Versus The Big South
NC State is 77-9 all-time against Big South foes.
Didn’t We Just See These Guys???
NC State and UNC Asheville were both participants in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off last weekend in Bayamon, P.R.
The Wolfpack and Bulldogs were on opposite sides of the bracket.
UNC Asheville was 0-3 in the event with losses to Tennessee (75-68), Akron (83-63) and Providence (72-67).
NC State went 2-1 with wins over Penn State (72-55) and Massachussetts (94-76), before falling to Oklahoma State, 76-56, in the championship game.
Eddie Biedenbach is in his 18th season as head coach of the Bulldogs, but he is a familiar face around NC State’s campus. As an NC State player from 1964-69, the native of Pittsburgh owns the distinction of being the only player in school history to be coached by Everett Case, Press Maravich and Norm Sloan.
The wily guard, known as the “Pittsburgh Pirate” because of his defensive abilities, earned All-ACC honors in his junior season of 1966 and his senior season of ’68, leading the team in scoring both years. In between, he sat out with a back injury.
After his playing career, Biedenbach became a Wolfpack assistant under Sloan and was responsible for recruiting some of the greatest players in school history, including Tommy Burleson, David Thompson, Kenny Carr and Charles “Hawkeye” Whitney.
Biedenbach, who spent three seasons as the head coach at Davidson, returned to NC State as an assistant under Les Robinson, spending three years in Raleigh before being named head coach of the Bulldogs prior to the 1996-97 season.
He has guided UNCA to three Big South Conference tournament championships, five regular-season first-place finishes and its only three NCAA Tournament appearances in school history, including the last two seasons.
Under head coach Mark Gottfried, NC State is 7-4 following a loss.
Much To Be Thankful For
Friday’s game will be the 36th time that NC State has played a game within a few days of the Thanksgiving holiday since 1980.
State has also played once on Thanksgiving at the 2007 Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla., posting a 72-63 victory over Rider on Nov. 22
Over that time, the Pack owns a 30-5 mark.
Second Time Around
NC State is looking to win its fifth consecutive second home game of the season. The Pack lost to New Orleans in its second home game of the 2007-08 season and is 10-1 dating back to the 2000-01 season when Charlotte beat the Pack 95-78 in the second round of the CoSIDA Classic. The 49ers at that time were coached by current Wolfpack associate head coach Bobby Lutz.
NC State is seeking its 18th victory over UNC Asheville without a loss. That’s the longest unbeaten streak in the 103-year history of the program, which includes games against 254 different opponents.
Of the 254 different opponents, the Wolfpack has faced, it has not lost to 135 of them.
Warren Named ACC Rookie of the Week
Freshman T.J. Warren was selected the conference’s rookie of the week following his performance this past weekend at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Warren averaged 19.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals as the Wolfpack won two of three games. The Durham, N.C., native had 22 points and eight rebounds in a 72-55 win over Penn State and 21 points and four rebounds in a 94-76 semifinal victory over Massachusetts. Warren closed out the week with 15 points and two rebounds in a 76-56 loss to Oklahoma State in the championship game.
This is the second straight week that a Wolfpack freshman has captured the award. Rodney Purvis was named the season’s initial ACC Rookie of the Week.
Freshmen Lead The Way
Freshmen T.J. Warren, Rodney Purvis and Tyler Lewis are making significant contributions in their first season at NC State.
Warren is leading the team in scoring, averaging 16.5 points per game in a reserve role. He is shooting .667 (28-for-42) from the floor and .500 from 3-point range, while averaging 4.3 rebounds per contest.
Purvis is the team’s second leading scorer, averaging 13.0 points per contest, while shooting .500 from the field.
Warren and Purvis are the only freshmen from the same team that are in the ACC top 25 in scoring. Warren is eighth and Purvis is 15th.
While Lewis has been scoring at quite the same clip, he has been a solid back up to Lorenzo Brown at the point guard spot. He averaging 16.0 minutes per game with 11 assists on the year.
Four In Double Figures
The NC State offense is showing the scoring balance that head coach Mark Gottfried likes.
The Wolfpack has four players averaging double-figure scoring with another two just shy of the mark.
The Pack is led by the freshmen duo of T.J. Warren (16.5 ppg) and Rodney Purvis (13.0 ppg), while senior Richard Howell is averaging 12.5 points per outing and junior C.J. Leslie is scoring 10.0 points per game.
Junior Lorenzo Brown and senior Scott Wood are both averaging 9.8 points per contests.
NC State is one of two ACC teams with three players ranking in the league’s top 25 scorers.
The Higher, The Better
In the Wolfpack’s three wins, it is averaging 87.7 points per game and shooting .561 (96-of-171) from the field.
