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Led by Torin Dorn, Can NC State once again be a top-20 offense?

NC State is off and running. During a 3-0 start, the Wolfpack have shot above 41 percent on three-point attempts and 62 percent on two-point attempts. They have rebounded over 41 percent of their missed field goals; in terms of average offensive possession length, NC State ranks 18th in the nation (14.2 seconds), per KenPom. According to Synergy Sports, State has scored 1.1 points per possession in the half court.

Now, this production hasn’t come against the stiffest of competition; Mount St. Mary’s, Maryland Eastern Shore and UNC Asheville all rank outside the top 270 nationally in KenPom’s efficiency ratings. But it’s still fun to gawk at some early-season, small-sample numbers from a few different players.

 

Torin Dorn

Dorn is a wildly important flex piece for NC State. He allows the Wolfpack to play four-out without sacrificing too much on the defensive boards (career defensive rebound rate of 15 percent). With the departures of so many key offensive assets from last season — Omer Yurtseven, Sam Hunt, Al Freeman — it was obvious: Dorn was set to have a big senior season. So far, so good.

The 6-foot-5 forward has upped his usage rate, which currently hovers just under 28 percent (22.7 percent last season). He’s shooting three-pointers more frequently (over 32 percent of his FGA are 3PA) and getting to the line — 6.6 free throw attempts per 40 minutes. Dorn doesn’t put a ton of arc on his shot, but from the shorter college line, he’s been money to start the season (58.3 3P%).

In the half court, Dorn has scored 1.39 points per possession, according to Synergy Sports; that ranks No. 6 in the nation (minimum of 30 possessions). Two of the guys ahead of him are two of the best players in the country — Zion Williamson and Rui Hachimura. (Cam Johnson of North Carolina isn’t far behind, either.)

Dorn has absolutely sizzled on spot-up attempts, too: 2.22 points per possession (111.1 eFG%, lol).

 

DJ Funderburk

Welcome to the ACC, DJ Funderburk. In a reserve role, the former Ohio State Buckeye and JUCO star has really shined. Funderburk has scored 33 total points on only 15 field goal attempts; he’s shooting 90 percent at the rim, too (9-of-10 FGA).

He’s yet to turn the ball over (59 minutes of action), and has looked really good on the offensive glass. According to KenPom, Funderburk ranks 38th nationally with an offensive rebound rate of 19.6 percent (6.8 per 40 minutes). On put-back attempts after an offensive rebound, Funderburk is 5-of-6 (83.3 FG%).

Funderburk has already blocked six shots this season, too. That translates to 11.5 percent of the two-point field goal attempts while he’s been on the floor. Not too shabby.

 

Braxton Beverly

After missing the first game with a left hand injury, Beverly returned for the UMES game. He wasted little time — dribbling left and pulling up to hit a three-pointer. That’s been a trend of his to start the season.

All 14 of Beverly’s field goal attempts have been of the three-point variety: 7-of-14 (50 3P%). Last season, nearly 63 percent of Beverly’s field goal attempts came from beyond the arc. Looks like were headed in a similar direction this year.

 

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