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Who is DJ Burns Jr.? NC State No. 30 becomes fan favorite during March Madness | Sporting News

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March Madness tends to amplify unsung heroes whose names will be remembered and randomly tossed around at sports bars and hangouts for the rest of eternity.

NC State’s DJ Burns Jr. is starting to build that type of legacy already.

The big man started to become a fan favorite when he helped lead the Wolfpack to an unlikely ACC Championship last week. His legend only grew after going for 16 points in No. 11 NC State’s upset win over No. 6 Texas Tech in the NCAA Tournament.

Who is NC State’s big man? Get to know March Madness’ breakout star below.

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Who is DJ Burns Jr.?

Burns is a 23-year-old fifth-year senior at NC State.

The Rock Hill, S.C. native was a three-star recruit coming out of high school, but he was ranked as the third-best player in South Carolina behind Zion Williamson and Ja Morant, according to his NC State player profile.

Burns spent one redshirt season at Tennessee but transferred to Winthrop University in his hometown the following year. He made an immediate impact for the Eagles, earning Big South Freshman of the Year with averages of 11.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

Burns spent the next three years at Winthrop, earning Big South Player of the Year as a junior. He averaged a career-high 15.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game to take home that honor.

After his junior season, Burns transferred to NC State. As a returning fifth-year senior, Burns cemented his Wolfpack legacy by leading NC State to its first ACC Tournament championship since 1987, defeating Duke and North Carolina along the way.

Burns averaged 15.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists during the tournament. His 20 points and seven rebounds in the ACC Championship game against UNC earned Burns ACC Tournament MVP.

His hot streak continued in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, scoring 16 points in a win over Texas Tech to keep NC State’s season alive and advance to the Round of 32.

He further added to his legacy in the Round of 32. The NC State big had 24 points and 11 rebounds in a 79-73 overtime win against No. 14 Oakland.

DJ Burns Jr. stats

Burns has averaged a respectable 12.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.5 assists over his five-year college career. He averaged 20.6 minutes per game and started in 124 of the 160 games he appeared in.

You can find Burns’ college stats below.

Year School Class GP RPG APG PPG
2018-19 Tennessee Redshirt
2019-20 Winthrop RS-FR 33 4.1 1.2 11.9
2020-21 Winthrop SO 25 3.4 0.6 10.1
2021-22 Winthrop JR 32 4.5 1.1 15.0
2022-23 NC State SR 34 4.8 1.5 12.5
2023-24 NC State SR 36 4.0 2.8 12.4

DJ Burns Jr. weight

Burns is listed at 6-9, 275 lbs. on his ESPN player profile.

Who is DJ Burns Jr.’s dad?

Burns’ father, Dwight Sr., is the agent in charge of York County for South Carolina Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services.

DJ Burns Jr. rap single

A man of many talents, Burns also has a rap single, “Beast Boy,” which is fitting for his dominant style of play.

The Raleigh News-Observer said this about Burns’ single in 2023: 

According to the publicity for the recording, it was made by music producer 6ravo, and is said to help listeners “tap into their inner beast.” Burns, whose Twitter handle is “@beastboyburns,” also shouts out some of his Wolfpack teammates on the song, which is called a “high energy track.” Burns, said to be an avid fan of rap, plays five instruments. He made the recording at his apartment in Raleigh.

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