Desperate Measures

With his team cratering, coach Sidney Lowe is resorting to desperate measures.

The Wolfpack coach used a 2-3 zone for much of the first half of the Feb. 2 home loss to Virginia Tech. It didn't work -- the Pack got killed on the boards 27-12 and fell behind 39-26 at the break.

Lowe even tried forward Kendall Smith, who had not played at all in the six previous games. That didn't work, either.

N.C. State's 77-69 loss overshadowed an 18-point performance off the bench by freshman forward C.J. Leslie.

Now the Pack (12-10, 2-6) must go to Cameron Indoor Stadium Saturday, where they'll likely get taken apart by the No. 5 Blue Devils.

The Pack is 83-72 in Lowe's four-plus seasons, without an NCAA Tournament appearance. Lowe is running out of time.

Unless N.C. State pulls off a dramatic turnaround, this is looking like Lowe's final season in Raleigh.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE: The Wolfpack do little to disrupt their opponents' offensive sets. They got only one steal in the Feb. 2 loss to Virginia Tech and forced just five turnovers, though they did block eight shots. N.C. State entered the 77-69 loss allowing 69.7 points per game, which ranked 10th in the ACC.

--N.C. State has dropped six of seven after its 77-69 home loss to Virginia Tech on Feb. 2.

--The Wolfpack was outrebounded 99-74 in the losses to Virginia Tech and North Carolina.

--North Carolina State shot only 36.4 percent from the field against North Carolina, its lowest in seven ACC games and worst since a 31.0 percent effort in the loss to Arizona.

--The cold shooting first half (23.3 percent) at Chapel Hill ended the 'Pack's recent trend of hot starts. The 'Pack shot a combined 50 percent (29 of 58) in the first halves against Miami and Clemson.

--Sophomore G Scott Wood saw his streak of games with at least one 3-pointer end at seven when he missed his only try from behind the arc at North Carolina. He was 20 of 41 (48.8 percent) from behind the arc in that span.

BY THE NUMBERS: 0-4 -- The 'Pack's record on the road in ACC through the loss at North Carolina (2-6 overall).

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Lorenzo's got great size. You know, he's more a north-south player." -- Coach Sidney Lowe, on 6-5 freshman G Lorenzo Brown.

--at Duke, Feb. 5

KEY MATCHUPS: This is a rather quick turnaround game as the two teams played Jan. 19, with the Blue Devils winning 92-78. G Noland Smith (22 points, six assists), F Kyle Singler (18 points, nine rebounds) and F Mason Plumlee (10 rebounds) had big games for the Blue Devils in that meeting.

FUTURES MARKET: Coach Sidney Lowe may be looking at more tinkering in his backcourt. In the two games leading up to the contest at North Carolina, freshman Lorenzo Brown, who has 17 starts, played backup at point guard and senior Javier Gonzalez backed up C.J. Williams at the "2" guard. But Brown's effort at North Carolina may warrant getting him back in the starting lineup.

PLAYER NOTES --Sophomore F Scott Wood made 22 of 45 3-pointers (49 percent) in a nine-game stretch through Feb. 2.

--Freshman G Lorenzo Brown returned to the starting lineup in the Feb. 2 loss to Virginia Tech, getting eight points, four rebounds and three assists but making just 2 of 11 shots.

--Freshman G Ryan Harrow missed his second straight game Feb. 2 because of an illness.

--Freshman G Lorenzo Brown had a career-high 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting against North Carolina.

--Senior F Tracy Smith fouled out for the first time this season in the loss at North Carolina. In 25 minutes he had 12 points, his lowest output in nine games since returning from knee surgery.

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