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What the departure of forward/guard Shaun Kirk means for the Wolfpack

NC State's Keatts talks about the transfer of Kirk to UNC Pembroke

'What a wonderful young man' says NC State coach Kevin Keatts about Shaun Kirk, who is transferring to UNC Pembroke.
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'What a wonderful young man' says NC State coach Kevin Keatts about Shaun Kirk, who is transferring to UNC Pembroke.

N.C. State junior forward/guard Shaun Kirk is transferring to UNC Pembroke, coach Kevin Keatts announced on Wednesday.

Kirk, who’s from Whiteville, has played in five games for the Wolfpack this season, and averaged 2.2 points per game.

Kirk (6-8 and 195 pounds) will join his younger brother, freshman guard Tyrell Kirk (6-4, 170 pounds), on the Braves.

“It’s kind of bittersweet today,” Keatts said. “What a wonderful young man. He’s always been about N.C. State. I’m excited for Shaun and Shaun is excited. He wanted to have the opportunity to go somewhere where he can have the opportunity to play a little more. He will play with his brother, who is a freshman and who is doing very well.”

Under NCAA rules, Kirk will sit out the rest of this season at UNC Pembroke and will have one season of eligibility with the Braves next season.

Watch NC State's Lavar Batts Jr., Markell Johnson and Shaun Kirk compete in the dunk contest during Primetime with the Pack at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, NC Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. Kirk won the contest.

Kirk’s departure means the Wolfpack is down to eight scholarship players and nine healthy players, including walk-on Spencer Newman, for Thursday’s game with Clemson and Sunday’s game at Virginia. Sophomore point guard Markell Johnson is suspended until his felony assault case in Cleveland, Ohio is resolved. Johnson has a pretrial conference scheduled for Tuesday.

Keatts said his shortened roster is going to make it “tough” to practice.

“I hope my coaches are in great shape,” Keatts said. “A lot of those guys may get out there and practice. It will be a challenge for us.”

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