of the Year. He’s 3rd in the ACC in scoring. He’s leading the league in rebounds per game. He’s 9th in FG%, 1st in free throws attempted, 2nd in free throws made, 13th in assists per game, and 12th in steals. He’s quite literally doing it all.

While those types of stats have NC State fans buzzing, they also have NBA scouts starting to pay close attention.

Just yesterday, Jonathan Wasserman, formally of NBADraft.net, and now the head of scouting and NBA Draft Analysis for Buzzfeed just moved Seabron into the first round of his 2022 NBA mock draft.

Wasserman has Seabron just sneaking in, going 28th overall to the Jazz.

Now, this is just one projection. Most draft boards don’t have Seabron on them just yet, but if he keeps this up, that might change.

However, it’s not likely that Seabron gets into lottery pick range unless he starts to really showcase his range from 3. Which actually might be starting to happen.

Seabron started the season just 1-16 from long range (6%), but since then he’s heated up. Actually, over the past 5 games, Seabron is 4-8 from 3pt range (50%).

That said, I think at this point, Seabron isn’t quite confident enough in his 3 to put up the volume that NBA scouts would want to see, but I do think they are intrigued by his talent. I do think if he keeps this up he’d be a mid to late 1st round pick in 2022.

Usually, that would be enough for a guy to leave college and go pro. But I’m not so sure with Seabron, and I say that because I think his move to point guard has changed everything. Looking at the write-ups from NBA scouts, they seemed to view Seabron as how he was being used, as a wing or a slasher.

Now, Seabron will likely be seen as more of a project guy at the 2 or 3 if he’s selected in 2022. They’ll want to refine his jumper and bulk him up a bit. Will that work out? You never know, and that’s why I think teams are likely to pass on him early in the draft and why there is a chance he’d slide into the second round.

But Dereon Seabron has lottery pick potential. He’s got lottery pick speed, lottery pick size, lottery pick physicality, and lottery pick finishing ability. If Seabron goes pro after this year, I wouldn’t blame him, but I also believe he’d be leaving a lot of money on the table. With another off-season like the one he just had, he could hone his jumper and continue to get more and more experience at the point. All he has to do is start hitting shots from outside, making smart reads on his drives, and be a little more vocal with his leadership, and there’s no doubt in my mind this kid is a top 10 pick in 2023.

And what’s the difference between lottery pick and 2nd round money. Eh, only $15 million guaranteed.

So yeah, it’s a little early to be having this conversation. We’re just 15 games into the season, but it’s dumb to act like the NBA buzz around Seabron isn’t picking up. What’s the point in ignoring it? It’s great for NC State, it’s great for Dereon Seabron and it’s great for Kevin Keatts (who took a 3-star kid and turned him into an NBA prospect). The only people who want to put their fingers in their ears about this topic are NC State fans who don’t want to see the kid go (I don’t blame them either).

So what will Seabron do? Will he keep up the pace he’s on? (I think he will.) Will NBA scouts start becoming regulars at NC State games? (I think they will). Will this be Seabron’s last season with the Pack? (Well, that’s the $15 million question, isn’t it.)

A pasta eatin', Wolfpack lovin' loudmouth from Raleigh by way of New Jersey. Jimmy V and Chuck Amato fanboy. All opinions are my own and you're gonna hear'em.

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Papajohn
Papajohn
2 years ago

While you’d love to see a player like this stick around, if he can get drafted he should go, and I think he will. Personally, I still worry a little about that jumper. However, you can really judge a shooter by his free throw shooting. Good shooters shoot them well because they know how to shoot. Last year he shot 57% from the line – not a shooter’s touch. This year, he’s clearly worked on his form and is up to 70%. And, as noted above, the 3PT shot is starting to fall after missing a boatload. That’s critical for… Read more »

Pack Insider Staff
Admin
2 years ago
Reply to  Papajohn

Agreed. It will depend on where he’s supposed to be picked. Most have him mid to late 2nd rounder. Only one has him going 1st round. We’ll have to wait and see, but if he slides late into the second round, he should come back. He has a LOT to gain by developing a jumper….like $15 million.

Also of note. No mock drafts have Bates going in any round. He’s been pretty visible with the team. I wonder if he gives it one more go.

