December 2, 2020

Independent analysis and commentary on UVA athletics

ACC Offseason Refresh – #10 NC State

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The Markell Johnson era is over in Raleigh, as one of the most productive pass-first PGs in recent ACC memory graduates. The Wolfpack welcome a startling eight new faces to their eligible roster this season, and will look to see if this is the year Keatts can get them back to a winning league record after back-to-back .500 ACC seasons.

Coach: Kevin Keatts; 137-64 in 6 Seasons Overall; 65-36 (30-26) in 3 seasons at NC State

2019-20 Record: 20-12 (10); T-6th in ACC

2019-20 KenPom Efficiency:

National: AdjO: 110.7 (42nd of 353)
AdjD: 97.3 (79th of 353)
ACC: AdjO: 102.1 (8th of 15)
AdjD: 101.7 (8th of 15)

 

Roster Roundup

Departures:

PG Markell Johnson (Graduated)
31 G, 34.1 mpg, 12.8 ppg, 6.8 apg, 27% 3P%
G/F C.J. Bryce (Graduated)
28 G, 33.6 mpg, 13.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 33% 3P%
PF Pat Andree (Graduated)
27 G, 14 mpg, 4.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 30% FG%
C Danny Dixon (Graduated)
19 G, 5.7 mpg, 1.4 ppg, 1 rpg, 60% FG%

Returners:

PG Braxton Beverly (SR)
32 G, 24.8 mpg, 7.1 ppg, 1.2 apg, 37% 3P%
G/F Devon Daniels (RS SR)
32 G, 31.1 mpg, 12.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 32% 3P%
PF Jericole Hellems (JR)
31 G, 25.5 mpg, 9.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 40% FG%
C DJ Funderburk (RS SR)
30 G, 26 mpg, 12.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 61% FG%
C Manny Bates (RS SO)
29 G, 18.4 mpg, 5.1 ppg, 4 rpg, 66% FG%

Additions:

PG Cam Hayes (4-star FR)
PG Shakeel Moore (3-star FR)
PG Thomas Allen (RS JR Transfer, Nebraska)
29 G, 30.2 mpg, 8.7 ppg, 2 apg, 36% 3P%
SF Dereon Seabron (3-star RS FR)
F AJ Taylor (RS SO Transfer, Southwest Missouri CC) 
PF Nick Farrar (3-star FR) 
F/C Jaylon Gibson (3-star FR) 
C Ebenezer Dowuona (3-star FR)

Outlook

The Wolfpack roster is in some legit flux this offseason. It’s not so much from what they lose, as three graduated rotation players (floor general Markell Johnson, scoring wing CJ Bryce, and stretch big Pat Andree) is a pretty basic offseason, though the defection of 5-star freshman Josh Hall to the G-League was an extra blow.

But what stands out is their volume of new faces, with eight players debuting for State this season. They’ve got stability and veteran presence from a quintet of competent returners in PG Beverly, wing Daniels, and big men Hellems, Funderburk, and Bates. But State’s fortunes truly rest of how much they can get out of their newcomers. Nebraska transfer Thomas Allen is coming off his redshirt year, and along with 4-star rookie PG Cam Hayes and 3-star Shakeel Moore, will push Beverly for time at the guard spots. The forward spots will similarly have a lot of competition, with Seabron coming off a redshirt year and AJ Taylor arriving from Southwest Missouri CC, fighting for backup minutes at the 3 and 4. The 5-spot is the one place the veterans (Funderburk and Bates) probably make the rookies obsolete. Expect some redshirts for roster management, as at the moment coach Keatts has 13 scholarship players eligible.

It’s almost too much, which could hamper State’s ability to nail down a tight 8/9 man rotation, and Keatts has some heat to make this a year they break back through as an NCAAT team. This team lacks next-level stars, so asking them to place in the league’s top tier is likely a stretch, but it’s a fair expectation for them to break out of the league’s competitive middle to finish north of .500 in league play and make the Dance.