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State Packs In A Big Saturday

As the Wolfpack picks up two highly desirable transfers

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Duke v North Carolina Wilmington
PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 17: Luke Kennard #5 of the Duke Blue Devils fouls C.J. Bryce #12 of the North Carolina-Wilmington Seahawks in the first half of their game during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 17, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Saturday was a good day for State basketball’s future: the Pack picked up two key transfers as Utah freshman Devon Daniels and UNC-W sophomore CJ Bryce both picked the Pack.

Daniels is 6-5 and hails from Battle Creek, Michigan. He had a good freshman year at Utah but admitted he struggled some with maturity. He played starter-type minutes but was suspended for three games near the end of the season for “conduct detrimental to the team.“

Assuming he grows up, and he recognizes he screwed up, he should be an asset.

Brice might be a lot easier to understand since he played for Keatts for two years at Wilmington.

The biggest question he has is how he’ll handle the jump competitively. For a small sample size from last season, he scored 18 against Clemson while Virginia held him to eight. And as a freshman, he scored 16 against Duke in the NCAA tournament.

Keatts obviously knows what he can do as well as anyone and wants to have him on his team again.

Both guys are 6-5 and will sit out next year.

It’s really difficult to know how guys will develop, but State could have a solid athletic core to work with. Shaun Kirk hasn’t played a lot but is a tremendous athlete. Darius Hicks isn’t bad either. Markell Johnson showed a lot as a freshman and Torin Dorn has some real talent too.

Toss in Lavar Batts and that’s a good foundation moving forward.

And while a lot of people wouldn’t think about it, State has a real strong point for the upcoming season: with the talent upgrades, practice is going to be extremely intense (it’s likely to prove very useful too that Bryce is really familiar with Keatts’ system and can help teach it to his new teammates).

We’re not saying State is necessarily going to have a massive turnaround in Keatts’ first year. We are saying however that he has quickly laid the groundwork for a very different program than we’ve seen for, well, a long time now.

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