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PLAYER PREVIEW: Jericole Hellems looks to follow in the footsteps of the ‘do-it-all’ Dorn

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Freshman forward Jericole Hellems isn’t an elite shooter. He’s not an elite ballhandler. He’s a forward thats only 6’6. So why did NC State head coach Kevin Keatts single out Hellems as a priority in the class of 2018?

Because Hellems is the type of player that Kevin Keatts wants to build his team around. A blue-collar, do-it-all, make no excuses kind of kid who loves to defend and can guard every position on the court. We call this the ‘Quintessentialntial Keatts-guy” and this is the type of player who will find success in Keatts system.

“Fitting into Coach Keatts’ system with my game is just being everywhere and just doing a lot of everything. I think I can play inside and I can guard 1 through 5. I just feel like I can do a lot to help the program and fit Coach Keatts’ style.”

Now, don’t’ get us wrong, Hellems is no slouch. He’s coming to NC State as the 130th ranked player in his class, sporting 4-star status according to Rivals.com. However, there’s always a learning curve when coming from high school into the ACC. Hellems is finding that out fast.

“I learned a lot, especially the first couple of weeks. Just working out with the older guys, it’s a lot harder to score than in HS. You just have to work on different bits of your game and take parts and pieces from the older guys and try to learn from them and listen to the coaches.”

One of the older guys that Hellems should be really watching is the guy who Keatts recruited him to replace.

Torin Dorn is in his final season with the Wolfpack, and just like Hellems, he came out of high school as a master of none. Dorn was strong, gritty, decently athletic, but was a tweener at 6’5 and had a suspect jump shot. He quickly proved, during his freshman season at UNC-Charlotte, that he could hang at the Conference USA level. After winning freshman of the year in that conference, Dorn transferred to NC State, and although he started out hot, once State started facing real competition, Dorn struggled.

When Keatts arrived last year he did something not many saw coming. He moved the 6’5 Dorn to the power forward spot. That is where Dorn flourished. He was physical enough to band with the bigger guys on defense, but quick enough to cause mismatches on offense. This season Dorn enters as a leader of the Pack, and behind him is his protege, Jericole Hellems.

Hellems will split time between the 3 and the 4, but likely will be groomed for Dorn’s role upon his exit. To get to that point, he’s going to have to learn what it takes to play at the ACC level. What has been the most difficult part of that thus far?

“Adjusting by trying to get used to the speed. Trying to pick up where I left off from in HS. It’s different so you just have to build on stuff.” Said Hellems.

Luckily, Hellems doesn’t need to wait until games start to feel what it’s like to play at an ACC level. Word is that NC State practices are more competitive than they’ve ever been. Fueling that is a roster that’s 2 or 3 deep at every position.

“(Practice) is crazy competitive. I think it gets each and everyone better every day. It’s a blessing to be in a position to play with these guys and learn from them and from coach, too.”

If Hellems can get up to speed, provide solid defense and good rebounding for the Pack, then he’ll likely carve out a little role for himself on this team. Keatts has already proven that he knows what to do with a 6’6 tough-nosed tweener.

NC State Basketball

NC State’s ACC Leaders Heading Into Week 6 of College Basketball

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We are heading into Week 6 of the 2018-19 Men’s College Basketball season, and NC State is currently 8-1. Here’s a look at which Wolfpack players rank among the ACC leaders through 9 games of non-conference play.

Senior Torin Dorn is leaving his mark all over the box score, ranking 11th in scoring (16.1), 13th in rebounding (7.2), 7th in steals (2.0) and 6th in field goal percentage (53.3%).

Junior Point Guard Markell Johnson ranks 7th in the ACC (4.22), 6th in Assist/Turnover Ratio (2.53) and 2nd in 3-Point Field Goal Percentage (48.6%).

 

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NC State Men’s Basketball Falls to #37 in the Week 6 Coaches Poll

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The Week 6 Coaches Poll is out, and the NC State Men’s Basketball team fell two spots to #37. Last week the Wolfpack only played one game, defeating Western Carolina 100-67. They will take on Penn State this Saturday in the Boardwalk Classic at 2pm in Atlantic City.

ACC Teams in the Week 6 Coaches Poll Top-25

2) Duke (+1)
3) Virginia (+1)
10) FSU (+1)
12) UNC (-)
13) Virginia Tech (+1)

ACC Teams Receiving Votes

32) Syracuse (+2)
37) NC State (-2)

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NC State Moves Up to #32 in the Week 6 AP Men’s Basketball Poll

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The Week 6 AP Men’s Basketball Poll is out, and NC State moved up 2 spots to #32 after beating Western Carolina 100-67 last Wednesday.

ACC Teams in the Week 6 AP Poll Top-25

2) Duke (+1)
6) Virginia (-2)
10) Florida State (+1)
12) UNC (+2)
13) Virginia Tech (+2)
25) Syracuse (+2)

ACC Teams Receiving Votes

32) NC State

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NC State Ranks 15th in NBCSports Week 6 Men’s Basketball Top-25

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NBCSports revealed their Week 6 Men’s College Basketball Top-25 last night, and NC State moved up two spots to #15.

Week 6 Top-25

1. Duke (9-1, Last week: 2)
2. Michigan (10-0, 3)
3. Tennessee (7-1, 6)
4. Gonzaga (9-1, 1)
5. Virginia (9-0, 4)
6. Kansas (8-0, 5)
7. Nevada (10-0, 7)
8. Auburn (8-1, 8)
9. North Carolina (7-2, 9)
10. Florida State (8-1, 10)
11. Texas Tech (8-0, 11)
12. Michigan State (8-2, 13)
13. Virginia Tech (8-1, 14)
14. Wisconsin (8-2, 15)
15. N.C. State (8-1, 17)
16. Ohio State (8-1, 19)
17. Arizona State (7-1, 20)
18. Purdue (6-4, 18)
19. Villanova (8-2, UR)
20. Syracuse (7-2, UR)
21. Marquette (8-2, UR)
22. Buffalo (9-0, UR)
23. Mississippi State (8-1, 25)
24. Iowa (7-2, 23)
25. Nebraska (8-2, 24)

New Additions: 19. Villanova, 20 Syracuse, 21. Marquette
Dropped Out: 12. Kentucky, 16. Kansas State, 21. Creighton (NBCSports)

NBCSports has been a believer in the Wolfpack from the start this year, ranking them 23rd in their Preseason Poll.

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