Kevin Keatts took over the NC State basketball program prior to the 2017-2018 season, leading the Wolfpack to the NCAA Tournament in his first season. Four seasons later and Keatts has finally witnessed his first losing season, finishing 11-21 and last in the ACC.
Looking to bounce back and return to the Big Dance, Keatts reconstructed the NC State roster. The Wolfpack lost four players to the transfer route, Dereon Seabron to the NBA, and brought in four impact players from the portal.
The Portal Report takes a look at the new additions to the Wolfpack roster and how they will impact the ACC.
NC STATE’S TRANSFER PORTAL ADDITIONS:
D.J. BURNS, WINTHROP
15.0 PTS / 4.5 REB / 62.6% FG
JARKEL JOINER, OLE MISS
13.2 PTS / 3.0 REB / 2.3 AST / 1.2 STL
JACK CLARK, LA SALLE
12.0 PTS / 5.8 REB / 1.6 AST
DUSAN MAHORCIC, UTAH
5.5 PTS / 4.1 REB
The biggest offseason addition for the Wolfpack is the commitment of Winthrop big man D.J. Burns. The Rock Hill, SC native spent three seasons with the Eagles after redshirting at Tennessee. Burns burst onto the scene in the Big South, earning the conference’s Freshman of the Year honor in 2020. As a junior, the 6-foot-9 forward earn the Big South Player of the Year award, ranking ninth in the country in field-goal percentage. With the skill and size to play at the Power 5 level, Burns can contend with the likes of Armando Bacot and PJ Hall in the ACC.
Jarkel Joiner heads to Raleigh after two year stops at Cal State Bakersfield and Ole Miss. The Oxford, MS native is an elite scorer, averaging double digit points in all four seasons at the collegiate level. While in the Western Athletic Conference, Joiner set seven schools records with the Roadrunners and led the conference in scoring as a sophomore. With 114 career games and 101 starts, the 6-foot-1 guard has the experience and proven ability to play at the Power 5 level. The backcourt duo or Terquavion Smith and Joiner has the potential to be one of the best scoring duos in the conference.
Following three seasons and four years at La Salle, 6-foot-8 guard Jack Clark is making the jump from the mid-major level. Clark has the same innate scoring ability as Burns and Joiner, bringing firepower to the Wolfpack lineup. The Cheltenham, PA native is a career double-digit scorer and a nightmare for opposing defense as a tall and skillful guard. Clark earned All-Big 5 Second Team honors this past season, tallying career-highs in points, rebounds, and assists.
Dusan Mahorcic is the second Power 5 transfer for the Wolfpack this offseason, capping off a successful recruiting class for Kevin Keatts. Mahorcic, like the rest of the NC State transfer class, has experience. The Belgrade, Serbia native has seen action at four different schools, with an upcoming third season at the Division-I level. The frontcourt combination of Burns and Mahorcic is efficient around the rim and can help mitigate the loss of Dereon Seabron and Manny Bates.
With the overhaul of the Wolfpack roster, Kevin Keatts had two goals in mind: recruit scoring and experience. All four recruits have a minimum three years of collegiate experience and have the ability to scoring in double figures. As the trio of Burns, Joiner, and Clark join Terquavion Smith as elite scorers in Raleigh, the potential of the NC State offense is extremely high.
TPR’S PROJECTED LINEUP FOR NC STATE :
Jarkel Joiner, G
Terquavion Smith, G
Casey Morsell, G
D.J. Burns, F
Ebe Dowuona, F