Smith, Dorn lead way for NC States final exhibition tuneup against Barton

Backcourt paces Wolfpack against Barton in dominant victory before regular season play begins on Friday

Eamon Queeney—The North State Journal
North Carolina State Wolfpack forward Abdul-Malik Abu (0) and North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Terry Henderson (3) shake hands before the annual Red and White scrimmage during Primetime with the Pack in the newly renovated Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh

RALEIGH — Dennis Smith Jr. got off to another slow start against Barton College in NC State’s second exhibition game, but finished strong again. The freshman phenom finished with 24 points, four rebounds and four assists in the Wolfpack’s 112-60 win over the Bulldogs.Smith led the Pack in scoring, but Monday night was a coming out party for the entire new-look backcourt. Both Torin Dorn and Terry Henderson played crucial roles with a combined 27 points and 18 rebounds — Dorn led the team with 11 boards.Dorn played just 20 minutes due to a cramp in the second half, but proved he’s exactly what NC State needs to start the season. With Omer Yurtseven out for the first nine games, Dorn’s ability to play inside and outmatch forwards has led to 19 boards during the two exhibition starts in 38 minutes played.”With us playing four guards, we all have to chip in and rebound,” Dorn said. “Coach said that I’m a guy that can help us out in that area and get rebounds. I take that responsibility on and try to help us in that area.”So is Dorn comfortable with that role?”I’m cool with it,” he said with a smile. “I like to mix it up inside and bang a little bit.”If there was one knock on the first exhibition game, it was the entire team’s stumbles at the beginning. State held a 44-30 lead at the half against Lynn, but Smith admitted he needed to leave the court to settle his nerves during his first collegiate showing.Monday was similar, but in a much smaller sample size. Smith clanked a dunk early and was noticeably upset with himself. He was then pulled out for one minute and four seconds and responded with authority. A nifty layup was followed by a steal on the other end then drew a foul all in 20 seconds.The Pack followed its leader, finishing the first half with a score of 59-23. If State didn’t score a single point in the second half, it would have lost by one. That was a decent performance in Henderson’s book.”We started out way better than the last exhibition,” Henderson said. “We came out with a lot more energy, which led to turnovers and fast-break points. I feel like that part of the game was key for us.”Gottfried’s plan with this year’s team is to move the tempo and never take their pedal off the gas. With 52 points on the fast break and 64 total in the paint, it’s no wonder the program has surpassed the 100-point mark in each of its exhibition games.State’s next game comes against Georgia Southern on Friday to officially tip the season off. With the Eagles coming off a 14-17 season in the Sun Belt, the Pack should have yet another tuneup before getting into the meat of its non-conference schedule.”Two good exhibition games, as far as how we played,” head coach Mark Gottfried said. “Now it’s time to play. Everything counts from here on out.”