Tip-Off: 7:00 p.m.
Radio: Airtime begins @ 6:30 PM on the Wolfpack Radio Network
NC State Information
Youngstown State Information
NC State Projected Starting Line-up
G Javier Gonzalez
G Lorenzo Brown
F Scott Wood
F C.J. Leslie
F Deshawn Painter
Youngstown State Projected Starting Line-up
G Ashen Ward
G Kendrick Perry
G Devonte Maymon
G Vytas Sulskis
F Damien Eargle
Players to Watch
Scott Wood -- Wolfpack sophomore has stepped his game up recently and appears to be taking over as a leader on a young team. He has been the Pack's most consistent player this season.
Vytas Sulskis - A native of Lithuania, Sulskis has terrific size for a guard and can score inside or on the perimeter. He leads the team in scoring and rebounding.
NC State Game Notes
NOTING THE PACK
Ryan Harrow was named ACC Rookie of the Week on Monday. C.J. Leslie was previously named Co-Rookie of the Week this season.
• After playing five of the first seven games away from Raleigh, the Pack is in a six-game homestand and will not have to leave North Carolina until ACC play on Jan. 11.
• Senior Tracy Smith underwent knee surgery on Nov. 19 and is expected to make his return either Thursday or Sunday.
• Sophomore Scott Wood currently leads the ACC in three-pointers per game (3.3), and is seventh in three-point percentage (.441).
• Wood has hit 18 three-pointers over the last four games, and his last 22 field goal attempts have all been from long range.
• NC State has used five different starting lineups in the first eight games.
• NC State's three freshmen have accounted for 44.0 percent of the Pack's scoring this season. Six of the Pack's top seven scorers this season are either freshmen or sophomores. Those two classes have produced 84.2 percent of the Pack's scoring.
• The Pack ranks third in the ACC in assists per game (15.6), and has recorded an assist on 60.1 percent of its field goals this year.
• NC State currently has four players averaging abover 9.0 points a game, but none over 12.1 points.
• Javier Gonzalez and Scott Wood have combined to shoot 41.5 percent (34-82) from three-point range, while the rest of the Pack has hit just 17.8 percent (8-45).
• NC State has held 18 of its last 21 opponents to under 70 points.
• NC State has only 10 scholarship players, with seven being freshmen or sophomores.
NC State Hosts Youngstown State
For the first time in a span of 20 days, the NC State men's basketball team returns to the RBC Center when the Wolfpack plays host to Youngstown State Thursday night at 7:00 p.m.
The Wolfpack (5-3) started its current six-game homestand with a 79-60 win over USC Upstate at Reynolds Coliseum this past weekend. NC State's freshmen trio combined for 50 points, and the Pack shot a combined 53.2 percent from the field.
The Penguins (5-4) are a perfect 5-0 at home this season, but 0-4 on the road. On Monday, Youngstown State defeated Malone, 78-62. This game will be streamed online, on GoPack.com's All-Access.
The Series Versus Youngstown St.
This will be the first meeting between the teams. NC State is 5-2 all-time against teams from the Horizon League.
RBC Center Dominance Against Non-Conference Foes
NC State's home court has not been welcoming to non-conference opponents since the RBC Center opened for the 1999-2000 season, as the Pack has posted an 86-11 (.887) record in such games.
Under Lowe, the Pack has posted a 30-5 (.857) mark against non-conference opponents at home, losing only to No. 10 Alabama in 2007, New Orleans in 2008, Marquette in 2009, and Northwestern and Florida last season.
Last Time Out For NC State
NC State's freshmen trio combined for 50 points, as the Wolfpack returned to Reynolds Coliseum and defeated USC Upstate, 79-60, Saturday afternoon.
After taking a week off for final exams, the Wolfpack came out slow and trailed 9-3 seven minutes in, but a 10-0 run gave the Pack a lead it would not surrender. NC State shot 53.2 percent (33-62) from the field, and led by as many as 25 points in the second half. Freshman guards Ryan Harrow (20 points) and Lorenzo Brown (17 points) both scored career-highs, and fellow rookie C.J. Leslie finished with 13 points and a game-high seven rebounds.