Papajohn
Papajohn
2 years ago

WOW!!! Bates coming back is an entirely new thought.
I can understand why the NBA might be a little nervous about him. How well will he heal? Three shoulder surgeries in five years makes you wonder if he can stand the physical nature of the league. And he really hasn’t had an opportunity to demonstrate much in the way of offense.
Another year might be a real difference maker in his pro prospects. Would that be crazy???

Opinion

Pick and Roll Problems: Is it time to hand PG reins to LJ Thomas?

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NC State likes to do two things on offense. They like to get the ball down into the post and use DJ Burns as a point man and they like to use high ball screens to get pick and roll action.

They primarily do this to create switches, but this is the ACC and entire rosters have been created to deal with switches. Meanwhile, the teams that don’t switch as much (Virginia), have been able to push the NC guards out enough to give their man enough time to recover and get back into position.

If you’re going to use high-screens (pick and rolls) to initiate your offense, then you HAVE TO make them worthwhile.

Let me explain…

The pick and roll is the hardest play to guard in basketball if you run it correctly, but you have the right personnel in place.

First off, the perfect personnel would be a big who is big, wide, and has a decent jumper, allowing him to either pick and roll or pick and pop. Meanwhile, the guard should be able to shoot it with consistency and also create rim pressure. If you have all of this and execute with precision, then the defense has no choice but to be on their heels.

Here is how it should work…

1) The big needs to set a nice, wide, physical screen.

2) THE GUARD SHOULD GO OFF THE BIG MANS SHOULDER and start forcing pressure downhill.

If you go off too wide and leave room for your defender to slip through, you’ve failed. You need to set up your defender with the dribble and then take an angle that runs him into the screen. This forces him to either go UNDER the screen (leaving you open for a shot), or over the screen, forcing the big man’s defender to stop the ball handler. If the screener rolls correctly, he’ll have a mismatch

If the big’s defender hedges out to contain, the guard should split the defense and knife to the lane. If the big’s defender sags to stop the drive, the guard should shoot.

Let’s look at the difference.

Here is LJ Thomas, the only NC State guard who constantly sets up his screens and puts downhill pressure on the defense off the high screen.

And here is DJ Horne, not going off the screener’s shoulder and taking it too wide, not putting any downhill pressure on the defense.

I’m not really blaming Horne here. Like I’ve said from day one, he’s a 2 guard by nature and these are intricacies that only come naturally to a true PG. This is why I constantly harp on this staff bringing in a TRUE PG that can thrive in the ‘Pick and Roll’.

Go back and watch the games, this poor use of ball screens has been a constant problem during the Keatts era and the foundational reason people keep saying ”

“The is no offense”… “We play AAU ball”… “We play selfish.”

None of those are true. There are a ton of schools that run the same actions we do and don’t look like they have offensive stagnation.

The real truth is, we fail to do the small things that make the pick and roll action valuable.

I’m sure the staff is teaching this (I hope), but sometimes it’s hard to change the entire basketball instinct of a lifelong scorer, to start playing like a true PG (reading angles, shifting speeds, creating space for others).

However, if you have guys who fail to do this, you have to correct it somehow, even if that means bench time for valuable players. It’s that important.

At the end of the day, this is something the coaches should be correcting as it is the difference between the offense action creating pressure on the defense, and the action being meaningless and forcing us into 1-on-1 iso situations.

So what’s the fix?

The best fix at this point has to be LJ Thomas getting more than 8 minutes per game.

He’s produced quality minutes all season long, and while he does give you a drop in defense (from Taylor/Horne) he has the instincts and skill set that need to be invested in. He’s not going to be a savior for NC State, but he moves the ball and is the only guard NC State has that has true PG instincts, understands how to attack the pick and roll (NC State’s most used action), and has enough skill to be dangerous scoring on 3 levels.

O’Connell does this but isn’t dangerous enough offensively. He’s shooting just 29% from 3 and he doesn’t create enough rim pressure, as he’s not really athletic enough to get in there and score amongst the trees.

