Gameday: NC State vs. Miami

NC State will host Miami today at noon at the RBC Center. After the game against the Hurricanes, the Pack will play four of its next five ACC games on the road, starting with a contest at Clemson Tuesday night.

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Tip-Off: 12:00 p.m.

Television: ACC Network

Radio: Airtime begins @ 11:30 AM on the Wolfpack Radio Network

NC State Information

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    Miami Information

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    NC State Projected Starting Line-up
    G Javier Gonzalez
    G Lorenzo Brown
    F Scott Wood
    F C.J. Leslie
    F Tracy Smith

    Miami Projected Starting Line-up
    G Malcolm Grant
    G Durand Scott
    G Garrius Adams
    F Erik Swoope
    C Reggie Johnson

    Players to Watch
    NC State
    Tracy Smith --
    The Wolfpack will be looking to attack Miami in the paint, and the best way to do that is feeding Smith on the block. He is as good a low-post scorer as there is in the ACC.

    Miami
    Durand Scott --
    Priority No. 1 for NC State has to be stopping Scott's dribble penetration. He is explosive attacking the basket and can score at the rim or find open teammates.


    NC State Game Notes

    Noting The Pack
    • NC State leads the all-time series with Miami, 6-4.

    • NC State is a perfect 4-0 all-time in Raleigh against the Hurricanes, including 3-0 at the RBC Center.

    • In the four ACC games so far, NC State has shot 31.5 percent and averaged 28.3 points in the first half, while shooting 54.3 percent and scoring 48.0 points in the second half.

    • C.J. Leslie is tied for the conference lead in being named ACC Rookie of the Week three times. Ryan Harrow was also named once.

    • In ACC play, Leslie is averaging 14.3 points and 8.0 rebounds. He is the only ACC freshman to rank in the top-20 in scoring in conference-only stats, and is also the top freshman rebounder in ACC games.

    • Since returning from knee surgery, Tracy Smith has averaged 18.3 points, on 57.7 percent (45-78) shooting, in 31.0 minutes.

    • NC State currently ranks fourth in the ACC in rebounding margin at +3.9. Last season the Pack was last in the conference at -0.6.

    • NC State ranks third in the ACC in three- point field goal percentage defense (.316).

    • Freshman Ryan Harrow ranks second on the team in scoring (11.4), despite starting only one game this season.

    • Harrow currently leads the ACC in free throw percentage, hitting 93.7 percent (59-63). He has hit 35 of his last 36 attempts.

    • Scott Wood currently leads the ACC in three- pointers per game (2.8), and is third in three- point percentage (.439).

    • Wood has hit 15-of-30 three-pointers over the last five games, while averaging 12.2 points a game.

    • NC State currently has five players averaging at least 8.9 points, Smith with 15.5 and the next four scorers between 11.4 and 8.9.

    NC State Hosts Miami
    NC State returns to home action this weekend, as the Wolfpack will host Miami on Sunday at noon at the RBC Center. After Sunday's game against the Hurricanes, the Pack will play four of its next five ACC games on the road, starting with a contest at Clemson Tuesday night.

    The Wolfpack (11-7, 1-3) will be looking to snap a three-game skid, after dropping a home contest to No. 4 Duke, 92-78, Wednesday night.

    The Hurricanes (12-6, 1-3) have dropped three of their last four games, including a tight 55-53 loss at home to Florida State on Wednesday. This game will be televised on the ACC Network with Steve Martin and Mike Gminiski.

    NC State to Hold 100 Year Reunion on Sunday
    In celebration of 100 years of NC State men's basketball, over 80 former players, coaches and managers will come back to the RBC Center for Sunday's contest against Miami. Those in attendance will attend a pregame brunch and reunion event. Then at halftime, they will be honored and a retrospective video will be shown to continue the Pack's centennial celebrations.

    The Series Versus Miami
    Sunday's matchup will mark only the 11th meeting between NC State and Miami. The Wolfpack leads the overall series 6-4, with a perfect 4-0 record when the teams have played in Raleigh, including 3-0 in games at the RBC Center. Miami leads 3-2 in games played on the Canes' home court, and Miami also won the only matchup on a neutral court.

    NC State won at Miami last season in the only contest between the two teams, as the Pack won 71-66 in late February. The two teams split a pair of games in 2008-09, with NC State winning 84-81 in overtime in Raleigh and Miami claiming a 72-64 home win to close out the regular season. In 2007-08, each team claimed one win, with NC State winning in overtime in Raleigh, and then Miami claiming a win in the ACC Tournament. The Hurricanes won the lone game in 2007, winning at home, 80-65.

