Mark Gottfried has brought a fast-paced, high energy offense to NC State as evidenced by the team's scoring numbers. The Wolfpack currently leads the Atlantic Coast Conference and is tied for 12th nationally in scoring with 78.9 points per game.
The Pack's offensive production has improved dramatically since Gottfried took over the program prior to last season. In 2010-11, the campaign prior to his arrival, State ranked 115th nationally and sixth in the ACC in scoring with 70.7 point per game. Last year, his first season with the Wolfpack, the average was up slightly to 72.9 points per game - the nation's 59th-best mark at season's end.
The NC State single season record for points per game is 92.9, set in 1973. However, the Pack's current mark would rank as the highest in over 15 years (81.2 in 1996) if the season ended today. State has already scored at least 80 points in 11 contests this season - the highest total for a Wolfpack squad since 2005-06 (13).
Mark Gottfried is bringing top-level talent to Raleigh, as both of his recruiting classes have been ranked in the top-10 nationally. Last year, having just seven months till the fall signing period, Gottfried brought in the No. 5 recruiting class in the nation, including three McDonald's All-Americans.
It marked the first time the Wolfpack had three McDonald's All-Americans in the same class since 1979. Gottfried followed up with three more recruits signed in November and that class currently ranks ninth nationally.
Gottfried came to NC State with the reputation of being a first-class recruiter. In three of his final four seasons at Alabama, Gottfried's recruiting classes were nationally ranked: 10th in 2005, 27th in 2007, and 16th in 2008.
NC STATE VS. WAKE FOREST
Tuesday's game is the 236th meeting in the rivalry between NC State and Wake Forest, which is tied with Duke for the most games NC State has played against one school.
The Wolfpack has won five straight against Wake Forest, its longest streak in the series since Jim Valvano led the Pack to six straight wins from 1985-87. Everett Case twice had 10-game winning streaks over the Deacons, from 1949-52 and from 1954-57.
The Pack's five straight wins have come by an average of 21.4 points. NC State has also won two straight at Wake, by a combined 61 points.
The two teams have met at least twice a year since 1944, when World War II interrupted the rivalry for one season. Since the first game in 1911, the only seasons the teams haven't met at least twice were in 1914-15 when no game was played, 1929-30 when only one game was played and 1943-44 when no game was played.
LAST SEASON VS. THE DEACONS
NC State posted a 76-40 victory at Wake Forest on Jan. 14, 2012, with that 36-point margin of victory ranking as the second largest in an ACC road game by the Wolfpack since it defeated Clemson by 40 (112-72) in 1954.
The victory gave State its fourth consecutive win over the Demon Deacons and its eighth win in the last 11 contests versus Wake Forest.
The Wolfpack was led in scoring by Lorenzo Brown with a game-high 20 points. C.J. Williams contributed 15 points, while Scott Wood added 12. Richard Howell posted his fifth double double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
State controlled the game from the outset, scoring the first five points and never relinquishing its lead. The Pack took a 33-17 lead at the break following a 10-2 run to close out the stanza. In the second half, NC State outscored Wake Forest 43-23 and led by as much as 39 during the period. The 40 points by Wake was the lowest output for a Pack opponent since NC Central scored 29 in 2008, and the fewest for an ACC foe since 28 points by Maryland in the 1982 ACC Tournament.
NC State would earn a sweep of the season series with Wake Forest with an 87-76 home win on Feb. 4, 2012. The Wolfpack was paced by a season-high 23 points by Scott Wood, who connected on six 3-pointers and was 8-for-10 overall from the field and 1-for-1 from the line. His long-range shooting help swing the momentum toward the Pack, as he hit three straight 3-pointers in the span of 91 seconds to turn 29-22 deficit in to 31-29 lead. NC State finished the first half on a 20-4 run, taking a 42-33 lead at the break.
Wake Forest chipped away at NC State's nine-point halftime lead early, eventually tying the game at 50 just before the 13-minute mark. The Pack responded with a 16-5 run to stretch its lead to 11 points, 66-55, with 8:40 to play. Wake rallied to pull within five at 69-64, but State answered once again with an 11-2 run to seal the victory.