This will be the hard part for Keatts. He wants to create massive defensive pressure all the time, but he’s doing so at the expense of offense and hoping the defense can create transition buckets. The problem is, the trade-off isn’t working. The defense is good, but it’s not creating enough offense to balance it out.

If NC State is going to turn this around it’s going to need Keatts to figure out a way to feature LJ Thomas as the point, while balancing the usage of Horne, Taylor, and Morsell at the 2/3. It’s really the only way I see this offense being able to kick into gear enough to make a late-season run.

But what do I know, right?

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NC State Basketball

WOLFERETTI: The unfiltered Kevin Keatts that NC State fans have been waiting for

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What is the key to every NC State fan’s heart?

It’s an unabashed, uncensored rant from their coach on being sick and tired of being treated as ‘not good enough’ or ‘not tough enough.’ These rants connect best after a big “I told you so” win.

It wasn’t long ago that Dave Doeren was on the hot seat with Pack fans. Half liked him, half didn’t. But then he started to realize that self-censoring wasn’t getting him anywhere. Politically correct takes weren’t really doing his job security any favors. So the real Dave Doeren showed his face.

He channeled the fanbase when he took a swing at UNC…

He shot back at the media when he called out Steve Smith by name for taking a cheap shot at NC State’s football program, calling State ‘just a basketball school’…

State fans loved every minute of it, dubbing this new unfiltered Dave Doeren ‘Salty Dave.’

The funny thing is, as soon as Dave removed the filter, so did his players. NC State players started sounding off a little bit about their frustration with being set up as ‘second fiddle’ in almost every national media narrative focused on the Triangle.

In a way, they started writing checks with their mouth, and when you have the gall to write those, you better be able to cash’em.

It seems that change in posture by Dave filtered through his program. He had recruited guys that had the same mindset as him, but now they were off the leash and able to show who they really were.

I think that is the difference between this year and years past. I think that’s a big reason you’re seeing NC State football begin to show signs of braking through nationally, and why you’re seeing players from all over the country signing up to play in Raleigh.

What you’re seeing within the NC State football program is the re-emergence of unfiltered sport. It’s celebrating competition and encouraging passion. This is why kids play the game.

Over the past 10-15 years it’s been watered down. Players have been forced to go through classes on dealing with the media and ‘saying the right thing.’ It’s dumbed-down rivalries, it’s stripped the personality from the game and it’s taken some excitement away.

Part of the entertainment of sports is the team element, where people with different backgrounds, different demeanors and different ways of communicating, come together to achieve a common goal. And for fans, we get to watch it all take shape and play out.

Maybe NIL has helped take the reigns off. Maybe kids being in charge of their own brands have helped bring us to this moment and maybe the addition of the transfer portal has taken some heat off coaches needing to always say the right things so they don’t rub a recruit’s parents the wrong way. I’m not sure, but suddenly we’re seeing a different side of players and coaches here at NC State.

We’ve had Elliot Avent for years, and he’s just a throwback who has been speaking his mind from the get-go. Baseball has been pretty successful as of late at NC State. Now, suddenly Salty Dave appears and Football starts seeing real success. And just two nights ago, Kevin Keatts finally got in on the action (meanwhile his team is 5-1 in conference and 13-4 overall)…

This is a Kevin Keatts we haven’t seen in the media. Keatts is usually smiling, joking, pretty PC most of the time. Tuesday night however, he seemingly had enough.

Keatts was tossed midway through the first half after straight-up losing it after a no-call on a fast break. He walked on to the court and laid into the official, getting a technical. But instead of heading back to the bench, he stayed on the court, making it clear that he was ready for them to send him to the locker room.

They did that, but NC State responded with a comeback win, and in his press conference, a masked Kevin Keatts said his piece. And judging by the responses from fans, it was exactly what they’d been wanting.

What made him snap?

Maybe it was the fact that he’s off to his best ACC start of his tenure, yet the media has barely said a thing and a faction of the fanbase still wants to go a different direction?

Maybe it was the mask?

Whatever the case, NC State fans loved it and want to see more of it. ‘Kind Kevin’ was nice for the first 6 years, but I think we can all agree that ‘Cranky Keatts’ is more on-brand for this fanbase.

