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Braxton Beverly is a valuable asset with standard Short Guy Problems

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Year-one hiccups are undefeated.

NCAA Basketball: Battle 4 Atlantis-Tennessee vs North Carolina State Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Braxton Beverly quickly worked his way into NC State’s starting lineup after being cleared by the NCAA, and while the immediacy of the situation threw off his game at the outset, he’s gotten better as he’s become more comfortable. His potential is obvious, but he’s also nowhere near realizing it. That’s not remarkable and probably I could cut to the chase by saying “he is a freshman.”

Braxton Beverly In Year One

Beverly eFG% FT% 2FG% 3FG%
Beverly eFG% FT% 2FG% 3FG%
2018 41.5 84.2 35.3 32.3

Beverly has been competent enough defensively to earn a lot of minutes, which is a good sign, and he’s also been confident in his offensive game. So far, that hasn’t amounted in a ton of good results, but this is also a kid that was shocked into immediate playing time after an abrupt NCAA reversal, and that’d mess with anybody.

His accuracy at the free throw line implies that he’s a much better three-point shooter than he’s been up to this point. He’s not going to be the sort of perimeter threat that opponents have to game plan around, but if he’s under 36% from deep at the end of the season, I will eat a shoe.

That aspect of his game has been coming around, but there’s no doubt that he has and will continue to struggle with your standard Short Guy Problems. Namely, he’s had a rough time making shots inside the arc, and while I hope he can improve on his current 35% shooting, I’d say that’s far from a given. This is one of those things you’ve just got to live with given the kid’s stature, not to mention the whole inexperience thing.

But even with these predictable early-career issues, Beverly is clearly an important part of NC State’s rotation; he’s already earned more trust from Kevin Keatts than Lavar Batts, and he’s a capable enough ball handler to play both positions in the backcourt. The coaches can trust him to spell Markell Johnson at the point without having the ceiling cave in.

Maybe that sounds like a backhanded compliment, but it isn’t.