    NC State won both games against the Hurricanes during the 2005-06 season - win- ning by 12 (81-69) in Raleigh and then fighting to an 86-77 double-overtime win at Coral Gables.

    The two squads met just once in 2004-05, Miami's first year in the ACC. The Pack fell, 66-67 in Miami. The only other game was played in 1939-40, a 46-35 Wolfpack win in Raleigh.

    Last Season Versus Miami
    NC State claimed a win at Miami on February 27. The Pack came back from nine down in the second half, to came away with a 71-66 win. Miami held a 48-39 lead with 12:19 left to play, but the Pack went on a 7-0 run, and capture the lead at 53-52 with 6:11 left. The game was eventually tied 63-63 with 1:10 left, but the Pack went on a 6-0 run and gain its second straight ACC win. The game was tied 30-30 at the half, and NC State and shot 60.0 percent (12-20) in the second half, and hit all three of its three-pointers. Javier Gonzalez matched his career-high with 19 points, including hitting all six of his free throws in the final 42.7 seconds, and Tracy Smith added 19 points and seven rebounds.

    Last Time Out for NC State
    No. 4 Duke led from start to finish, as the Blue Devils came away with a 92-78 road win at the RBC Center over NC State on Wednesday. NC State fell behind early in the game, as Duke took a 42-28 lead into the half, with the Pack shooting just 21.6 percent (8-37). NC State came out of the half with an 11-2 run, and closed the game to 54-49 with 13:16 left, but the Blue Devils scored on seven of their next eight possessions and went on a 16-5 run to extend the lead. NC State had five players in double figures, with a team-high 19 points from Tracy Smith and 15 points from both Scott Wood and Ryan Harrow.

    Pack Struggles at Start, Improves in Second Half
    In the Pack's four ACC games, NC State has started off slow, struggling from the field in the first 20 minutes of play. In those four games, NC State has shot just 31.5 percent from the field, while averaging 28.3 points. But coming out of the break, the Pack has improved dramatically in the second half in its ACC games. In all four conference games, the Pack has shot better in the second half of each game and has scored more points. NC State has averaged 48.0 points in the second half of its ACC games, while shooting 54.3 percent from the field.

    In his six games back from injury, Smith has averaged 18.3 points, and shot 57.7 percent (45-78) in 31.0 minutes. In his first game back against San Diego, Smith started on the bench, and checked into the contest at the 15:10 mark. On his very first touch, Smith converted his first field goal attempt in nearly six weeks. He finished the contest with a game-high 16 points (7-of-12 shooting) and played 25 minutes.

    Smith then returned to the starting lineup at Elon on January 5, and scored 15 points, with nine coming in the second half after the Pack was down at the break. In the ACC opener against Wake Forest, Smith recorded his first double-double of the sea- son, 23 points and 11 rebounds. The 23 points matched an ACC-best for Smith. In conference games, Smith is averag- ing 19.8 points, the fourth-best mark in the ACC.

    After playing only six minutes against East Carolina in the Charleston Classic on Nov. 18, Smith returned to Raleigh to get an evaluation on his knee. He underwent ar- throscopic knee surgery Nov. 19. The joint was debrided and no major damage was found. He played a total of just 34 minutes in the first two games of the season before missing nearly six weeks of action.


    Miami Game Notes

    The Hurricanes come off Wednesday's heartbreaking 55-53 loss to Florida State and bring a 1-3 conference record into Sunday's game. Miami has already faced the three teams currently tied for No. 1 in the conference (as of Friday, Jan. 21), going 1-2 in that span while handing Boston College its first ACC loss of the season.

    The Wolfpack rides a three-game slide into Sunday's showdown and also owns a 1-3 ACC mark. They return to the hardwood following a 92-78 home loss to Duke. NC State's three losses are at the hands of the teams tied for the league lead, while its lone win to date is a 90-69 victory over Wake Forest on Jan. 8. The Wolfpack is 8-2 at home this season, with the aforementioned loss to Duke and a 72-62 loss to Arizona on Dec. 19.

    FILLING THE STAT SHEET
    Junior Malcolm Grant stayed in Coral Gables over the summer, working on his game and dropping some weight. The hard work is showing as the 6-1 Brooklyn native ranks among the ACC's top five in four different statistical categories -- free throw percentage (2), three-point field goals made (4), assists (5) and three-point field goal percentage (5).

    In addition, he is seventh in the ACC in both scoring and minutes played. He is among just six of the ACC's premiere players to rank among the top five in as many categories, joining Virginia Tech's Malcolm Delaney, Boston College's Reggie Jackson, Maryland's Jordan Williams, Duke's Nolan Smith and North Carolina's John Henson.