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Opinion

LOVED IT, HATED IT: From NC State’s embarrassing 72-52 loss to Ole Miss

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These late games are starting to wear on me. So forgive me if I’m not my usual rosey self today, but I’m not going to beat around the bush on this one. The Pack looked downright apathetic, undisciplined, and unprepared in their 72-52 loss at Ole Miss.
Let’s jump right in.

LOVED IT

Ben Middlebrooks showed NC State fans his value, notching 13 points and 12 boards.
It was nice to see someone come to play. Middlebrooks played a season-high 22 minutes, thanks in part to DJ Burns showing up soft for some reason against a 7’5″ twig that he’d usually bury underneath the basket (but I’ll get to that later). Middlebrooks matched the Ole Miss energy and physicality, and if the rest of the team had followed his lead, we would have had a ball game. For Middlebrooks, this was his coming out party for the Pack. NC State is going to need a bruiser this year at times, and Big Ben showed us he’s willing to be that guy.

LJ Thomas, nice to see you!
Tonight we saw signs that DJ Horne doesn’t have the intangibles of a true point guard (nor should he, he’s always been a SG) and Mike O’Connell is going to struggle all year against aggressive, athletic defenders (again, we’ll get to this later), so Keatts finally gave his sophomore PG some run.

LJ Thomas played his first meaningful minutes of the season, and while he didn’t light the world on fire, he provided some physicality and stability at the lead guard position. He played 22 minutes, scored 7 points, dished out 4 assists, and only turned the ball over 1 time (he also hit the only 3 he took).

It’s obvious this team is going to need a PG, so why LJ Thomas hasn’t been worked into the mix is beyond me. He’s in his second season, he has a good frame, decent vision, nice shot, and honestly has been pretty effective in the limited minutes he’s played in his career. How does anyone suppose the kid will reach his potential when he barely sees the floor? I know Keatts is in ‘win-now’ mode, but slowly working in Thomas when it’s clear you have no true PG is probably the real ‘win-now’ move if we’re being honest.

HATED IT

(Kids, close your eyes this isn’t going to be pretty)

Ok, I’ll admit it. It’s time to start pointing the finger at Kevin Keatts
I’ve been a Keatts apologist for a long time. I like Kevin Keatts. I think he gets player to buy-in. I think he’s a good talent evaluator. I think his teams are always in shape and always giving a ton of effort. I think NC State could be in a much worse spot coaching-wise, but we’re 7 years in now and there are a few patterns that we’ve all seen that we’ve hoped would work themselves out. However, it’s looking like that’s not happening yet again.

Yes, this was one game, but I can’t make excuses for this any longer. Keatts teams lack discipline in a lot of places.

Sure, they play hard as heck, but they are constantly gambling on passes, trying to get deflections and they are always out of position on defense. Watch NC State play defense against a disciplined team that moves the basketball and understands spacing. They always look like they’re playing catch-up. They’re always a step late, having to rely on constant communication for switches, constantly late on rotations, and always in panic mode on the close-outs. Keatts may look at that type of ‘chaos’ on defense as a feature, not a bug. But it’s been 7 years and guys, it’s a bug. A well-laid-out and executed game plan against NC State almost always throws us for a loop.

Look, this type of defense isn’t bad. In fact, there are a lot of matchups where this defense is going to rattle your opponent, fluster opposing guards and win you basketball games. But there are also matchups where you can learn pretty fast that this type of defense is going to get chewed up by your opponent, and you HAVE to read that early before things get out of hand. Your team has got to be disciplined enough to be able to turn it off and on over the course of a basketball game.

Meanwhile, when real defensive pressure is applied to NC State, Keatts’ teams never seem to step back, collect themselves, and focus on running their offense. Instead, they revert to one-on-one isolation.

It happens EVERY SINGLE YEAR and it doesn’t seem like anyone does anything to stop it. That is not how you consistently win basketball games. It happened with Al Freeman in Keatts’ first season, it happened with CJ Bryce, Torin Dorn, Terquavion Smith, and Jarkel Joiner. Every year there is a guy that Keatts’ relies on to bail out his team with isolation and one-on-one basketball. ENOUGH!

