GAMEDAY: NC State vs. UNC Asheville

NC State will open the 2011-2012 season tonight against UNC Asheville in the RBC Center. Tip-off is set for 7:00 pm, and the game is not televised.

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Tip-Off: 7:00 PM

Television: NONE

Radio: Airtime begins @ 6:30 PM on the Wolfpack Radio Network

NC State Information


    UNC Asheville Information


    NC State Projected Starting Line-up
    G Lorenzo Brown
    G C.J. Williams
    F Scott Wood
    F Richard Howell
    C Jordan Vandenberg

    UNC Asheville Projected Starting Line-up
    G Matt Dickey
    G J.P. Primm
    F Jaron Lane
    F Quinard Jackson
    F Chris Stephenson

    Players to Watch
    NC State
    Lorenzo Brown --
    Brown is expected to be the key to NC State's offensive attack this season. The 6-foot-5 sophomore has transitioned to point guard, and he will log major minutes for the Wolfpack.

    UNC Asheville
    Matt Dickey --
    The Big South Preseason Player of the Year, Dickey is a scoring guard who can also create for his teammates. He will test NC State's backcourt.

    NC State Game Notes

    For the second consecutive year, NC State hit the century mark en route to a exhibition win. The Wolfpack defeated Flagler, 102-61, in its only tune up before the start of regulation play.

    Junior Scott Wood had a game-high 24 points, hitting six 3-pointers on eight attempts in the first half. He added to his total by hitting a pair of jumpers and converting two free throws in the second half.

    The Pack had three other players in double figures with sophomore C.J. Leslie adding 16 and senior C.J. Williams and junior DeShawn Painter each contributing 10. Sophomore point guard Lorenzo Brown got into early foul trouble and was limited to four points in 22 minutes of action. The Saints were led by Chad July and Matt Clark with 12 points each.

    Friday's game is the season opener for the Bulldogs. They enter the game following a 98-67 win over Lees-McRae on Monday.

    The Wolfpack is the first of two ACC opponents that UNC Asheville will open the year with. On Sunday, the Bulldogs return home for their regular season opener against the Tar Heels of North Carolina at the new Kimmel Arena.

    They return four starters from last season's team that finished with 20-14 mark last season and made the NCAA Tournament.

    The senior backcourt tandem of Matt Dickey and J.P. Primm return as the leading scorers. Dickey averaged 15.7 points per game last season, while Primm posted an average of 14.6 ppg and led the team in assists with 4.5 per outing.

    On Nov. 9, first-year NC State basketball coach Mark Gottfried announced the signings of Tyler Lewis (Statesville, N.C.), Rodney Purvis (Raleigh, N.C.) and T.J. Warren (Durham, N.C.) to play for the Wolfpack beginning with the 2012-13 season.

    "We're extremely excited about Tyler, Rodney and T.J.," said Gottfried. "They are great additions to our team. We like that they are great people, and they have to potential to become great players."

    The highly touted trio is considered one of the premier classes by several recruiting services and media outlets. According to ESPNU 100 rankings, Gottfried has assembled the No. 2 class in the nation, while has rated the Wolfpack's incoming class as the No. 3 class in the country.

    "The class that Mark Gottfried has put together will change the direction of the program," said Paul Biancardi, National Director of Recruiting for ESPN. "This is an impressive class considering the team is coming off some tough years. The perception of NC State is changing under Mark Gottfried. He and his staff will not be outworked."

    When NC State and UNC Asheville tip off Friday, they will complete a Veterans' Day basketball doubleheader for Pack fans.

    At noon, the women's team hosts the Redhawks of Southeast Missouri State at Reynolds Coliseum.

    Mark Gottfried was named the 19th head coach of the NC State men's basketball program on April 5, 2011.

    The veteran of 17 NCAA Tournament appearances as player and coach, Gottfried makes his return to the sidelines after a two-year stint as a color analyst for ESPN.

    Prior to that, Gottfried spent 11 years (1999-2009) at his alma mater, Alabama, where he led the Crimson Tide to new heights including the program's first-ever No. 1 national ranking in 2002 and its first-ever Elite 8 appearance in 2004. He also won the 2002 SEC regular season crown and tournament crown garnering him the conference's coach of the year honors as selected by the Associated Press and his coaching peers. Under his direction, the Tide went to the NCAA Tournament five years in a row (2002-06).