Harrow Named ACC Rookie f The Week
Freshman guard Ryan Harrow was selected as the ACC Rookie of the Week for his performance this past weekend against USC Upstate.
In NC State's only game this past week, Harrow came off the bench to score a career-high 20 points in Saturday's 79-60 win over visiting USC Upstate. The Marietta, Ga., freshman hit on 10-of-13 from the floor, handed out five assists without a turnover, and had three steals in his 25 minutes of playing time.
Harrow is the second NC State player to win Rookie of the Week honors this season. C.J. Leslie earned the same honor after the first week of the season.
Alabama A&M Game Time Changed
The Wolfpack has changed the game time for the December 28 contest versus Alabama A&M. The game will now be held at 4:00 p.m. at the RBC Center, for fans wanting to watch the football team's bowl game at 6:30 p.m.
Unpack The Bags
After playing five of the first seven games away from Raleigh to start the season, the Wolfpack can unpack its bags until ACC play starts in January. NC State is currently in a six-game homestand, and will not leave the state of North Carolina until a January 11 trip to Boston College, the first ACC road contest of the season.
The Pack started the homestand with a 79-60 win over USC Upstate in Reynolds Coliseum on Saturday. NC State's game against Youngstown State will be the first game in the RBC Center for the Pack since November 27, a span of 20 days.
The Pack started the season at home against Tennessee Tech, then played three games in four days at the Charleston Classic. After returning home to play Fairleigh Dickinson, the Pack had back-to-back road games at Wisconsin then Syracuse.
Racking Up Assists
Scoring has been an overall team effort for the Wolfpack this season, as NC State is currently third in the ACC in assists per game (15.6). In fact, the Pack has recorded an assist on 60.1 percent of its made field goals this season (208 FG, 125 assists).
Three different NC State players have at least 20 assists thus far. Freshman Lorenzo Brown ranks sixth in the ACC in assists with 4.3 per game, and has finished with six assists in four different games. Fellow freshman Ryan Harrow has 28 this season, including an ACC-best 10 against East Carolina, and senior Javier Gonzalez has 22 assists.
The Changing Lineup
Through the first eight games of the season, NC State has used five different starting lineups, with only one combination of the same five players starting more than one game together.
Senior Javier Gonzalez, point guard, and sophomore Scott Wood, small forward, are the only two NC State players to start every game this season. The Pack was forced to make adjustments early, as senior Tracy Smith has been out of action since the second game of the season with a knee injury.
Filling In For Smith
With Tracy Smith out of action, a pair of sophomores have seen an increased role in the Pack's front court. DeShawn Painter has gotten the starting nod at center for Smith. In the seven games since Smith was injured, Painter has averaged 7.7 points and 5.6 rebounds in 23.7 minutes.
He recorded his first career double-double when he came off the bench and had 12 points and 10 rebounds against East Carolina, new career-highs in each category. Against Fairleigh Dickinson, Painter also matched his career high with 12 points.
Last season, Painter averaged 1.6 points and 1.2 rebounds, seeing action in 26 of the 36 games. Jordan Vandenberg has also seen an increase in playing time without Smith in the lineup, as he has averaged 14.6 minutes over the last seven games and 17.4 minutes over the last five contests.
Youngstown State Game Notes
The NC State Series
This is the first meeting between Youngstown State and North Carolina State. The Guins have played just three other ACC schools prior to this season. The Guins lost to Clemson, 104-84, in 1989; lost to Georgia Tech, 105-85, in 1992; and lost to Maryland, 73-49, in 2008.
Scouting NC State
NC State is currently 5-3 overall and is coming off a 79-60 win over South Carolina-Upstate on Dec. 11. The Wolfpack also have two losses to two top 25 teams falling to Syracuse, 65-59, on Dec. 4, and Wisconsin, 87-48, on Dec. 1. Scott Wood leads the Wolfpack in scoring with 12.1 points per game while Lorenzo Brown and Ryan Harrow are in double figures with 11.1 and 10.8 points per game, respectively.
