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ACC Now Mailbag: Will Kevin Keatts recruit Lavar Batts or Blake Harris?

NC State's Keatts: We are going to try to go after the best recruits in the country

VIDEO: NC State Wolfpack new head basketball coach Kevin Keatts talks about recruiting during an introductory press conference at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, March 19, 2017.
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VIDEO: NC State Wolfpack new head basketball coach Kevin Keatts talks about recruiting during an introductory press conference at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, March 19, 2017.

N.C. State hired Kevin Keatts on Friday and recruiting could be a challenge since the final signing date for Division I college basketball is May 17.

About twice a month, I’ll answer readers’ recruiting questions about Duke, North Carolina and N.C. State. Tweet your questions to @jonmalexander and use the hashtag #AskJMA. Or email me at jalexander@newsobserver.com.

We had a small mailbag this week. Let’s get to it:

@adamsamore asks “Could you see K2 (Keatts) going after Lavar Batts (if WW leaves VCU) or Blake Harris? It seems that guards will love this style!” (Note: This question was asked before VCU’s Will Wade left to become head coach at LSU.)

@jonmalexander: I think there is a strong possibility he will. For one, Keatts offered Batts a scholarship to UNC-Wilmington last year.

On Sunday, Keatts said he wouldn’t sign anyone who didn’t fit into his system, which features a fast-paced style of play and constant pressure on defense. Obviously he thought Batts fit into that system while at UNCW.

VIDEO: NC State Wolfpack new head basketball coach Kevin Keatts talks about recruiting during an introductory press conference at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, March 19, 2017.

Batts, a 6-2, 165-pound guard who plays for J.M. Robinson in Concord, is one of the quickest guards I’ve seen come out of the state since Ishmael Smith, who eventually went to Wake Forest from 2006-2010.

Batts averaged 23.3 points per game, 5.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists. He’s also ranked the top recruit in the state, according to 247sports.com.

It seems likely Batts will request a release from VCU. Batts’ father, Lavar Batts Sr., said in an interview Tuesday that his son is looking at his options and waiting to see which coaches will call.

When asked what his son’s priorities were, Batts said he was looking for a good school with a good family-oriented situation.

“And on the court, a good fit for Lavar, where he can get up and down the court at a high tempo,” the elder Batts said. “That’s one of the reasons we chose VCU.”

For Harris, yes. He’s a Triangle guy. He recently announced he was granted a release from Washington and would reopen his recruitment.

On Wednesday, Harris posted a picture he and Keatts together. He called it a “great talk.”

Harris, a 6-3, 185-pound guard, ran the show for Word of God, which finished 27-6.

Both of those players are in a tough situations, because Washington’s coach, Lorenzo Romar, was fired, and Wade left for LSU.

Having either one of those players would be a plus for N.C. State.

@RoshanWirasinha asks: Any rumors on Duke landing a PG grad transfer if they strike out on (Trevon) Duval or (Tremont) Waters.

@jonmalexander None that I am aware of. But I expect Duke will likely land Trevon Duval.

For those who don’t know Duval, he is the No. 5 ranked recruit in the country, and the top point guard, according to 247sports.com’s rankings. He is 6-3, 190 pounds, and played for IMG Academy in Florida this season.

He’s visited Duke twice in the past two months, and went to the Duke-Carolina game at Cameron, where Duke won.

He wrote about his experience in a blog.

Duke really needs a point guard, and that evident in its loss to South Carolina over the weekend. Junior guard Grayson Allen and freshman guard Frank Jackson were responsible for those duties this year, but neither is a true point guard.

I expect Mike Krzyzewski, now out of the tournament, will put the full court press on Duval.

Jonathan M. Alexander: 919-829-4822, @jonmalexander

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