    Gottfried compiled a 210-130 mark at the Capstone.

    He got his first head coaching assignment at Murray State (1996-98) posting a 68-24 mark and guiding the Racers to three consecutive regular-season Ohio Valley Conference crowns, back-to-back OVC Tournament titles in 1997 and 1998 and three straight post-season appearances.

    Gottfried broke into the coaching ranks as an assistant under Jim Harrick at UCLA, where he spent seven seasons on the Bruins bench and was part of UCLA's run to the 1995 National Championships. During his tenure in Westwood, he helped the Bruins to two Pac-10 titles and seven trips to the NCAA.

    With a victory Friday over UNC Asheville, head coach Mark Gottfried would become the 16th coach to win his debut as a Wolfpack head coach.

    When NC State hosts Morehead State on Sunday evening, it will be facing its second straight opponent making its season debut.

    In his previous two head coaching stops at Murray State and Alabama, Mark Gottfried owns a career mark of 10-4 in season opening games.

    To open the year, NC State will face four teams that played in the NCAA Tournament. Here's a glance at how they did a year ago. Should the Wolfpack defeat Vanderbilt in the Legends Classic, they could potentially face a fifth tournment team in Texas on Nov. 21.

    The Pack opens tonight with UNC Asheville and faces Morehead State on Sunday. Morehead State won the OVC Conference and upset Louisville in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

    On November 16th, the Pack will face Princeton, who finished last season 25-7 and earned its conferences-best 24th trip to the NCAA Tournament.

    Just a few days later, State will face No. 7 Vanderbilt (Nov. 19) in the Legends Classic. Vandy finished 23-11 last season and returns standout wing John Jenkins, who averaged 19.5 points per game.

    In addition to NC State's tough slate of competition to start the season, the Wolfpack's schedule features a combined 14 games in the months of November and December. The 14 games are the most played since the Pack played 13 contests in the 2009-10 and 2001-02 campaigns.

    Starting with tonight's season opener, the Wolfpack will play five games in seasons first 11 days.

    UNC Asheville Game Notes

    UNC Asheville Begins Big Weekend vs. ACC Teams at N.C. State
    The UNC Asheville Bulldogs open the 2011- 12 season with a pair of games against teams from the ACC. Asheville begins the season at North Carolina State as the Bulldogs face a Wolfpack program that means a great deal to head coach Eddie Biedenbach.

    Coach Biedenbach played for N.C. State in the 1960's and served as an assistant coach in both the 1970's and 1990's. Eddie's wife Barbara is an N.C. State graduate and former cheerleader. Both his daughters, Tracy and Amy, went to State and were members of the Dance team.

    The Bulldog program has played 12 of the 14 teams that are now in the ACC but they've played the most games against the Wolfpack. Asheville is 0-15 all-time against State. The Bulldogs closest call came in the opening game of the 1992-93 season when a last-second three-pointer missed and the Wolfpack recorded a 72-69 win.

    The programs have not met since the opening contest of the 2003-04 season at the RBC Center. A young Asheville team was no match for a very good N.C. State team that night and won handily, 71-46. The Bulldogs scored just 13 points in the first half. On Sunday, Asheville returns to its new home and will open Kimmel Arena against top-ranked UNC Chapel Hill at 4 p.m. The game will be televised nationally by ESPNU. It's the first time the Bulldogs have ever hosted the topranked team in the country. The game is sold out and should make for an exciting weekend.

    Exhibition Opener
    J.P. Primm scored 24 points, while Matt Dickey added 18 points as UNC Asheville downed Lees- McRae 98-67 in an exhibition game Monday night at the Bulldogs brand new Kimmel Arena. The defending Big South Conference champions shook off a sluggish first half and steadily built on the lead throughout the night as Asheville prepared for the regular season with its only exhibition game. Chris Stephenson added 14 points, while Jaron Lane finished with 12 points.

    Both teams shot a lot of free throws in the foul-filled contest as 46 fouls were called. Asheville went 31-of-36 from the charity stripe, while Lees-McRae went 19-of-35.The Bulldogs forced 23 turnovers and had 13 steals in the game.

