The countdown continues on historic 9/11 with North Carolina State sniper CJ Bryce. Can you tell that ACCBR really likes the Wolfpack this season? This is already their third entry in the top returning players list with obviously more to come.
Bryce is a 6’5 wing that followed Coach Keatts from UNC-Wilmington to Raleigh following the 2017 season when he ranked third in the CAA in scoring at 608 points. After sitting out the 2017-18 season due to transfer rules, he eventually provided exactly what the Pack needed: Shooting. During the out of conference slate in 2018-19, Bryce shot 42.3% from deep and logged seven double digit scoring efforts. A decrease in usage rate (and playing with Markell Johnson) led to a rebound in three point percentage(33.1% to 34.5%) as well as an offensive rating of 115.9, which ranked 11th best in the ACC among players that logged 900+ minutes.
During the ACC conference slate, Bryce maintained his level of play for the most part, averaging 12 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists while shooting 36.6% from behind the arc, good for 14th best in the league. His 38 made triples rank 20th among returning ACC players for the upcoming season while his 36.6% three point shooting in conference play rank third among returnees.
The video illustrates how the role at State fits Bryce perfectly. Get to the spot, take the shot. Dribble, dribble, shot. He doesn’t need to handle the ball, nor does he need to be the best player on the court. He just needs to be a cog in the machine that is the North Carolina State offense.
My feeling for the upcoming ACC season is that the Pack could finish anywhere from 3rd to 6th. Bryce is one of the most offensively talented wings on the roster, but the roster is also loaded with talented guards and wings. Much like I spoke of in the Devon Daniels piece, I am not sure if an increase in minutes is possible for Bryce, but it may also not be necessary as he seems to have found his wheelhouse at the ACC level. Kevin Keatts may have roster problems, but talented wings isn’t one them.