Regardless of what happened with this season, DJ Burns was already going to be a cult hero—not just a good player, but a good dude. He’s been a critical part of NC State getting back to a point where it can get back into the NCAAs.
But after today? This man might need his own statue. NC State took full advantage of Wake Forest’s bad interior defense by feeding Burns endlessly, and he was up to the task, even when the day looked lost.
The big fella finished with 31 points on 14-26 shooting, as State disregarded the three-point shot to simply keep on feeding and feeling the Burns. It was the smart move, and it paid off.
Not that the rally lacked big jumpers—Jarkel Joiner made one, LJ Thomas added another, and so did Casey Morsell. It’s funny how these comeback efforts can just build around one guy’s effort, and then suddenly you’re not in line for a loss, you’re all the way back. Confidence becoming contagious.
It wasn’t a good day for the most part, and NC State started the second half with essentially a double-digit deficit, but the Pack found the right moments at the right time and delivered a big-time road win. The Pack turned around a nine-point deficit with 10 minutes left and won at a place that’s been very difficult on road teams this season.
That was fun. Especially at Wake Forest’s expense.