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NC State picks up Winthrop transfer big man DJ Burns

Burns has two years of eligibility remaining.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Winthrop at Villanova IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports

The Wolfpack added some legit scoring punch to its frontcourt today with the commitment of D.J. Burns, a transfer from Winthrop who is the reigning Big South Player of the Year. Burns averaged 15.0 points in only an average of 20.8 minutes per game in 2022.

As you might have guessed, Burns shouldered a big workload—actually a gigantic workload. He took 38% of Winthrop’s shots while on the floor, a proportion that ranked third nationally. He’s been over 30% in that category in each of his three college seasons. And he can handle it: dude is a career 59.6% shooter inside the arc, and he made 61.1% of his twos last season. That’s impressive.

But while he has been highly productive on the floor, his problem has been staying out of foul trouble. He fouled out of five games in 2022, and averaged more than five fouls committed per 40 minutes. It was not an atypical season for him. He’s pretty much lived in foul trouble during his career.

He’s not a great rim protector and doesn’t rebound as well at the defensive end as you’d think for somebody as large as he is. But he has been good on the offensive glass, and he’ll draw his share of fouls.

So, some rough edges here, but he’s definitely a good player. I feel a lot better about State’s bigs than I did yesterday.