The State fans blame the players for being selfish, but the pattern suggests it’s not the players, but the lack of an offensive system they trust. They just want to win so they’re doing it the best way they know how. And with the way the last 3 halves have gone, it looks like Casey Morsell is going to be forced into this year’s volume-scoring iso guy…and that’s not how you get the best out of Casey Morsell.

Hey NC State, your lack of a point guard is showing!
We all knew when NC State didn’t land a PG in the portal that things might be dicey this season. Sure, DJ Horne can bring the ball up the floor and has a real nice handle, and while you did land Mike O’Connell and brought back Breon Pass and LJ Thomas, none of those guys are ready to be an elite PG at the ACC level.

Horne is a scoring guard (style-wise), O’Connell is a PG, but doesn’t have the athleticism needed to be the main guy for a top tier ACC team. Breon Pass, despite his size, is more of a scoring guard (style-wise), and LJ Thomas looks like a scoring guard but is actually the one guy who resembles a PG out there (however, he certainly lacks experience).

Last night, NC State got punched in the mouth, right out of the gate. And instead of collecting themselves and steadying themselves, they short-circuited, panicked, and fell apart.

If you think that a PG is only good for dribbling up the floor or for piling up assists, then that right there will be. your fatal flaw as you put together a basketball team. A PG’s main role is pace control, emotional stability in the face of adversity and situational awareness. People put all those things in the bucket and call it “leadership” or “coach on the floor”, but it’s a set of skills that make an elite PG, which in turn, can help make an elite basketball team.

NC State doesn’t have that. They haven’t had nor prioritized a player like that in years, and that is one reason you see games like this take place year after year.

What was up with DJ Burns?
DJ is one of my favorite State players in years, but no one gets a pass in these articles. Burns turned in one of those rare performances we haven’t seen since his outing against Creighton in the NCAA tournament, which coincidentally was against another skilled 7-footer.

I know DJ is undersized in matchups like this, but the 7’5″ Jamarion Sharpe is kind of a twig. Burns at times buried him under the hoop, but missed the shot. I’m not really sure what was going on here. Burns was in pass-first mode, in a matchup I felt he would try to exploit.

I was expecting NC State to clear out, and let Burns back down Sharpe (Burns has a 40lb advantage). Once he’s down deep enough, I felt like he’d have to throw a few pump fakes and get creative due to Sharpe’s reach. Burns is a great passer, and certainly more dangerous when he gets deep since he has more options, but it just seemed like DJ didn’t want any part of Sharpe last night. This team is going to need the offense to run through him if they’re going to be successful. Again, void of a PG, Burns is going to have to play that role for this squad and last night he didn’t.

Diarra, our 6’10” stretch-forward, only getting 4 minutes? 
I know Diarra has been getting out of position a lot on defense and it’s bothering Keatts, but the guy is 6’10”, probably your best rebounder and you really needed to match Ole Miss’ ability to be big, agile, and physical. I was hoping to see a front court of Middlebrooks and Diarra for a bit, but never really got that chance.

Now look, Dennis Parker Jr. deserved the start. The kid has been playing great, but in the 2nd half of the BYU game and all last night, he looked a little shaken. And that’s fine for a Freshman, but 16 minutes, no points, and only 2 boards from your 4 man just ain’t gonna cut it. Especially, when your former starting PF logs just 4 minutes.

I know Keatts probably saw something different, but you were down 20 most of the night. I think a little more tinkering with your 6’10” guy might have been worth a shot, unless he’s still hurt, in which case all of this is moot.

——

We could keep going here and dive into the details, but I think we’re better off moving on. This was only one game, and I’m going to get criticized for overreacting, but that’s what this column is all about. And to be honest, I don’t feel like I’m overreacting. I feel like I’m witnessing this team, with all new players, fall into the same pattern that all of Keatts’ teams have fallen into over the years and I’m terrified of that. I want Keatts to succeed. I think he has the coaching intangibles that could make him a very successful coach here at NC State, but things need to change. Foundational, core principles need to be adjusted or we’ll see another NC State team that is streaky, matchup-reliant, and limps into the post-season.

I’d love to be proven wrong. I’d love for this team and this coach to make me eat these words. But these patterns I’ve glossed over or ignored over the Keatts era aren’t going away and it’s making me pretty nervous.

