For a lot of freshmen, there’s an acclimation process to the start of their college careers, even against lower-quality opponents. They can be forgiven for a shy or tentative beginning as they figure out how they fit with their new team and its veterans. This has not been an issue for NC State freshman point guard Cam Hayes, who has been one of the Wolfpack’s most valuable players through its first three games.
Hayes looked comfortable from the start, and if there were butterflies, he worked through those pretty quickly.
NC State’s offense has so far been a three-headed monster, with Devon Daniels, Jericole Hellems, each with workloads around 25%. Hayes is the surprise entrant here, but so far he’s warranted the touches, and he’s 10-14 on two-pointers, showing a nice ability to finish around the rim and in transition.
Hayes also is dishing out assists at an impressive rate while limiting turnovers, and he’s been disruptive defensively, already creating several breakaway buckets off of steals.
I don’t think Kevin Keatts could have asked for more than this from Hayes, and Keatts himself may be pleasantly surprised. I sure am.
Of course, the real tests are yet to come, and none of this is to suggest that Hayes will be free of growing pains the rest of the season. He’ll have his tough nights as the competition ratchets up. But it’s evident early not only that he can play at this level, but be an impact player.