The Penguins return to Ohio but stay on the road with a visit to Kent State, Tuesday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m. in Kent, Ohio.
Last Time Out
The Guins picked up their fifth straight home victory with a 78-62 over Malone on Dec. 13. Senior Vytas Sulskis scored a game-high 25 points and tied a career high with five 3-pointers to lead the Penguins. Sophomore Damian Eargle recorded a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds and also blocked six shots. Junior Tre Brewer also posted his first career double-double with a 13 points and 14 rebounds - both career highs.
Sulskis Moving Up All-Time Scoring Chart
Senior Vytas Sulskis became the 32nd player in school history to reach 1,000 points in a career after scoring 22 against Saint Francis (Pa.) on Nov. 27. He ranks 23 all-time with 1,070 career points and needs just five more to move into 22nd place past Desmond Harrison (1,074 • 1997-2001) and 12 more to move into 21st past Phil Gaston (1,081 • 1971-75). Sulskis is also owns a 10.8 points per game scoring average.
Eargle Fourth Nationally
Sophomore Damian Eargle leads the Horizon League and ranks fourth nationally with 3.6 blocks per game. He has collected 26 over the last five games, including a career-high six against Malone on Dec. 13 and Toledo on Nov. 24. Eargle has tallied at least three blocks in seven of the nine games played and had at least five blocks in four different game.
Home vs. Road
The Guins have had vastly different outcomes when comparing home games against road contests. The Guins are averaging 74 points per game when playing at the Beeghly Center but 67. 5 points per game on the road. The Guins are also allowing 82.8 points per game on the road compared to just 61.2 points per home contest - a difference of 21.6 points. YSU has also lost its last 13 road games. The last road win for the Guins was a 74-65 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) on Dec. 16, 2009.
Guins Rainin' 3's
With 70 3-pointers made this season, the Guins lead the Horizon League with 7.8 3-pointers made per game.
Sulskis Needs to Crash Boards
For Youngstown State to be successful, senior Vytas Sulskis needs to be a factor on the boards as well as the scoring column. Sulskis is averaging 6.3 rebounds per game, which ranks seventh in the Horizon League. and the Guins are 4-1 this season when he grabs at least seven caroms.
In his first career start, junior Tre Brewer posted his first career double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds - both career highs. Brewer also had a 10-rebound effort in a 64-53 win over Buffalo on Nov. 16.
Senior Vytas Sulskis and sophomore Damian Eargle each scored 20-plus points against Malone on Dec. 13. Sulskis scored a season-high 25 while Eargle posted 24. It was the first time two YSU players scored at least 20 points in the same game since DeAndre Mays (22) and Sulskis (21) accomplished the feat at UIC on Feb. 6, 2010. Sulskis has also scored at least 20 points four times this season and 12 times in his career.
Double Your Pleasure
The double-doubles by Damian Eargle and Tre Brewer against Malone on Dec. 13 marked the first time two Guins have posted a double-double in the same game since Vytas Sulskis (24 points, 11 rebounds) and DeAndre Mays (16 points, 10 assists) did so against Valparaiso on Feb. 13, 2010.
Sulskis Streak Reaches Century
Against NC State, Senior Vytas Sulskis will play in his 100th straight game for Youngstown State. Sulskis has played in every game in his career and has made 66 career starts.
Guins Against Non-League Foes
The Guins have played pretty well against non-Horizon League foes. YSU owns a 5-2 record and is averaging 73.4 points per game. Senior Vytas Sulskis is averaging 17.4 points per game while shooting 63.2 percent (35-of-57) from the field and 51.6 percent (16-of-31) from 3-point range against non-league opponents
Big Wins Have Been Rare
The Guins' 91 points against Saint Francis (Pa.) on Nov. 27 are the most points scored since they put up 96 against Allegheny on Nov. 22, 2008. It is also the most points scored against a Division I opponent since a 92-87 win over UIC on Feb. 3, 2007. The Guins' 28-point margin of victory is the largest point differential over a Division I foe since an 89-59 (+30) win over Chicago State on Jan. 15, 1996. The Guins' last 20-point win over a Division I opponent was a 78-58 victory at James Madison on Dec. 19, 2006.
