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Torin Dorn’s fire helped ignite Wolfpack under Keatts

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When Torin Dorn committed to transfer to NC State, there was a lot of optimism going around.

Gottfried had picked up UNC-Charlotte’s leading scorer and Conference USA’s Freshman of the Year. Dorn was going to team up with Dennis Smith Jr. and create a high-energy, athletic duo that would set the ACC aflame.

That never happened.

Through the first eight games of the season, Dorn averaged almost 18 points and 7 rebounds per game. He was dominant. He was scoring from all 3 levels. He was exactly as billed. A quality scorer who could rebound and defend. But something happened after these 8 games. Dorn went cold. He lost confidence in his shot and it seemed that as Dennis Smith Jr. started to bloom as the team’s go-to scorer, Dorn found himself wondering what his role was.

He never recovered from that slump and finished the season averaging less than 10 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Not awful, but certainly not what Pack fans expected.

The narrative being spun was that the ACC was too tough for him. That he was a tweener who was too big to guard smaller guards, but too small to guard ACC wings. That’s how people explained his struggles, but that never made sense. Dorn had a few big games against elite opponents during the early going last season. It wasn’t his talent, it was how the team was using him.

Kevin Keatts saw that right away. After he was hired, Keatts immediately tabbed Dorn as one of the guys that would flourish in his run and gun, high-energy style system. He focused on building his confidence back up and challenging him to be heart and soul of this team.

With the regular season over, you can look back and see, Keatts was right. His system turned Dorn from a tweener with no defined role, to one of the league’s toughest mismatches. Slotting Dorn in at the 4 and going small allowed the Pack to harness all the things that make Dorn special.

It allowed him to use his toughness and physicality to match bigger forwards while having a huge advantage in quickness. That advantage in quickness without giving up much in strength allowed Dorn to create possessions for the Wolfpack. He did that by beating bigs to boards and grabbing offensive rebounds (he finished 2nd on the team with 76) and by harassing wings when they got the basketball outside of their comfort zone (he finished 3rd on the team in steals with 32.)

Offensively, Dorn has been just as good. He’s tied for 2nd on the team at 13.8ppg and is hitting an astounding 54% of his shots. Playing him at the 4 creates all kinds of problems for opponents. Bigger, slower bigs can’t stay in front of him and smaller wings can’t deal with his strength. He’s also got an always-on motor that is just kicking into high gear when opponents’ legs are starting to give.

When Dorn was forced to leave the Boston College game early in the first half with 2 fouls, it changed NC State as a team. Not only did they lose their best mismatch, but they lost the guy who embodies this team’s persona. They lost their ferocity, their physicality, and their attitude. It’s easy to forget how much this kid brings to the table until he’s not out there.

NC State fans are starting to understand this. Sure, he’s not the team’s best scorer or their best rebounder. He’s not their most athletic player or their biggest bruiser. But without Torin Dorn, NC State isn’t finishing tied for 3rd in the ACC. They don’t have 21 wins and they aren’t sitting around on selection Sunday wondering what seed they’re going to get.

Torin Dorn’s passion and toughness are his best attributes. They don’t show up in the box score and they aren’t talked about on ESPN. But they’re the reason NC State sits where they sit.

If NC State is going to turn it on in the NCAA Tournament, there is no doubt, Torin Dorn’s fire is going to be the fuel.

 

Video from @EverythingNCST

NC State Basketball

NC State is a 9-Point Favorite Over Hofstra in the 1st Rd of the NIT

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NC State (22-11) is a 9-point favorite over Hofstra (27-7/17-4) in the 1st round of the NIT tonight at 7pm in Reynolds Coliseum. The TOTAL is sitting at 163.

ESPN’s BPI Matchup Predictor gives the Wolfpack a 86.6% chance of victory.

  • NC State is 7-3 Against the Spread in its last 10 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of NC State’s last 5 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 6 of NC State’s last 8 games at home
  • NC State is 20-4 Straight Up when they are favored this year
  • Hofstra is 0-5 this season Straight Up as the underdog this year
  • NC State is 10-9 Against the Spread at home this year
  • Hofstra is 11-4 Against the Spread on the road this year
  • The TOTAL has gone UNDER in 12 of NC State’s games at Home this year

NC State is 2-0 all-time against Hofstra.

