N.C. State’s bench looked different during Wednesday’s win over Syracuse.
The Wolfpack was missing two eligible players and a third, a transfer who is sitting out the season.
Sophomore guard Blake Harris missed the game with the flu and graduate transfer guard Eric Lockett missed the game with a “personal matter,” according to a statement put out by the team before the Wolfpack’s 73-58 win over the Orange.
Junior forward Sacha Killeya-Jones, a transfer from Kentucky, was also not at the game. Killeya-Jones is not eligible this season, he has to sit out under NCAA transfer rules, and his status on the Wolfpack roster going forward is unclear.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News & Observer
“Sacha is currently not a member of our program and that’s all I can say right now,” N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts said after the game.
Keatts did not provide any clarity on Harris or Lockett, either.
“I won’t comment on Lockett or even Blake Harris no further than what we released.”
Of the absent players on Wednesday, Lockett has been the most valuable this season. The 6-5, 193-pound grad transfer from Florida International has averaged 5.0 points and 16.9 minutes per game and appeared in 22 games.
Harris, a 6-3, 190-pound transfer from Missouri, has been used sporadically since ACC play began. He has averaged 3.5 points and 9.9 minutes per game. He has not played in four ACC games, by Keatts’ choice, and then a fifth on Wednesday due to illness.
Killeya-Jones (6-11, 220 pounds) was a five-star recruit out of high school in 2016. A McDonald’s All-American, he signed with Kentucky but failed to make an impact with the Wildcats.
He averaged 2.7 points and 2.1 rebounds as a freshman in 2016-17 and 3.3 points and 2.9 rebounds last season for Kentucky.
Killeya-Jones, who is from Chapel Hill, would have limited transfer options at the Division I level. He would lose a year of eligibility if he transferred a second time without an undergraduate degree.
If Killeya-Jones’ exit is permanent, then Keatts will have another scholarship available for the offseason. There’s already been significant roster turnover since Keatts took over the program in 2017.
Four players transferred off the team after the start of the 2017-18 season and another one, freshman forward Ian Steere, after only one game this season.