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How Should N.C. State Address Its Open Scholarship?

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With Josh Hall off to the pros, NC State has to decide what to do with a scholarship

Virginia v North Carolina State Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Time to move forward now so I am not going to rehash what happened only to say it’s left Kevin Keatts and the NC State coaching staff with a decision to make. The sting of losing a guy with the potential to be your best scorer may lead to some reactionary responses of what to do to mitigate that loss. Last year Danny Dixon committed when we still 13 scholarships locked up. Once Jalen Lecque departed, that scholly went to him. For this year let’s look at the various options on the table as well as their pros and cons (assuming the roster remains stable and DJF returns).

Do Nothing

I mean...

Pros: Still have 12 guys on scholarship, with 9 potential returners for 2021-22...keeps current team happy with 20-30 minutes of playing time freed up...can boost morale as staff shows they have confidence in current players to get it done...saves an extra scholarship for a high-level 2021 recruit

Cons: Team still lacks scoring, perimeter shooting...lack of star power (i.e. Top 50, one-and-done) may relegate some games to less than marquee matchups...miss out on experienced depth pieces

Land a Graduate Transfer

Though later in the process there are still graduate transfers out there and its possible some more may come available...in guess when?...JUNE (or ya know May or July)

Pros: Immediately available to contribute...adds experience to a team with only 6 players who’ve played significant College Basketball

Cons: May not have a quality fit available that matches play style or is ACC-caliber...sends message to the team that the 12 aren’t enough to win this year

Land a Traditional Transfer

Same as above, though there are likely more of these guys available as rosters fluctuate with guys returning to school and late coaching changes.

Pros: Experienced college basketball player...doesn’t interfere with current playing time...can find a player that slots in anywhere to replace departures of Beverley, Daniels and Funderburk in 2021.

Cons: Finding a good, quality fit for the team...locks up a scholarship for years that could go to a higher quality Class of 21 guy, ‘21 impact transfer or beyond...

Self-Impose a Scholarship Reduction

With the uncertainty surrounding what’s next in this new NCAA independent commission process, we could look to avoid a postseason ban by offering to self-impose a scholarship reduction for 2020-2021.

Pros: May be appealing to NCAA as enough punishment...with no appeals process, being proactive with a “plea deal” may prevent needing to be reactive to a final decision...

Cons: Is it possible this late in the game?...Too transparent in gaming the system...hasn’t proven to satisfy the NCAA’s arbitrary decision-making in the past...heck, we’re gonna sue the SOBs anyways

If we had a hard-working walk-on who was a rising senior, my favorite suggestion would’ve been to give them the scholarship similar to how football is able to do each year. Personally, I think we are two deep at every position with multiple guys who are versatile enough to play multiple. There is also no way we will run 12 players deep throughout the year so if a guy like Nick Farrar needs more time to get ready, I’d consider redshirting him. It was for different reasons but it did wonders for Manny Bates who looked and played like an ACC-caliber center from Day 1. If we are beset with random concussions, injuries or off-the-court nonsense that keeps a couple guys out for longer than need be, you can always burn the redshirt to supplement your depth. So my vote is to do nothing, and if a Sarr caliber wing opens up over the next couple months (like you know, June) then we still have that scholarship to play with.

But what do you think? Are there pros and cons I’ve missed? Have I covered all the options? Feel free to vote in the poll and leave your comments below.

Poll

What should NC State do with its open scholarship?

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Do Nothing
    (179 votes)
  • 37%
    Find a Grad Transfer
    (217 votes)
  • 14%
    Find a Traditional Transfer
    (82 votes)
  • 16%
    Self-Impose a Scholarship Reduction
    (95 votes)
573 votes total Vote Now