1983 – 82-56 (W)
2014 – 76-64 (W)

The Wolfpack barely covered the spread back in 2014, beating the Pride by 12 points, as 12.5 point favorites.

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NC State Women’s Basketball Earns #3 Seed in NCAA Tournament

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RALEIGH – For the second straight season, the 10th-ranked NC State women’s basketball team (26-5) will be hosting NCAA Tournament games in Raleigh. Announced Monday evening during the 2019 Women’s NCAA Tournament Selection Show on ESPN, the third-seeded Wolfpack will host 14th-seeded Maine on Saturday, March 23 at 1 pm inside Valvano Arena at Reynolds Coliseum on the campus of NC State University.

The Wolfpack hosted Maine on Dec. 15 of this season, defeating the Black Bears 84-46. Maine (25-7) has won 14 straight games and won its second consecutive America East Conference Tournament title, defeating three foes by an average of 22.6 points per game during the competition.

Saturday’s winner will take on the winner of sixth-seeded Kentucky and 11th-seeded Princeton on Monday, March 25 (time TBD). Kentucky and Princeton will open the action in Raleigh by playing at 11 am on Saturday, March 23.

NC State has played 16 NCAA Tournament games in the city of Raleigh throughout program history. The Wolfpack is 14-2 in these games and has not lost an NCAA Tournament contest in its home city since 1983. The 2019 season marks the Wolfpack’s 25th trip to the NCAA Tournament and 28th appearance in the top national postseason tournament (AIAW National Tournament appearances prior to the beginning of the NCAA Tournament in 1978, 1980, and 1981).

Last season, the Wolfpack hosted and defeated Elon (62-35) and No. 16 Maryland (74-60) in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament in Raleigh.

With a 26-5 record and a third-place finish in the Atlantic Coast Conference that was followed up by an exciting run to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament, the Wolfpack is in the midst of a very strong season and will be making its third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

Photo Credit: @PackWomensBBall

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NC State’s Looks to Win NIT for the 1st Time

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Look…I get it.

NC State coaches, players and fans of the program all wish the Men’s Basketball team was dancing in the NCAA Tournament.

The NIT is never the goal of any program.

Back in 1975, NC State legend David Thompson said…

“Personally, I don’t want to play another basketball game unless it’s in the NCAA. The NIT just seems like such a loser’s tournament.” 

While I get the sentiment, I don’t agree with Skywalker.

This team is not a group of losers, and they have been given another opportunity to put the Red and White on with pride, and stand as brothers once again, and beat whoever walks onto the court with them.

One of the best ways to stick it to the NCAA selection committee would be to win the NIT, something the Wolfpack have never done.

This will mark the 12th time NC State has played in the NIT (National Invitational Tournament), and they enter the 2019 tournament with a 16-12 NIT record.

The Wolfpack have made it to the Final Four of the NIT 4 times.

1947: 3rd Place
1976: 3rd Place
1978: 2nd Place
2000: 4th Place

NC State has only lost in the 1st round of the NIT on two occasions: 1948 & 1984.

(Via NC State Media Guide)

NC State has an opportunity before them to prove the doubters wrong.

Also, the Wolfpack fanbase has an opportunity to not cry over spilled milk, and show once again they are the most faithful and loyal fanbase in the nation. This isn’t a time to boycott. It’s a time once again to support your team.

If your invited to play in a tournament, you might as well win the dang thing.

 

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NC State Earns #2 Seed in NIT, Will Host Hofstra Tuesday

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While NC State didn’t make it into the 2019 NCAA Tournament, they have earned a #2 seed in the NIT, and will host Hofstra on Tuesday night in Reynolds Coliseum at 7pm on ESPN2.

If the Wolfpack wins they will face the winner of Georgetown and Harvard.

If they were to win that game, they would likely face a team from North Carolina in the Quarterfinals.

How on God’s green earth UNC-Greensboro earns a #1 seed, and the Wolfpack are slapped with a #2 seed in the same bracket…no words.

2019 NIT bracket

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