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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

The NEW & HUGE Video Board at PNC Arena has been Raised!

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Back in the Spring, news broke that a new video board was going to be hung up in PNC Arena before NC State’s upcoming Men’s Basketball season, and today we got our first look at it raised up in the rafters.

The video board is a whopping 4,000 square feet hanging in the air.

That’s 180% larger than the old one.

 

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NC State Basketball

Tip-Off Times Set for Most of NC State’s 2019-20 ACC Slate

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The NC State Men’s Basketball schedule was released last Thursday, but the tip-off times for all but one of their ACC games now have been revealed.

The only ACC game we don’t know the tip-off time for is the game at Wake Forest on December 7th.

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Katz Projects NC State as a #10 Seed in the 2020 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament 50 Days Out

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We are 50 days out from the start of the 2019-20 College Men’s Basketball season, and NCAA.com’s Andy Katz released an early Bracketology, projecting that NC State will be a #10 seed in the 2020 NCAA Tournament, playing St. Mary’s in the 1st Round.

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Athlon Predicts NC State’s Men’s Basketball Team to Finish 5th in ACC in 2019-20

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Athlon released their 2019-20 College Basketball preview, and they predict that NC State’s Men’s Basketball team will finish 5th in the ACC this season.

  1. Duke
  2. Louisville
  3. UNC
  4. UVA
  5. NC State
  6. FSU
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Miami
  9. Syracuse
  10. Georgia Tech
  11. Clemson
  12. Boston College
  13. Wake Forest
  14. Pittsburgh
  15. Virginia Tech

Here’s a rundown of what they had to say about the Wolfpack.

  • Returning 6 of top 7 scorers from last year
  • Redshirt Junior D.J. Funderburk needs to rebound more consistently, and stay out of foul trouble.
  • The version of Senior Markell Johnson that finished the season will be needed for NC State to get back to the NCAA Tournament.
    • Needs to be a consistent leader and scorer.
  • Junior Braxton Beverly needs to figure out a way to run more hot than cold.
  • Consistency from Redshirt Junior Devon Daniels would go a long way.
  • Team should be back in the NCAA Tournament.
  • With a reloading year for Duke, UVA and UNC, Keatts will get few opportunities like this one.

Pick up your own copy of Athlon’s 2019 College Basketball Preview at your local store.

 

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