NOTES: Pack Returns Home


Posted Feb 27, 2013


NC State looks to pick up another win tonight against Boston College in the PNC Arena. Here are some pregame notes on the Wolfpack.

HIGH-OCTANE OFFENSE
Mark Gottfried has brought a fast-paced, high energy offense to NC State as evidenced by the team’s scoring numbers. The Wolfpack currently ranks second in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and is 10th nationally in scoring with 78.1 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.

State has already scored at least 80 points in 15 contests this season - tying for the highest total for a Wolfpack squad since 1995-96 (15 in 31 games).

RECRUITING PROWESS
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 and once again boasts a McDonald’s All-American.

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. BOSTON COLLEGE
NC State will be looking to even the all-time series with Boston College, when the two teams face off for the second time this season Wednesday night at PNC Arena.

The Eagles currently hold a slight 8-7 edge in the overall series which dates back to 1967-68, but 14 of the 15 meetings have come since 2002-03. The series is deadlocked 3-3 in Raleigh, with all six games played at PNC Arena.

NC State has won the last four matchups in the series, and six of the last seven overall. The Pack won at BC, 78-73, on Jan. 5 in its ACC opener, and NC State won all three matchups last season by an average of 13.3 points.

EARLIER THIS SEASON AGAINST BC
NC State won its ACC opener on the road for the first time since 1997 by beating Boston College, 78-73, on Jan. 5, thanks to 12 quick points by senior Scott Wood in the game’s final four minutes.

Wood, scoreless because of foul trouble in the contest, came off the bench with 3:45 to play to hit a pair of 3-pointers and six straight free throws for the Wolfpack, which made 21 of 24 shots from the charity stripe in the second half.

Wood was one of six Wolfpack players to hit double-figure scoring on the night, as freshman Rodney Purvis had a career-high 19, senior Lorenzo Brown had 14, senior Richard Howell and Wood had 12 each and junior C.J. Leslie added 10.

NC STATE IN THE RPI
In the current RPI, NC State sits at No. 24. The Pack posts three wins against teams currently in the RPI top-50. The Pack currently holds the 17th-toughest strength of schedule.

In the current BPI rankings, the Pack is 22nd.

HOME COOKING
NC State enters Wednesday contest against Boston College with a 14-1 home mark this season, including 6-1 in ACC games.

The Pack will be looking to win 15 home contests for the first time since 2005-06, and if NC State closes out with home wins over BC and then Wake Forest next week, the Pack will reach 16 home wins for the first time since 1999-00 (17).

In 15 home contests this season, the Pack is averaging 84.8 points per game, compared to 69.8 in the 12 road/neutral games.

MILESTONES COMING
Several NC State players continue their climbs in the NC State record books, and a pair of significant milestones are within reach.

Richard Howell is just 25 rebounds away from becoming only the fourth player in school history to record 1,000 rebounds during his career. He is also set to establish a new school record for offensive rebounds, as he is just five away from tying Kevin Thompson’s career mark of 370.

Scott Wood is also close to establishing a new school record. He is 15 three-pointers away from tying Rodney Monroe’s career mark of 322. Wood already has the school record for career starts, with 128 and counting.

WOOD ON FIRE
Senior sharpshooter Scott Wood is regarded as one of the nation’s top long range threats. He currently leads the ACC in three-pointers per game (2.9) and is second in three-point field goal percentage (44.0 percent).

Over the last three games, Wood has averaged 18.0 points, hitting 16-0f-34 bonus shots. He has led the Pack in scoring twice, the first two times this season he has done so.

In the last eight ACC games, he has hit 29-of-61 (.475) three-pointers, compared to 15-of-38 (.395) in the first six ACC affairs.

UN WARREN-TED SUCCESS
Freshman forward T.J. Warren was inserted into the Pack’s starting lineup in the two games last week, and the rookie responded by posting back-to-back double-doubles and averaging 20.5 points and 11.5 rebounds.

Warren had a monster night in the thrashing of Florida State, with 31 points and 13 rebounds in 31 minutes for his first career double dip. That point total was the third-highest ever by a Wolfpack freshman.

At UNC, he had 10 points and 10 boards, Warren ranks third among ACC freshmen in scoring with 12.1 points per game. He has scored 20 or more points five times this season - more than any player on the Wolfpack squad. He leads the ACC in field goal percentage with a .622 mark, ranking 13th nationally.

DOUBLE TRIPLE DOUBLE-DOUBLES
The Pack accomplished a rare feat in both games against North Carolina this season. In each contest, NC State had THREE players record a double-double.

In the Jan. 26 victory over North Carolina, Richard Howell had 16 points and 14 rebounds, Lorenzo Brown posted 20 points and 11 assists, while C.J. Leslie had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

It marked the first time in 22 years that a trio of Pack players had hit double digits in two categories in the same game since the 1991 NCAA Tournament.

