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No longer wingin’ it: Henderson, Dorn boost Pack’s perimeter

 

A few weeks back, before the season started, we detailed how Terry Henderson could help unlock NC State’s offense with his perimeter marksmanship. In 2015-16, the Wolfpack scored just 25 percent of their total points from beyond the arc; the national average was 29 percent. As a team, they shot just 34.8 percent on 3-pointers. The lack of shooting was overt, and it allowed opponents to stack the paint while Cat Barber tried to dance around three defenders. It was suboptimal.

Henderson, however, is back for one last season of college basketball, and the West Virginia transfer is emptying the bucket for a Wolfpack team that ranks 18th in the nation in offensive efficiency: 112.8 points per 100 possessions. Henderson has teamed up with Dennis Smith Jr. and Torin Dorn to form a tasty perimeter trio that’s averaging a combined 51.6 points per game — that’s 61.6 percent of their scoring.

The senior wing is getting up seven attempts from beyond the arc per game, which is exactly what State needs. Over 60 percent of his field goal attempts are of the three point variety. Henderson has made 40 percent of those attempts (14-of-35), including a 7-of-11 performance against Creighton. Those seven 3-pointers were a career-high. He isn’t Scott Wood, but that shooting will go a long way for the Wolfpack.

Henderson has used 21.2 percent (a slightly above average number), but has recorded a turnover rate of just 8.1 percent; this is a really good number. He also gives Smith and Dorn a partner to run with in transition; the senior from Raleigh can finish above the rim.

Speaking of Dorn — the sophomore wing, by a variety of metrics, has been even more efficient. He’s played more minutes than anyone else on NC State’s roster (177); according to Sports-Reference.com, he’s second on the team in player efficiency rating (22.3). Dorn shoots less frequently from distance, but he’s hit 50 percent of his threes (8-of-16), but he’s been lethal from the land of two. The Charlotte transfer is shooting 68.4 percent from inside the arc — the best number on the team. Abdul-Malik Abu is a wildly efficient interior scorer, but Dorn has outpaced him from the interior.

His true shooting rate, which factors in accuracy from the three point arc and free throw line, of 70.4 ranks inside the top 75 in the nation, according to Ken Pomeroy. This prolific shooting clip is likely unsustainable; however, we’re now 37 games into Dorn’s college career, dating back to his time in Conference USA. He’s a 52.5 percent shooter. Even after some early season regression, Dorn’s still going to remain an efficient wing scorer.

The Wolfpack rank 18th in the nation in offensive efficiency: 113 points per 100 possessions. They’re a great offensive team. Their problems, however, exist on the other side of the floor. NC State and Notre Dame are the only two teams inside the top 20 in offensive efficiency who also rank outside the top 75 in terms of defensive efficiency.

Starting with Loyola Chicago on Saturday, the Wolfpack have seven of their next eight game at home leading up to ACC play. They’ll face just one opponent — Illinois — that currently ranks inside KenPom’s top 100. Ted Kapita, and then Omer Yurtseven, will return to the fold; State has time to get themselves organized. Mark Gottfried can feel confident that with Henderson and Dorn he has the players he needs open up the offense and let it flow.