The C.J.s, Williams and Leslie, each contributed 18 points and Lorenzo Brown added 15 points and provided eight assists. Richard Howell had a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds in the win.
GOTTFRIED FAMILY TIES SUPER BOWL COACHES
Not only will the Feb. 3 Super Bowl be a family affair between brothers Jim and John Harbaugh as they coach the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens, respectively, but it will also have a family connection with NC State ties.
Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried is the Harbaughs second cousin, as their grandmothers were sisters. In other words, gottfried's father, Joe, and Jim and John's dad, Jack, are first cousins. Jack Harbaugh is the Wolfpack head coach's godfather.
Gottfried's oldest son Brandon also played football for a season under Jim Harbaugh at Stanford before he left to coach the 49ers. Gottfried's uncle, Mike, coached football at Pitt from 1986-89 and both John and Jack were on his staff in 1987.
The Harbaughs have one other basketball connection: their sister, Joani, is married to Indiana coach Tom Crean.
THE RACE TO 1,000
The game at Wake Forest could mark the first time in school history that two players have reached the 1,000-point total for their career in the same game. Senior Richard Howell lacks five points of reaching that milestone, while junior Lorenzo Brown is 10 points away. When and if both players reach that milestone, all four of the Wolfpack's upperclassmen will be a part of the program's 1,000-point club.
Scott Wood scored his 1,000th point in last season's opening-round win over San Diego State in the NCAA Tournament.
Junior C.J. Leslie earned his place in the fraternity in the first half in NC State's win over Western Michigan on Dec. 29. He became the 46th player in NC State's storied basketball history to score his 1,000th point. The last time NC State had three 1,000-point scorers on the same team was in 2008-09, with Brandon Costner (1,273), Ben McCauley (1,138) and Courtney Fells (1,060).
The 1982-83 squad also had a trio of 1,000 scorers led by Thurl Bailey (1,495), Dereck Whittenburg (1,272) and Sidney Lowe (1,048). That squad went on to win the national title.
Only 10 previous times have a pair of players in the same recruiting class each scored 1,000 point during their careers, the last was the trio of Costner, Fells and McCauley. Howell and Wood would be the 11th and Brown and Leslie would be the 12th.
NC State turned in its lowest shooting performance of the season Wednesday in the one-point loss at Maryland, uncharacteristically connecting on just 31.1 percent of its shots. That was the lowest mark of the season and dropped the Pack from the national lead in field goal percentage to third place.
The Pack still ranks third, but its percentage dropped further to .511 after shooting just .451 in the win over Clemson - the second time all year that the Pack has shot less than .500 and won a game.
In 14 of 18 contests this season, State has shot .500 or better, including a season best .614 in its season-opening victory over Miami of Ohio. In its first three games against ACC competition, State hit .500 from the field.
The main common denominator in the Wolfpack three losses this season has been poor shooting.
State has shot .533 (442-828) in its 15 wins and just .408 (73-179) in its three losses. Another common factor in the three losses has been that all three occurred away from the friendly confines of the PNC Arena.
In home games, State has shot .544, while connecting at just a .462 pace away from home. The Wolfpack posts an 11-0 home record this season.
Since the beginning of the ACC in 1953-54, the NC State men's basketball team has finished the season shooting over 50.0 percent from the field just five times. The Pack's current season total is 51.1 percent, while the school record is 52.1 set by the 1981-82 squad.
In 14 of the Pack's 18 games this season, NC State has shot over 50.0 percent in the game. The last time the Pack shot over 50.0 percent in that many games was during the 2006-07 season, when NC State shot 50.0 percent or better in 19 of the 36 contests.
NC State currently is tied for 12th nationally in scoring, as the Pack is averaging 78.9 points per game. Mark Gottfried's team has eclipsed the 80-point mark in 11 of the 18 games this season, including eight of the last 11.
The Pack has not averaged 80 points in a season since 1996 (81.2).
In the past two games, a loss at Maryland and a win over Clemson, the Pack has averaged just 58.0 points.