    After averaging a solid 9.6 points per season in his first campaign for the Hurricanes in 2009-10 -- ranking fourth-best on the squad, his average has increased 5.7 points per game to a team-high 15.3 points per game this season. After posting a season-high 18 points twice in 2009-10, he has scored 20-or-more points six times this season -- including a career-high 26 points versus West Virginia in Miami's 79-76 win on Dec. 4 and a game-high 20 points in Wednesday's game versus Florida State, which marks a career high for Grant versus an ACC opponent.

    QUICK HITS
    Miami is one of just two ACC schools -- along with Boston College -- with three players ranked among the conference's top 20 leading scorers with Malcolm Grant (15.3 ppg, 7th), Durand Scott (13.9 ppg, 11th) and Reggie Johnson (11.8 ppg, 20th).

    Following Sunday's game at NC State, the Hurricanes -- who have played three of their first five conference games on the road, will host three of its next four at the BankUnited Center, beginning on Wed., Jan. 26 versus North Carolina.

    Reggie Johnson grabs a team-high 23.5 percent of the available rebounds when he is on the court -- 27.3 percent of the defensive boards (14th in the nation) and 19.5 percent of the offensive boards (third-best in the nation).

    UM's second most active player on the glass is Raphael Akpejiori, who pulls down 18.1 percent of the rebounds when he's in the game.

    Malcolm Grant and Reggie Johnson are among the most improved scorers in the ACC. After posting 6.4 points per game as a redshirt freshman in 2010, Johnson's average has leapt 5.4 points per game to 11.8 points an outing this season. Grant's average has increased 5.7 points per game, going from 9.6 points an outing as a redshirt sophomore in 2010 to a team-high 15.3 points per game this season.

    Durand Scott has netted double figures in eight of the last nine games and in 22 of his last 27 games to rank second on the team and 11th in the ACC with 13.9 points per game.

    In just his second season as a `Cane, Malcolm Grant's 107 career three-pointers is tied for 10th among active ACC players, while his 40.9 percent career three-point field goal percentage ranks third in UM's record book. He has hit a trey in five-straight games, tying for the eighth-longest active streak in the ACC.

    Averaging 2.2 three-pointers per game -- seventh in the ACC, Adrian Thomas is on pace to climb into UM's top five in career threes by the end of the regular season. With 151 entering Wednesday's game versus Florida State, he is ninth in the record books, but is on track to hit 180, which would put him in fifth place.

    Over the last three games, sophomore Garrius Adams is averaging 9.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals, while shooting 42.9 percent from long range and a perfect 100 percent from the charity stripe. Miami's projected starting lineup is comprised of a true freshman, three sophomores and a junior.

    THE SERIES
    NC State leads the all-time series versus Miami, 6-4, and won the last meeting between the teams with a 71-66 decision over the `Canes in Coral Gables on Feb. 27, 2010.

    The teams have alternated wins and losses over the last seven meetings. If the pattern continues, the Hurricanes are due for a win on Sunday. Over that span, three of the games have gone into overtime -- with the Wolfpack winning the last two meetings in Raleigh in OT.

    In the last meeting between the teams, Tracy Smith and Javier Gonzalez scored 19 points apiece to lead NC State to the win, while former `Cane Dwayne Collins tallied a team-high 15 points and Durand Scott added 13 points, five assists and three steals. The game was tied 30-all at the half with NC State taking the lead for good on a pair of Dennis Horner free throws to go up 64-63 with 1:10 to go.

    The Wolfpack is led by four players averaging double-figure scoring -- Tracy Smith with 15.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game (including 18.3 points in six games since returning from a knee injury that sidelined him for 10 contests), Ryan Harrow with 11.4 points and 3.4 assists per game (ACC-high 93.7 percent from the line), CJ Leslie with 11.2 points and a team-high 8.0 boards an outing and sharpshooter Scott Wood with 10.9 points per game, including an ACC-high 2.8 three-pointers per game at a 43.9 percent clip.

    CENTURY CLUB
    Sixth-year player Adrian Thomas made his 100th career appearance in the Nov. 21st game at Rutgers, becoming the 34th Hurricane to accomplish this. Former teammates James Dews (2006-10) and Brian Asbury (2005-09) hold the Miami program record for career appearances with 130 apiece. With 113 career appearances to date, he is tied for 20th in program history alongside several former `Canes including assistant coach Jake Morton (1988-93). Should Thomas play in every game during the regular season, he will tally 127 appearances with an opportunity to break the record with an extended postseason.


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