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NC State Notebook
Torin Dorn Jr. does not think of himself as a power forward. He is just a guy doing his job.
The redshirt junior hauled in 17 rebounds, to go with his 22 points, in North Carolina State’s win over Missouri-Kansas City on Saturday.
While the 17 rebounds against UMKC is easily a career-best for Dorn, it was actually an effort that goes lock-step with his recent play. Dorn has averaged 14.7 points and 13 rebounds per game over the last three contests, all wins for Wolfpack.
The 6-foot-5 wing is getting significant playing time despite N.C. State head coach Kevin Keatts often using a small lineup for extended periods. Dorn, who also had a season-best four assists against the Kangaroos on Saturday, is the conduit between the guards and the bigs.
He takes that responsibility seriously.
“I just want to play as hard as possible,” Dorn said. “I pride myself on playing extremely hard and giving it all I have, so I go into every game trying to be the best rebounder and doing all the little things to help the team win. Just work has hard as possible.”
N.C. State has athleticism and depth but the Wolfpack will not blow most teams away with their skill. It is a team that needs the energy created off of its defensive pressure coupled with high energy on the boards, both defensive and offensive.
Players are noticing what Dorn brings to the table. The general consensus is the Pack does not miss a beat with him playing above his height at the power forward position.
“It gives us a lot of energy with Torin playing the 4 position,” sophomore guard Markell Johnson said. “His offensive and defensive rebounds gave us a good boost.”
Keatts wants N.C. State to take the initiative on the boards.
“We talked about it,” Keatts said. “I told them that in order for us to be a good basketball team, we’ve got to start rebounding the basketball.”
The Wolfpack, albeit against a team that has lost eight of 11 games this season, did dominate the boards Saturday. N.C. State pulled down a season-best 52 rebounds against UMKC, led by Dorn.
The Charlotte-native is currently averaging 7.5 rebounds per game, tops on the team.
“He is very active and rebounding is a lot about how much you want to go get it,” Keatts said of Dorn. “Certainty, we have talked about him rebounding the basketball. He gives us the ability to play small ball at times and you can play that way when a guy is averaging seven or eight rebounds a game.”
SHRINE BOWL RECRUITS
N.C. State has four commits preparing for the upcoming Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. While happy to be there and thrilled to interact with each other, the quartet also wants to win.
Chris Dunn (placekicker, North Davidson), Gabe Gonzalez (offensive line, Eastern Alamance), Ricky Person (running back, Wake Forest Heritage) and Devon Carter (wide receiver, Clayton) all will take the field in Spartanburg, South Carolina, representing North Carolina on Saturday.
The excitement is palpable. While each is excited to represent the state, they are also eager to represent State. They spent practice heavily in preparation and often found their way to each other during the breaks.
The fact that N.C. State has four commits appearing Saturday should encourage those who follow the program.
“It is really exciting,” Gonzalez said. “It is fun being able to come out here and compete with the best of the best. It shows our program is really growing. They are doing a great job of recruiting because they are a bunch of great guys.”
The process of meeting each other occurred prior to the Shrine Bowl preparation. It is helping them enjoy their experience this week.
“We really got to know each other at the games during our official visit,” Dunn explained. “I think it says a lot about Coach (Dave) Doeren to be able to keep the talent in North Carolina. The fact that you have three, four and a few five-star players on this team shows you that there is no bad players coming to these games. It is going to be competitive.”