It was Senior Day at N.C. State and the Wolfpack put a different twist on one-and-dones.
Allerik Freeman and Sam Hunt, both graduate transfers to NCSU, played their final scheduled home game Saturday at PNC Arena as the Wolfpack topped Louisville, 76-69.
Freeman transferred from Baylor and Hunt from North Carolina A&T after graduation, and their only season with the Pack has come in Kevin Keatts’ first year as coach.
Seniors Lennard Freeman and Abdul-Malik Abu both were recruited by former coach Mark Gottfried and also were honored in the pregame ceremony as Keatts presented framed jerseys and the players received warm ovations.
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“When you think about Malik and you think about Lennard, they’re two guys who welcomed me into their program because it was their program before I took over as a head coach,” Keatts said. “I’m proud of those guys. Both have sacrificed their game a little bit for the team and certainly us winning 21 games and 11 conference games means a lot to those guys.
“When you think about Al Freeman and Sam Hunt, I also want to thank those guys because those guys came and trusted in me before I even coached one game here. It’s a special night for those guys. What a special group.”
Freeman missed the 2016-17 season following leg surgery and Abu was slowed this season by an MCL sprain suffered in October. The four players were in the starting lineup for the Pack, joining sophomore guard Markell Johnson.
Freeman has averaged 15.2 points as the Pack went into Saturday’s game seeking an 11-7 ACC finish. Hunt has been inconsistent at times but hit 14 three-pointers, going 14-of-17 from the arc, as the Pack won games last month over Syracuse, Wake Forest, Boston College and Florida State.
“It has been a real victory lap,” Hunt said at midcourt after the game, addressing the fans.
Sophomore Omer Yurtseven also may have played his last game at PNC Arena. The center from Turkey may decide to enter the NBA Draft after the season.