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NC State freshman Ian Steere misses UMES game, might decide to transfer

NC State’s Keatts on Ian Steere’s future with Wolfpack

NC State coach Kevin Keatts talks about forward Ian Steere, who missed the Wolfpack's victory over Maryland Eastern Shore on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, and might decide to transfer out of the program.
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NC State coach Kevin Keatts talks about forward Ian Steere, who missed the Wolfpack's victory over Maryland Eastern Shore on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, and might decide to transfer out of the program.

N.C. State didn’t have Ian Steere for Saturday’s win over Maryland-Eastern Shore and the freshman forward might not be back.

Wolfpack coach Kevin Keatts said Steere is in the process of making a decision about his future at N.C. State. The 6-9, 261-pound freshman played 5 minutes in N.C State’s season-opening win on Tuesday and then had a conversation with Keatts on Friday about the possibility of transferring.

“I told him to sit back and take a couple of days and decide if this is the best fit for him or if there’s another place that he can feel like he could go,” Keatts said.

Steere had had four points and four rebounds in 5 minutes in the 105-55 win over Mount St. Mary’s on Tuesday. He was behind Wyatt Walker and D.J. Funderburk in a three-forward rotation.

Keatts’ preferred style is to play one “big” at a time with four guards. Walker, a graduate transfer from Samford, started and played 22 minutes on Tuesday. Funderburk, a junior-college transfer, logged 20 minutes.

Steere, a three-star recruit from Sanford, was ranked No. 140 in the class by 247Sports. He was one of four recruits to sign with N.C. State during the 2017 fall recruiting period. If he decides to transfer, there would only be two freshmen from that class (forward Manny Bates, wing Jericole Hellems) left on the roster. Wing Saddiq Bey was released from his Letter of Intent in May and ended up at Villanova.

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N.C. State’s head coach Kevin Keatts talks with Ian Steere (21)during the second half of N.C. State’s 111-62 exhibition victory over Chowan at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, Oct. 29, 2018. Ethan Hyman ehyman@newsobserver.com

Keatts has added nine transfers since he was hired in April 2017 and has lost four transfers. Keatts said he did not know what Steere would decide to do but he would talk again with him on Monday.

“I wanted him to take a couple of days and make sure that he was excited and is still excited about being at N.C. State,” Keatts said.

If Steere decides to transfer, Keatts would have only two nominal bigs (Walker and Funderburk) on the roster. He said he wasn’t worried about the depth at the “5” position.

“We can get away with that,” Keatts said. “If you look at any roster, it’s hard to be able to play three centers on any roster.”

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