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NC State will host Ole Miss transfer Luis Rodriguez

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The addition of Levi Watkins to the staff appears to be paying off already.

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi at Kentucky Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

NC State is in need of some help at wing, and an emerging target who may be a good fit is Luis Rodriguez. No, I’m not talking about the former Minnesota Twins utility infielder, though I understand why your brain would go there immediately. I’m talking about the Luis Rodriguez who spent five years at Ole Miss.

He’ll be at NC State next week, per Justin Byerly. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest it isn’t a coincidence that this visit is happening shortly after Kevin Keatts hired Levi Watkins away from Ole Miss. The relationship between Rodriguez and Watkins could make State the frontrunner here.

Rodriguez, who is listed at 6’6 and 210 pounds, averaged 6.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game this season while starting 23 of 32 games for the Rebels. It was a down year for him shooting the ball—he made only 40% of his twos after shooting 53% inside the arc the year prior. He’s a career 47% shooter inside the arc, and a 30% shooter from three.

He’s an effective rebounder at both ends, which would also address an area of need. His rebounding percentages were almost identical to Dereon Seabron’s, just to give you an idea. In SEC play, he ranked 16th in OR% and fourth in DR%. In February, he grabbed 10 rebounds or more four times.

He’s been a light-usage guy in college, so he wouldn’t be coming in and dominating the ball; he has plenty of experience at the high-major level; and he’s put up pretty good defensive numbers, too. Assuming his two-point shooting moves closer to his career average next season, he’ll be a valuable player. NC State needs a lot of those.