Sulskis Among Stat Leaders
Senior Vytas Sulskis' name can be found all over the Horizon League statistical leaderboard. Sulskis second in 3-point field-goal percentage (.459), fourth in field-goal percentage (.573), fifth in scoring (16.8), seventh in rebounding (6.3 rpg) and 10th in assists (2.7 apg).
Earlier this season, the Guins accomplished a feat never achieved before in school history. The Guins made at least 10 3-pointers in three straight games. They made 10 in a loss to Akron (11/20), 11 against Toledo (11/24) and 10 in the win over Saint Francis (Pa.) (11/27).
KP3 Breaking Out
Freshman point guard Kendrick Perry is coming into his own early in his freshman season. Perry ranks fourth on the team in scoring with 7.7 points per game. He also ranks fifth in the Horizon League with 3.9 assists per game and sixth with a 1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio. He scored a career-high 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field against Saint Francis (Pa.) (11/27).
Ward Goes For Career High
After going scoreless in the season opener, junior Ashen Ward stepped up and played the best two games of his career in back-to-back outings. Against Buffalo (11/16), Ward scored a then-career-high 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range. Ward scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half and also put the game away with a five straight points (a jumper and a 3-pointer) to extend YSU's lead from five to nine with just two minutes left. In the loss at Akron (11/20), Ward connected on 4-of-11 from the field, including 3-of-7 from 3-point range, for a career-high 14 points.
Sulskis Climbing 3-Point Chart
Senior Vytas Sulskis continues to move up the Youngstown State all-time 3-point chart. With a career-best five 3-pointers against Malone on Dec. 13, Sulskis ranks tied for fourth with Hank Raber (143, 1992-97). He needs 22 more 3-pointers to tie Quin Humphrey (165 • 2003-07) for third on the all-time list. Sulskis' season-high for 3-pointers made was 46 in 2007-08.
Slocum Notches 50th Win at YSU
With the 64-61 win over Samford on Nov. 12, Head Coach Jerry Slocum earned his 50th win at Youngstown State. It was also his 630th career victory. Slocum has now won at least 50 games at four different schools in his 36 years of coaching. He won 199 at Nyack, 202 at Geneva and 179 at Gannon.
The Penguins have never been shy about scheduling tough opponents and 2010-11 is no different. This season, the Guins will play nine 20-win teams and six programs that made the 2010 postseason.
Big Name Opponents
Over the last five seasons, the Penguins have made it a habit to schedule teams from BCS conferences. This season, the Guins visit NC State from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Since 2006-07, the Guins have faced teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference (Maryland and NC State), Big East (Pittsburgh and Notre Dame), Big Ten (Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State) and Pac-10 (UCLA).
18 League Games
The 18 conference games will tie a school record. This is the fourth straight season YSU will play 18 conference games. As members of the Mid-Continent Conference, YSU played 18 games three times (1993-94, 1994-95 and 1995-96).
Last to Score 30
With 30 points against Loyola on Jan. 9, 2010, DeAndre Mays set a career-high and became the first player to score at least 30 points since Keston Roberts scored 31 against Detroit on Feb. 27, 2007. Mays' performance is the 10th time under Jerry Slocum a player has scored at least 30 points in a game. YSU had just 10 30-point plus performances from Feb. 1988 to Dec. 2005.
Guins Sign Zuiker
Youngstown State signed 6-foot-9 forward Cale Zuiker (ZIKE-er) to a national letter of intent during the early signing period. Last season as a junior, Zuiker, who scored 312 points last year, was a unanimous First-Team All-Wisconsin Valley Conference selection after averaging 13 points, five rebounds, two assists and three blocks per game. He also led Marshfield High School to its first conference title since 1992 and tied a school record for wins in a season with 18.