What has been expected for weeks (months?) at this point was officially made official. A few hours before the 11:59pm deadline to withdraw from consideration in the 2019 NBA Draft, NC State commit Jalen Lecque officially announced his decision on Twitter:
To say this was expected is an understatement, but we did need to see a formal decision one way or the other. Given that Kevin Keatts can count, he was well aware the scholarships didn’t add up unless this decision was made by Lecque, so we have to assume he has known for a while.
Lecque helped his draft stock at the Combine by having the highest vertical leap of anyone tested, at 43 inches. And his standing leap was second best overall, at 35 inches. Many mock drafts are putting him as a second round pick, with reviews saying he has great natural athletic abilities and upside (drink) but lacks polish. If only there had been a place he could go for a year to work on his skills (ah well). Ultimately, it’s hard to tell what State fans could have expected to see if he had played. Most of the video out there is of the hype tape variety, filled with flashy dunks but not a ton of jump shots.
Unsurprisingly, Coach Keatts kept it classy in his response to Jalen’s decision:
Coach Keatts on Jalen Lecque:— NC State Men's Bball (@PackMensBball) May 30, 2019
"I want to wish Jalen all the best as he pursues his dream of playing in the league. I enjoyed getting to know both Jalen and his family during the recruitment process, they are wonderful people and I wish them happiness and success in the future."
Keatts and everyone else can finally focus on the now complete roster for next season.