Well hello and welcome aboard, big fella! Freshman Ted Kapita made his NC State debut on Sunday afternoon after getting fully cleared by the NCAA on Friday, and he quickly made an impact. Kapita finished with 17 points on the afternoon, helping the Wolfpack surge past St. Francis for an easy 86-61 win.
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Torin Dorn led all scorers with 21 points on 9-11 shooting, including an 8-8 effort inside the arc. That’s pretty good, I think I could live with more of that. He also grabbed seven boards. Kapita led the Pack with eight rebounds, and he was 7-8 from the field, showing off a couple nice one-on-one moves. He definitely looks like a key piece for this team.
With Maverick Rowan sitting this one out because of concussion-like symptoms, NC State showed next to no interest in scoring from beyond the arc, which worked out just fine. The Pack was 1-7 from deep but 30-46 from two, overwhelming the size-challenged Terriers in the paint.
St. Francis, conversely, settled for a bunch of threes and made only 13-36 (.361) two-point attempts, which is bad. NC State’s decisive edge in the paint, both in terms of scoring and rebounding, was far too much for the Terriers to overcome.
NC State took the opportunity on Sunday to get its freshmen plenty of run—Kapita, Darius Hicks, and Markell Johnson each logged more than 20 minutes. Any time we can get them that kind of playing time early in the year, it’s a bonus. This is all about developing a rotation for when it really counts.
Dennis Smith once again struggled from the field but did a pretty good job of facilitating offense elsewhere, showing off the speed he has to get to the rim and dish it or simply take care of it himself. One thing I definitely won’t get used to is how easy he can make it look to get to the basket. And he’s gonna be fine. That ain’t even a worry right now.
Up next for the Pack is the Paradise Jam that begins on Friday. We should learn a bit more about this team then.