Monday, February 22, 2010

Horner gives N.C. State a lift

Senior forward Dennis Horner's resurgence has been a bright spot for N.C. State as the Wolfpack enjoys a week off before visiting Miami on Saturday.

"We're a better ballclub because we count on Dennis to do several things for us, rebounding and scoring and defending as well," coach Sidney Lowe said Monday during the ACC coaches' teleconference. "When he's on track and doing those things, it just makes us a different team."

Horner scored 10 points and grabbed 12 rebounds Saturday as N.C. State broke a seven-game ACC losing streak with a 68-54 defeat of Wake Forest. He also posted 19 points and 10 rebounds earlier last week against Maryland.

Despite a clunker of a game against North Carolina (two points, one rebound), Horner has averaged 11.6 points and 8.6 rebounds over his last five games, scoring at least 10 points in four.

That productive stretch follows a period of seven games when he was held to single-digit scoring five times. Lowe said he's not sure what sparked Horner, but he hopes it continues because Horner loosens up defenses when he makes shots.

"That gives us the opportunity to pull the opposing team's four man out on the perimeter and keep them honest that way," Lowe said. "And if we have Tracy [Smith] inside it opens up Tracy."

Lowe practiced the Wolfpack on Monday morning and will hold practice Tuesday before giving players Wednesday off. N.C. State will practice Thursday and Friday in preparation for the game at Miami.

Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

I think we all know that Horner is really not an All ACC type player. With that said, I am impressed with the toughness he has shown over the past few games. If he's hitting his shots, State can beat anyone. He hasn't had the best career but I am proud to call him a Wolfpacker. He stuck with us when Herb left for the West Coast and the rest of our recruits(Chris Wright, Dan Werner) jumped ship(not that I blame them). Congrats Dennis on a great game played last Saturday and thank you for all you have done for the Wolfpack!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Anonymous 1:20. Many times people seem to forget that these are a bunch of 18-21 year old college kids that are giving their heart and soul to their college for 4 years. I know some of the kids take it for granted and goof off, but the majority work their butts off in the classroom and in their sport. No, they may not be the best player in the country or have a future in the NBA or NFL, but these guys deserve some respect. If you want to criticize and talk trash about athletes, let's go talk trash about these pro athletes making millions of dollars that take plays off and have no heart. I'm looking at you Julius Peppers....

Anonymous said...

Dennis has battled through injuries all season. HE is as tough as they come. When he plays well, the team plays well.

WDB said...

Horner's the type of guy that, ideally in the ACC, you'd want to be bringing off the bench as your 6th man, and I think he would be hugely sucessful in this role. Unfortunately he is in a situation where we are relying on him to contribute major minutes as a starter and looking to him for leadership. He has impressed me with how he has handeled the role, and while the on the court results may not have been as consistantly good as we may have hoped, he has battled through some injuries and is one of the few (only?) guys to provide some of that leadership we need. It's a shame he won't be around next year to play with Harrow and Brown, because I think he would have had a lot of fun with those guys.