Manny Bates enters transfer portal, trouble continues for NC State

After four years with NC State’s basketball program, Manny Bates will enter the NCAA transfer portal. Once again, it’s time to sound the alarm bells in Raleigh. Things aren’t in a very good place for Kevin Keatts and the Wolfpack.

One of the top rim protectors in the country, Bates injured his right shoulder in the first game of NC State’s 2021-22 season. He never returned to the floor.

Bates took a redshirt his freshman year — the 2018-19 season. The following year, however, he became a fixture of NC State basketball, especially on the defensive end. Bates played in 54 games, making 50 starts. For his career, he averaged 7.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game.

During the 2019-20 season, Bates led the nation with a 16 percent block rate. As a sophomore, Bates posted a 10.7 percent block rate, a top-20 number nationally.

Bates improved as an offensive player. He even started to show flashes of a low-post game in the 2020-21 season — mixing in a right-handed hook shot. Most of his finishes, though, came on cuts or rolls to the rim; Bates shot 64.7 percent from the floor while at NC State, including 71 dunks his redshirt freshman and sophomore seasons.

More importantly, though, Bates is an excellent rim-runner, which is key component of one of the top high-volume pick-and-roll offenses in the country. Over the last two seasons, NC State has relied on Bates diving to the rim to bend opposing defenses and force rotations.

Several other NC State player have already entered the transfer portal, too: backup center Jaylon Gibson and point guard Cam Hayes.

Currently, NC State awaits NBA Draft decisions from its top two players: Dereon Seabron and Terquavion Smith. Regardless of what happens with Seabron and Smith, this roster is in bad shape; the majority of it will turnover after this season. Keatts and the Wolfpack have been active seeking out transfer players, but so far, nothing has landed.

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