Sports

What hand injury? NC State’s Braxton Beverly off to a fast start despite surgery.

You know a player is over an injury when he can joke about it.

According to N.C. State guard Braxton Beverly, Torin Dorn is to blame for Beverly’s preseason hand injury.

“I went for a steal in practice and ran into TD’s elbow,” Beverly said.

So Dorn leads the Wolfpack (3-0) in scoring, rebounding and injuries caused.

“Exactly,” Beverly joked.

Beverly missed N.C. State’s opener but is back in the lineup and will be again for Saturday’s home game with Maine (0-3).

Despite the injury, and subsequent surgery, the 6-0 sophomore utility guard has gotten off to a fast start. He has made seven of his first 14 3-point shots, which will be his specialty role this season.

But with point guard Markell Johnson sidelined during Tuesday’s win over UNC-Asheville, Beverly ran the offense and had five assists in 16 minutes.

“I feel good,” Beverly said after N.C. State 100-49 win over UNCA.

It took about three weeks for Beverly to get to that point. He broke the fourth metacarpal in his left hand on Oct. 19 in the collision in practice with Dorn.

Four days later, he had surgery. A plate with six screws was inserted into his left hand. The hand is still a bit puffy and there’s a forget-me-not scar that looks like a slug.

But after Beverly missed the opener with Mount St. Mary’s on Nov. 6, he was able to play against Maryland-Eastern Shore on Nov. 10.

“Once I got the swelling down, I was fine,” Beverly said.

He had his left hand wrapped for the UMES win. He was four of 10 from the 3-point line with 12 points in that win.

3-point shots

For the UNCA win, he played without the wrap. He made three of 4 3-pointers against UNCA. He had a pair of corner 3s, right in front of the N.C. State bench, to get the PNC Arena crowd going in that game.

“When you look at Braxton, his ability to make a 3-point shot is just effective as us getting out in transition and getting a dunk,” N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts said. “He excites the crowd. He gives energy to the team.”

A consistent outside shot is what Keatts needs most from Beverly, who was second on the team last season in 3s (60).

With the addition of Missouri transfer Blake Harris, Beverly can play off the ball more this season with either Harris or Johnson at the point.

He’s also capable of eating up some minutes at the point, which he showed on Tuesday and last season when he averaged 3.9 assists per game.

Beverly is not necessarily concerned with putting a label on his position.

“We have so many guys who can interchange,” Beverly said. “You’re able to go in for a few minutes and play as hard as you can and come out. The next guy comes in and does the same thing.”

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