THE SELFISH SHARER
Junior point guard Lorenzo Brown was very giving in the Wolfpack's win over top-ranked Duke on Jan. 12. He was also extremely selfish. Brown generously passed the ball to his teammates in that epic Wolfpack win - dishing out 13 assists to tie his career high in that category.
The oddest thing about that statistic is that Brown had every assist in the game. Nationally, only three times since 1996-97 has a team tallied more than 10 assists in a game with every one going to a single player.
Brown ranks fourth in school history with 472 assists and is just one away from third place. He had one other 13-assist game in his career. That one also came against the nation's No. 1 team, as he handed out a baker's dozen when top-ranked Syracuse visited the PNC Arena on Dec. 17, 2011.
THE LONGEST GAMES
NC State and Wake Forest played in the two longest games in ACC history.
On the last weekend of the 1988-89 regular season, the two teams met in the final game played at the old iteration of the Greensboro Coliseum, which from 1959-89 was the primary home of the Demon Deacons.
On that final day of the season, however, fans were treated to the only four-overtime game between league schools in the ACC's 58-year history, which the Wolfpack won in remarkable fashion.
With his team trailing 77-75 with two seconds to play in regulation, NC State coach Jim Valvano sent guard Kelsey Weems to the free-throw line and ordered him to miss the first of his one-and-one opportunity. Teammate Rodney Monroe then made one of the more improbable shots in league history, grabbing Weems' intentionally missed shot and putting back a soft jumper while falling backwards to send the game into overtime.
The teams played evenly for three five-minute extra periods, until the Wolfpack pulled away from a tiring Wake Forest squad. Monroe gave his team the lead at the start of the fourth overtime and then hit two free throws in the waning moments to seal the 110-103 victory, finishing off his 26-point scoring effort.
The win assured the Wolfpack of first place in the final ACC standings and gave Valvano's team the top seed at the 1989 ACC Tournament. It was one of three quadruple-overtime games ever played by ACC schools. North Carolina played four extra periods against Tulane in the 1976 regular season and NC State suffered one of the most heart-breaking losses in school history when Everett Case's No. 2 ranked Wolfpack fell to Canisius in the 1956 NCAA Tournament, ending the career of Pack All-American Ronnie Shavlik.
But none of those games are even close to the longest league contest ever played – which spanned nearly two-and-a-half months.
On Dec. 11, 1965, Wake Forest hosted the Wolfpack at Memorial Coliseum on Wake's Winston-Salem campus. But midway through the first half, two transformers in the main lobby caught fire and more than 7,000 spectators and the two teams were evacuated with the Wolfpack leading 23-13.
The game didn't resume until 74 days later, on Feb. 23, 1966, when the Wolfpack traveled back to Winston-Salem to finish the contest with a 101-75 victory, concluding the longest game in league history.
A STRONG START
NC State's 78-73 victory over Boston College on Jan. 5 in Chestnut Hill, Mass., was the first time the Wolfpack opened ACC play with a road win since Dec. 4, 1997, when the Pack beat Georgia Tech in Atlanta, 71-69.
On Jan. 9, an 83-70 victory over Georgia Tech at PNC Arena gave the Wolfpack its first 2-0 record in league play for the first time since 2003-04, which is also the last time NC State had beaten a top-ranked Duke team prior to this past weekend.
On Jan. 12, Mark Gottfried and company sent top-ranked Duke packing, winning 84-76 to move to 3-0 in the league for the first time since 1988-89. That year, head coach Jim Valvano led State to its most recent regular season league championship.
KNOCKING OFF NUMBER 1
NC State's 84-76 win on Jan. 14 against top-ranked Duke was the program's first over the nation's No. 1 team since Feb. 2, 2004. On that date, the Wolfpack also knocked over the No. 1 ranked Blue Devils, 78-74, snapping an eight-game winning streak.
The most recent victory was NC State's sixth over a No. 1 team. The Wolfpack is one of 18 programs to boast multiple wins over No. 1 teams and joins Indiana with six wins against top-ranked squads. That mark ranks 12th nationally.