After picking up a commitment from Lavar Batts over the weekend, NC State’s roster looks a bit more flexible, especially given that Kevin Keatts is going to want to play some small ball. The point guard spot is going to be green, and that’ll create its own set of problems, but hopefully State’s defense will also generate more easy scoring opportunities in transition.
Here is a quick sketch of what we might be looking at, depth-wise, next season. Again, this is assuming no defections from players currently on the roster.
1: Markell Johnson / Lavar Batts / Henderson
2: Terry Henderson* / Rowan / Dorn
3: Maverick Rowan / Torin Dorn / Henderson / Shaun Kirk
4: Abdul-Malik Abu / Ted Kapita / Darius Hicks / Kirk
5: Lennard Freeman** / Omer Yurtseven
(* Henderson’s availability pending the success of his petition for a sixth season)
(** Conjecturing on Lennard, partly out of optimism. Still not sure exactly how ready he’ll be come November.)
An expanded bench is not necessarily likely with Keatts’ more energy-intensive system: in two of his three years at UNCW, the Seahawks finished 328th or lower in bench minutes. He wasn’t just running waves of guys out there.
No doubt he’s walking into a more talented roster in Raleigh, but how deep his first State team runs will be partly directed by how these guys fit into what he’s trying to do. For now, at least, he’s got a solid number of options.