NC State wasn't bothered by a slow start in its second exhibition game and led from start to finish in a 112-60 blowout over Barton College. The Wolfpack got 24 points from Dennis Smith Jr., while Torin Dorn added 13 points and 11 rebounds. Safe to say a 52-point romp was encouraging way for the Wolfpack to head into the regular season.
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Both exhibition games were extremely up-tempo, going well over 80 possessions. We are not going to see that kind of pace in the regular season--85+ possessions per game is at the crazy end of the spectrum, and no team is going to maintain that. But maybe this is just an inkling of a notion of a glimpse of a piece of this team's true personality--maybe it is finally going to be the high-tempo team Mark Gottfried is always talking about but never produces.
One thing's for sure, this Pack team can cruise in transition unlike many Gottfried teams in recent memory. I suppose that's where it helps to have a five-star point guard orchestrating things. The Pack's improved depth and skill is also evident here, though, with Dorn and Terry Henderson also able to capably push transition and put the ball in the hands of open players. (Or just finish it themselves.)
Ten players logged at least 10 minutes on Monday night and six scored at least 10 points. Freshman Markell Johnson led the team with six assists. The Pack really didn't get much from its frontcourt but that did not matter in the least. State's perimeter depth is pretty exciting right now.
We're on to the ones that count now, folks. Basketball season officially starts with the season-opener on Friday night.