Wolfpack Offers Fast-Rising 7-Foot Center

Brett Friedlander

With top recruit Josh Hall joining juniors D.J. Funderburk and Devon Daniels in the NBA draft process, NC State basketball coach Kevin Keatts has stepped up his pursuit of players for the 2020-21 season.

On Tuesday, he extended his latest offer, joining a number of other high-profile coaches in reaching out to fast-rising 7-foot center Quincy Ballard of Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem.

Ballard is at least the fifth player Keatts has reached out to over the past few weeks, even though the Wolfpack is currently at the NCAA limit of 13 scholarships. State has also reportedly made offers to Division I transfers Trey Wentz (Santa Clara) and Landers Nolley (Virginia Tech), junior college transfer El Ellis and former Wichita State signee JaDun Michael.

Michael has since committed to Elon.

Until recently, Ballard's only offers were from UNC Asheville and Missouri State. But over the past few days, the late-blooming native of Syracuse, N.Y., has garnered interest from Florida State, Maryland and Cincinnati, among others in addition to State.

According to StockRisers.com, Ballard plans to meet with his advisors on Friday and announce his college decision on Saturday.

“No need to wait when you can’t do the real visits,” he told the website, referring to the NCAA's moratorium on in-person contact between coaches and recruits until at least May 31 because of the coronavirus crisis.

If Ballard chooses the Wolfpack, someone currently on the roster would have to leave the program.

It's a contingency Keatts addressed recently during a Zoom conference with local media.

"We're talking to graduates, we're talking to different people,: Keatts said recently. " I know everybody loves to do the numbers game and they'll add up and say 'well, you've already got 13 guys and you've only got 13 scholarships.'

"In today's world, I can go to the (transfer) portal tonight and we could have five guys in the portal, not that it's going to happen. What if (someone tells Funderburk) he's a late first round guy or something happens with Devin? You have to continue to recruit just in case those situations happen."