Here are some thoughts and observations from NC State's 77-73 victory over Boston University at PNC Arena Saturday, which improved the Wolfpack to 6-2 on the season.
Torin Dorn Jr.
Obviously Dorn's performance was terrific and needed. The Charlotte-native finished with 22 points and, of as much importance, 11 rebounds. He also added a pair of blocks for good measure.
BeeJay Anya seems to be sliding into obscurity and Ted Kapita was plagued with foul woes in his first career start. Abdul-Malik Abu (five points and six rebounds) was underwhelming against Boston as well. Dorn's rebounding, whether in 4-guard or traditional sets, is likely going to be pivotal this season for the Wolfpack. He now has two double-doubles on the season and averages seven rebounds per game after the first eight contests.
Terry Henderson From Three-Point Range
Four three-pointers from the senior in 10 attempts will not set the world ablaze in terms of shooting percentage but with Maverick Rowan still out NC State will need some production from behind the arch. Henderson's effort bodes well for the Wolfpack, as there is no reason he cannot continue to hit those shots down the road when Rowan returns -- which will mean the Pack has multiple weapons in another facet of its game.
The stats will not jump of the screen but Johnson provides NC State will a valuable player off the bench. Most importantly, the Wolfpack will not be tied to a traditional lineup or depending on its starters as the game winds down. While he comes off the bench, expect the freshman to often be one of the players on the court during the waning moments of tight games. Johnson has earned trust.
NC State's four frontcourt players combined to finish with 12 points and 18 rebounds against Boston. Notably lower than expectations were Abdul-Malik Abu (five points and six rebounds) and Ted Kapita (six points and five rebounds). To be fair to Kapita, his struggles were a product of foul trouble. Abu has been inconsistent early this season. NC State head coach Mark Gottfried mentioned after the game that the Wolfpack need more from the junior.
It is hard to say what, if anything, NC State can expect from BeeJay Anya going forward. Out of shape and pulled from the starting lineup Saturday, Anya managed only four minutes of action. There will likely be games at some point where the senior is needed or the matchup lends itself to his strengths but his conditioning is such that extended minutes only seems possible when it is a necessity -- such as when the Wolfpack was missing several players on its trip to St. Thomas.
Free Throw Shooting
With 14 missed free throws, including several in the second half that could have eliminated the doubt of the outcome sooner, NC State has to shore up its shooting percentage from the charity stripe. The Wolfpack, particularly as it struggles defensively, is not a team that can squander scoring chances.
+/- is essentially the points scored by a team minus the points allowed by a team while a certain player is on the floor.
Terry Henderson: +15
Torin Dorn Jr.: +7
Ted Kapita: +5
Dennis Smith Jr.: +3
Abdul-Malik Abu: 0
BeeJay Anya: -1
Markell Johnson: -2
Darius Hicks: -7
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Dorn with his double-double would be a worthy nomination as well but Henderson made NC State a much better team when he was on the court. When he was on the bench due to foul troubles, Boston outscored the Wolfpack by 11 points. He expanded the offense with his shooting and his slashing ability meshes well with his teammates regardless of who is on the floor. It is important to remember that Henderson played 36 minutes, so the Terriers closed the gap when he was out of the game in only a limited amount of time.
Henderson finished with 23 points (8-for-14 FG, 4-for-10 3FG), three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
STAT OF THE GAME
NC State was plus-15 over Boston in the 36 minutes Terry Henderson played, while the Wolfpack was negative-11 points in the four minutes he sat on the bench,
"We had to battle some foul trouble. Terry, playing against the zone without Maverick, is probably the one guy you don't want to see in foul trouble. It makes the game a little harder. He stepped up and made a couple of big ones there for us." -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried