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Lavar Batts, a one-time member of VCU’s 2017 recruiting class, opened his college recruitment back up, received his release, and committed to N.C. State on Saturday morning.
In so doing, Batts became the first commit of the Kevin Keatts era in Raleigh. He brings electricity to the lead guard spot and toughness and excellent defense out on the perimeter.
Batts, who was the gem of VCU's class when he signed back in the fall, decided to open things back up and look at all of his options due to the recent coaching change at VCU. (Will Wade was named the head coach at LSU.) Add in the fact that N.C. State, the local ACC program, also had a coaching change, and it was only a matter of time before a partnership was made.
“Coach (Kevin) Keatts has the same vision for Lavar that we have for him. He was always recruiting him dating back to his sophomore year at UNC-Wilmington, even though he knew he had a long shot, but he has always followed Lavar,” Lavar Batts Sr. said. “Once it happened, we felt like it was a blessing in disguise and that God had a plan for it to happen this way.”
The fact that Keatts is planning to instill a similar style of play in Raleigh that he utilized in Wilmington, along with the need at N.C. State, was also appealing.
“We watched UNC-Wilmington in the tournament and we believe he definitely fits their style in getting up and down the floor, attacking the rim and staying aggressive," Lavar Batts Sr. said. "He wants a guard that is going to push it, play defense full court and play at a high level."
Batts’ dream of playing at the highest level and close to home has now come full circle.
“It was nothing against VCU. They have a great coach, a great place and a great program and they’re always going to do well,” Batts Sr. said.
“(Former N.C. State assistants) coach (Bobby) Lutz and Coach (Rob) Moxley loved him but they never offered. I would say, if they would have, Lavar probably would have been there originally.”