Red/White Scrimmage A Success

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Thousands of excited fans streamed into the RBC Center Saturday afternoon following the NC State football team's 13-0 shutout win over North Carolina to get their first look at the 2011-2012 men's basketball team, led by new head coach Mark Gottfried.

Fans packed the lower bowl and watched the White Team win in all three periods of the intrasquad scrimmage. The White team won the first period 26-22, the second period 30-25 and the the third period 30-29.

And while Gottfried was quick to point out the areas where the Wolfpack need to improve before the regular season begins Nov. 11 against UNC-Asheville, he said he was happy with the way the Wolfpack worked through the scrimmage.

"There were times when we shared the ball really well. Other times I thought we needed to move the ball more. Especially the red team on a couple of trips," he said. "Overall we are learning what we want to do. We have to get better defensively. We still have to learn shot selection."

Alex Johnson led the way in the scoring column on the afternoon, knocking down two three-pointers and finishing with 23 points and 5 assists in two periods with the White Team and one with the Red. Lorenzo Brown, who will have to lead NC State's offense once the season starts, finished with 21 points and 8 assists.

"Alex was good. I thought the first two quarters he was the best player," Gottfried said. "There was no question. His age, maturity -- just the way he played was very good."

NC State's high-post offense showed flashes of solid play numerous times but was also sloppy in spurts as scrimmage wore on and fatigue set in.

Six players other than Johnson and Brown finished in double figures. C.J. Leslie led the way, scoring 19 points -- 14 in the final period to help the White Team secure its third win -- and pulling down a team-high 12 boards. Leslie's dunk in the final 10 seconds of the third period sealed the win for the White Team.

Thomas de Thaey scored knocked down three three-pointers and scored 16 points in the final two periods. Deshawn Painter and C.J. Williams finished with 14 points each while Scott Wood and freshman Tyler Harris each added 13. A slimmed down Richard Howell rounded out the players in double figures with 12.

One noticeable difference was NC State's effort to push the ball up the floor. Throughout all three periods the Wolfpack made a concerted effort to get the ball up the floor quickly and get into offensive sets. Gottfried has said in the pre-season that it's something he hopes State can become good at. Saturday's scrimmage was a first step in that direction.

"We had some good fast break opportunities. We actually had a number of fast break opportunities and muffed them one way or another," he said. "We have to be more efficient in the break. We have to learn how to be an effective fast break team. Right now we are at times and we aren't at times."

NC State will round out its pre-season schedule with an exhibition game against Flagler Monday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. Admission is free with the donation of three cans of food.

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