Twice NC State topped the 90-point barrier scoring a season-high 97 points in the opener versus Miami of Ohio.
While in its lone loss, NC State only scored 56 points and was held to .355 (22-of-62) from the floor.
In The Paint
Even though its early, NC State has outscored its opposition 152-105 in the paint. That’s 38 points a game coming on high percentage shots.
That’s .476 of the Wolfpack’s scoring output this season, compared to .394 of scoring production for its opponents.
Another area that has been a big part of NC State’s 3-1 start has been the play of its bench. Like its paint production, the Wolfpack’s bench is outscoring its foes, 101-65.
NC State’s bench is contributing 25.3 points per game, while opponents’ benches are posting 16.3 points per contest, a difference of nine points a game.
Wood Extends 3-pt. Streak
Senior Scott Wood extended his current streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to an ACC-best 32 games in the Wolfpack’s loss to Oklahoma State.
The Marion, Ind., native has 240 career 3-pointers, which is second all-time at NC State.
Howell on the Boards
Senior forward Richard Howell has 702 career rebounds. He needs tie more to move into a tie for 19th with Phil DiNardo (1954-56).
Last year, Howell grabbed a personal-best 342 boards and averaged 9.2 boards per contest (third in the ACC). Since last season, the Pack is 12-5 when Howell posted double digits in rebounds.
Brown and Leslie Are Ones To Watch
Juniors Lorenzo Brown and C.J. Leslie are definitely on the radar for two of college basketball’s most prestigious awards, the John R. Wooden Award and the Nasmith Award.
The duo were named to each award’s watch lists prior to the start of the season.
Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball media members, the Wooden Award list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, are the early front-runners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor. The 37th annual Wooden Award ceremony will take place the weekend of April 12-13, 2013.
The 50-player Naismith Award watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which bases its criteria on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2012-2013 college basketball season. The Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year presented by AT&T will be awarded on April 7, 2013 in Atlanta.
Jimmy V, Take II
NC State will travel New York’s Madison Square Garden on Dec. 4 for an contest against Connecticut in the 18th-annual Jimmy V Classic, a fundraiser for the V Foundation For Cancer Research, the ESPN-led charity that was started by former Wolfpack coach Jim Valvano.
NC State’s only previous appearance in the event, which caps off ESPN’s annual “V Week,” was on Dec. 17, 2002, when the Herb Sendek-led Wolfpack fell to Gonzaga 69-60 at Continental Arena at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.
The previously unbeaten Pack got a career-high 22 points from Scooter Sherrill and 14 from Julius Hodge. State was cold from the field all night, missing 19 straight shots at the end of the first half and hitting just 26.6 percent from the field on the night. Gonzaga turned its 61-35 rebounding advantage into 25 second-chance points on its way to the win.
Our State, In State
The 2012-13 NC State roster has eight players from North Carolina on it, the most for a Wolfpack team in a decade.
The three-player freshman class, all of whom were McDonald’s All-Americans, are North Carolina natives. Rodney Purvis hails from Raleigh, T.J. Warren is from Durham and Tyler Lewis comes from Statesville.
Sophomore walk-on Staats Battle comes from Raleigh’s Broughton High School, which is less than two miles from the NC State campus. Junior C.J. Leslie is a native of Holly Springs, just outside of Raleigh, and senior Jay Lewis is from Greensboro.
Two recent additions to the roster are also native North Carolinians. Freshman Chase Cannon is from Morehead City, N.C., and sophomore Jevoni Robinson is from Charlotte, by way of Jamaica. Robinson played high school basketball at Charlotte’s Independence High.
It’s the most in-state players on the roster since the 2002-03 team had seven North Carolina natives, plus another N.C. high school product in the lineup: Cameron Bennerman (Greensboro), Clifford Crawford (Winston-Salem), Dovonte Edwards (Chapel Hill), Marcus Melvin (Fayetteville), Will Roach (Raleigh), Scooter Sherrill (Mount Ulla) and Adam Simons (Burlington).
For good measure, Sofia, Bulgaria,-native Ilian Evtimov, played at Bishop McGuiness High School in Winston-Salem and listed that Triad city as his hometown throughout his career.
All The Hype
Besides being picked to win the ACC crown, NC State was the No. 6 team in the country in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches preseason polls.
The 2007-08 season was the last time the Pack was ranked entering the year at No. 21 in the AP poll.
State’s highest-ever preseason ranking was No. 1 going into the 1974-75 season, fresh off its first national championship.
The No. 6 ranking also represents the third highest mark in the program’s history. At the start of the national championship season (1973-74), NC State was No. 2.
The Wolfpack was also ranked No. 5 in Sports Illustrated’s preseason issue.