In the return game in Chapel Hill this past Saturday, Howell (13 pts, 17 reb) and Brown (12 pts, 12 assists) where joined by T.J. Warren (10 pts, 10 reb) in double-double category.

BROWN IS BACK
Junior point guard Lorenzo Brown returned to action at Clemson on Feb. 10 after missing two starts and most of a third game with an ankle injury.

Although he wasn’t at full speed, Brown came off the bench and sparked the Pack’s comeback win with 15 points and four assists in 32 minutes of action.

It was Brown driving to the basket and then dishing to Scott Wood in the corner that led to Wood’s game-winning three-pointer with just 1.0 left on the clock in the 58-57 win.

Brown played a career-high 42 minutes in the overtime win over Virginia Tech on Feb. 16, dishing out seven assists and chipping in 15 points. He came back with nine points and nine assists in 33 minutes of action in the blowout of Florida State on Jan. 19.

At UNC on Saturday, Brown recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 asssists, playing all 40 minutes.

Since returning from the injury, Brown has averaged 12.8 points, 8.0 assists and 36.8 minutes in the last four games.

Brown went down with an ankle injury midway through the first half at Virginia on Jan. 29, and missed the rest of that game and then each of the Pack’s next two, against nationally ranked foes Miami and Duke.

The Miami contest on Feb. 2 contest marked the first game of Brown’s career that he missed, breaking a string of 59 straight starts dating back to his freshman season.

Over those two-plus games in Brown’s absence (all losses), NC State went from averaging 79.7 points to 72.7 points, while assists were also down from 15.3 in the first 20 games to 11.0.

ON THE REBOUND
Over the last two games, NC State has been hitting the boards. The Pack outrebounded both Florida State and North Carolina by an average of 16.5 rebounds.

NC State cleaned up on the glass, edging the Noles 45-21, including a 21-6 edge on the offensive boards.

The 45 rebounds were the most the Pack has produced this season, and the 21 by FSU were the fewest for an opponent.

At UNC, the Pack had a 43-34 edge.

In both contests, NC State had two players reach double figures in rebounds: T.J. Warren (13) and C.J. Leslie (10) against the Seminoles, and Richard Howell (17) and Warren (10) against the Heels.

NC State is one of just two teams (Wake Forest) to have a pair of players in the top-10 in the ACC rebounding stats. As a team, the Pack ranks fourth in the ACC in rebounding margin.

ALL ABOUT THE OFFENSE
NC State is currently second in the ACC and 10th nationally in scoring at 78.1 points per game. The Pack is one of six teams with five double-figure scorers, so it’s probably safe to say that the offense is the driving force behind State’s success.

In the Pack’s 19 wins, Mark Gottfried’s squad is averaging 82.3 points per game while shooting 51.5 percent from the field. In those 19 wins, NC State has been held under 70 points only twice.

However, when the Pack’s offense has stalled, the results have not been positive. In its eight losses, NC State averaged just 68.1 points per game, shooting 45.1 percent from the floor. In four of those eight games, NC State was held under 70 points.

DOUBLE TROUBLE
It has been almost four decades since an NC State basketball player had more double-doubles than senior Richard Howell has posted in 2012- 13. Howell leads the ACC with 16 double-doubles on the season, posting nine in conference play. Howell’s season mark ranks fifth nationally.

Not since Tommy Burleson had 26 in 1973-74 has a Pack player posted a higher total. Howell had posted double-digit point and rebound totals in 15 of the last 22 outings.

NC State leads the ACC with 32 individual double-doubles this season - the next closest team is Duke with 18. In fact, Howell has more double-doubles than 10 of the 11 other ACC teams!

WE LIKE LEWIS
The injury to Lorenzo Brown definitely had a silver lining - and his name is Tyler Lewis. The Statesville native averaged just 9.7 minutes per game over the first 20 games of the season, but with Brown out versus league-leading Miami, Lewis played 36 minutes, then 39 in a start the next time out at Duke.

Now Lewis is seeing action alongside Brown, as the Pack’s regular starter has returned to the fray.

Lewis played 21 minutes in the overtime win versus Virginia Tech while Brown played 42. Over the last six games, Lewis has averaged 8.3 points in 23.0 minutes of action.

CUTTING IT CLOSE
The Pack’s six ACC losses have been by a combined 31 points, with four of those losses being decided by three points or less.

NC State’s first four ACC losses at Maryland (1), at Wake Forest (2), at Virginia (3) and vs. Miami (1) were decided by a combined seven points, and all were decided in the final 10 seconds.

The Pack had been on the positive side of two recent close games. At Clemson, State trailed for most of the game, but Scott Wood’s three-pointer with just 1.0 left gave the Pack the 58-57 win. Gottfried and company dispatched Virginia Tech in an overtime on Feb. 16, winning 90-86.

On the season, NC State’s average margin of victory in the eight ACC wins is 7.6, while the margin of defeat in the six losses is 5.2.



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