    Freshman Trent Meyer had four steals for Asheville. Primm, a first-team preseason Big South All-Conference selection, was 8-of-16 from the field and 5-of-10 from beyond the arc. He also pulled down six rebounds. Dickey, the Big South's Preseason Player of the Year, had a tough night shooting as he went 4- of-11 from the field and did not make a three-point attempt as he went 0-for-6.

    However, the senior guard went 10-of-10 from the charity stripe, dished out six assists and pulled down five rebounds. A free throw from Will Lopez gave the Bobcats a 17-16 lead midway through the first half before Asheville went on an 8-0 run to take the lead for good at 24- 17. Dickey had six points during the run. The Bulldogs had good balanced scoring in the final eight minutes as they scored 20 points to lead 44-30 at halftime.

    Seven different Asheville players scored during the run.

    Bulldogs are Preseason Favorites
    The UNC Asheville Bulldogs are the preseason favorite to win the 2012 Big South Conference championship. Asheville earned the top spot in a vote by Big South Conference head coaches and media members. It's the first time the Asheville program has been picked to win the league crown since the 2002-03 year. That season had the Bulldogs finishing fifth in the regular season but capturing the tournament championship.

    Dickey Named Pre-Season Big South Player of the Year
    Senior guard Matt Dickey was selected as the Big South Conference's Preseason Player of the Year by the league's coaches and media. Dickey enjoyed a breakout season last year. He led Asheville in scoring (15.7 ppg) and three-pointers made (65) and was second in assists (111) and steals (64).

    The senior guard earned first-team All-Conference honors and was named Big South Tournament MVP. He captivated the country with his clutch plays and shots. Dickey had a steal and a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Bulldogs a win at Coastal Carolina late in the season, 61-58. He knocked down a clutch three-pointer late in the championship game victory over the Chanticleers, and his three-pointer with 10 seconds left against Arkansas-Little Rock in the first round of the NCAA Tournament tied the game and allowed the Bulldogs to win the game in overtime, 81-77.

    Former NBA star and now TV analyst Charles Barkley commented, "How did a great player like Matt Dickey get out of the state of Alabama and end up in Asheville? That boy can play."

    Primm Makes Preseason First Team
    Senior guard J.P. Primm was named to Big South Conference's Preseason All- Conference first team along with Matt Dickey. Primm also enjoyed a tremendous season as a junior. He led Asheville in assists (154) and set a single-season record for steals in a season with 71.

    Primm was second in scoring (14.6) and three-pointers made (55). He earned second-team All- Conference honors and made the All- Tournament team. Primm was outstanding in Asheville's two NCAA Tournament games as he scored 22 points against UALR and 14 vs. Pitt in the second round.

    Two 1,000-Point Scorers
    The Bulldogs enter the 2011-12 season with two 1,000- point career scorers. Senior guard Matt Dickey and J.P. Primm both scored their 1,000th career point last year. Dickey has accumulated 1,230 career points and that puts him in 15th place all-time in Asheville in scoring. Primm has 1,192 career points, placing him in 17th place all-time in scoring.

    20 Wins Last Year
    The UNC Asheville Bulldogs finished with a 20-14 record last season. It was just the second time in the Division I era (1986-87 to present) that the Asheville program had a 20-win season. However, it was the second time in four years as the Bulldogs posted a 23-10 record during the 2007-08 season.

    11 BSC Wins Tied a School Record
    The Bulldogs finished with an 11-7 Big South Conference record last year. The 11 wins ties a school record for the most league victories in a season that was set in the 2009-10 campaign when Asheville went 11-7, as well.

    The Bulldogs finished in third place in the league standings, marking the 11th time under Coach Biedenbach that Asheville has finished in the top four in the regular season.

    Road Success Last Year
    Asheville went 8- 8 in enemy territory last year and it was the most road wins by a Bulldog team in more than 30 years. The Bulldogs went 6-3 in Big South Conference which was better than their home record which was 5-4. Asheville's final road game of the year was a 60-47 Big South Championship game win at Coastal Carolina.

    The Bulldogs led from start to finish in denying the regular-season champion Chanticleers a championship. Asheville opened last season with a great road win it rallied past Auburn, 70-69 in overtime. The game with the Tigers was Auburn's first in its new – Auburn Arena. Asheville trailed by 12 with five minutes left but roared to earn the victory.

    That victory was the first time a Bulldog team had opened the season with a road win since 1978.

    NC State and UNC Asheville athletics contributed to this report.

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