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Opinion

Wolferetti: Will the new NIL landscape hurt NC State’s ability to upgrade their facilities & hire new coaches? Does it matter?

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I’m going to go ahead and address the elephant in the room.

NIL is causing a problem for schools like NC State.

There’s only so much money to go around and donors are having to choose between donating to their alma mater for facility upgrades, coach salaries, and scholarships, or donating to these NIL Collectives which pool money to eventually pay players in hopes they can be convinced to come or stay.

This is the reality now. The time for being an old man and arguing against the concept is over. It’s time to figure out how to operate in this landscape.

Let’s take KC Concepcion for example.

He’s the best freshman receiver NC State has had in a long, long time. Heck, he’s the best receiver NC State has had in a long, long time. But this isn’t 2018 anymore. Concepcion is about to have some options. He’s going to have schools knocking down his door, offering him life-changing money to switch schools. If that’s the path he wants to take, he won’t even have to sit out a year. So how does a school like NC State compete?

Well, first off, they need to match the money. It’s a bidding game in almost every case. So, they need to pay him close to the going rate. And how will they get that money? Well, they’re going to be relying on donors…the same donors that NC State’s Athletic Department has been relying on for coaches salaries and facility upgrades for years and years.

But the economy isn’t exactly thriving right now, and these donors don’t seem all that willing to simply keep their university donations AND add on NIL donations, so there is a choice to be made.

Just yesterday, Dave Doeren took some (unwarranted) heat from the editor-in-chief of ‘The Athletic’ for asking donors to pitch into the NIL collectives before the portal opens this week.

But what do you want the guy to do? His job depends on winning, and the only way to win is to get-and-keep good players, and today, the only way to get-and-keep good players is to pay them.

So without many other options, that is what NC State Football is going to be forced to do.

That said, I personally know a few big donors who aren’t too thrilled with having to weigh these options. One of them refuses to donate to the NIL because he doesn’t believe players should be paid. While the other is pulling his funding from the university and sending money solely to NIL Collectives.

The latter is what NC State is bracing for behind the scenes.

If NIL continues as it is going, the player asks are only going to rise and to stay competitive, donors are going to have to foot that bill. Like I said, there is only so much money floating around in Raleigh. For schools like Texas or UK this might not be an issue, but if we’re going to be honest, in Raleigh (and most of the ACC) it will be.

Meanwhile, NC State needs a major upgrade to the Murphy Center and its weight room. It was a state-of-the-art facility when it was built, but it’s 20 years old now and needs an upgrade. At the same time, the university has been dying to get enough funding to extend the upper decks at Carter-Finley and close in the horseshoe.

And while the football team’s practice facility is just about 9 years old, it’s not long until they’ll want a pro-level, all-encompassing facility, like the mega-programs are building. Here is what Texas is about to build…

Once you understand this scenario played out over years and years, you start to understand why it looks like these schools and conferences are panicking. They need to find a reliable source of money going forward, and right now the focus is to increase these TV deals and milk every cent they can out of them (that TV deal money can’t be touched by NIL).

But how sustainable is that? I don’t know, and by the looks of the way it’s playing out across the NCAA, they don’t know either.

So either the NCAA gets some kind of control of the NIL situation, or schools like NC State are going to have to get creative.

And that might mean a host of things, but in the end, they’re going to have to start operating a lot more like a true business, leveraging assets and land that they may have, to create revenue that, right now, they aren’t accessing.

Meanwhile, us fans, we’re going to have to understand this, because decisions will have to be made that change things from the stats-quo we’ve grown accustomed to over the years.

It’s adapt or die right now in college sports and schools like NC State are the ones who are walking a razor-thin line. There is a way for them to flourish, take advantage of the system, and come out on top. But because there is not an unlimited pool of money here, there is also a way for them to mismanage this situation and fail.

The coming years will go a long way in letting us know which side of that coin NC State ends up on. But for the time being, there isn’t a clear message coming from the university on where a donor with a fixed budget should allocate their money.

The best we have right now is the football coach, Dave Doeren, letting the fans know that the NIL Collectives needs it the most right now, and fans and donors seem to be listening.

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