Keatts at home among ACC Hall of Famers at conference meeting
Posted 6:22 p.m. Wednesday
Updated 6:52 p.m. Wednesday
Sanibel, Fla. — Kevin Keatts may be enjoying his first round of ACC annual meetings as the head men's basketball coach at North Carolina State University, but he's hardly a stranger to the others in the room.
"It’s funny because I’ve known every coach in that room for a long time, whether it was in recruiting or when I was a Hargrave Military Academy or you look at the two guys we played the last couple of years in Duke and UVA. I’ve known those guys through different circles," Keatts said.
He acknowledged that as the new guy at the table, he was doing more listening than speaking up.
"I think when you first come into a meeting, this being my first year, I listen to a lot of different things. You want to see kind of, how things go," Keatts said. "I think next year, obviously, I’ll have more of an opinion on certain things."
But he was not completely silent. He offered a unique perspective to the other ACC basketball coaches, especially on the topic of transfers.
"The other thing that he brings for us is a mid-major viewpoint on some of these things that we would not have a feel for," said Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski. "His perspective on a few of the items was welcomed, and he’s a smart guy. He’s going to be alright. He added value, and I’m sure he’ll add a lot of value in the future."
Meeting with other coaches is not Keatts' top priority as he settles into his new job. Filling out his roster is.
"It’s been a difficult thing for us. I think it’s a work in progress," he said. "Clearly I won’t have a clear understanding about who is on my roster until possibly the withdrawal of the NBA."
College players who declare for the draft have until June 12 to decide whether to sign with an agent and commit to going pro or return to college for the 2017-18 season. That includes freshman Omer Yurtseven who showed pretty well at the NBA Combine.
"I think it’s a very valuable experience that he’s getting," Keatts said. "I think he’s really, legitimately 50-50 on whether he comes back to NC State or he decides to stay in the draft."