Sharing The Wealth

The Wolfpack has been in a passing mood and it has resulted in some uncanny offensive flow.

Now keeping this going might be the tricky part, but there's a nice base to build on.

The Wolfpack has had some soaring assist totals in coach Mark Gottfried's first season. N.C. State has 106 assists on its last 138 field goals in a five-game span, representing better than a 75 percent clip.

"Guys just want to get the points for the team," guard C.J. Williams said.

This approach has helped create balance and that's bound to keep opponents wondering where N.C. State will generate its production.

"We don't have that one scorer who just needs to score all the time," forward Richard Howell said. "We have various different options."

The results have given the Wolfpack a nice shooting percentage in some situations. There was a 57.7-percent team mark from the field against Western Carolina, a number that would have been higher if not for 2-for-11 marksmanship from reserves.

NOTES, QUOTES
-- F Richard Howell has done more than just rebound the ball. His role in that area has led to good offensive flow for the Wolfpack.

Howell has pulled in at least 12 rebounds in four consecutive games. His 14 rebounds against Western Carolina accounted for more than one-third of the team's total of 39.

"He has been rebounding the ball efficiently and getting the ball out to his guards quickly," coach Mark Gottfried said. "That has allowed us to get the offense moving pretty quickly."

-- The offensive production for senior G C.J. Williams continues to be one of the biggest breakthroughs for the Wolfpack this season.

Williams has been regarded as a capable offensive player, but either through lack of consistency or fluctuating playing time that didn't always show through during his first three seasons. Now, he has three games of 20 or more points this season after never reaching the 20-point mark in his first three seasons.

As a junior, he had a total of three double-figure scoring games.

-- The Wolfpack will play at its regular arena (RBC Center) for the rest of the regular season in home games after playing three times on campus at Reynolds Coliseum. N.C. State won all three of those games at its former permanent home and the atmosphere generated there in some of the games is something the team hopes is carried over to the bigger off-campus arena.

"It's fun to be a part of that," coach Mark Gottfried said, referring to what he calls exciting environments at two different venues.

BY THE NUMBERS: 25 -- Number of assists for the Wolfpack on its 30 field goals against Western Carolina.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We're getting deeper and deeper. We're getting more people more shots." -- F Richard Howell after the Wolfpack had five players score in double figures in an 82-55 victory against visiting Western Carolina.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
THIS WEEK'S GAMES:
-- vs. Delaware State, Jan. 4
KEY MATCHUPS:
This is the final non-conference tune-up for the Wolfpack, which is coming off some good performances in these situations. If the Wolfpack is focused, it should be able to roll up some points with solid offensive execution against a team that's bound to have a difficult time at the defensive end.

-- vs. Boston College, Jan. 8
KEY MATCHUPS:
The Wolfpack's experience should come in handy in this one because Boston College is a team that's in a much bigger regrouping situation than anything N.C. State is up against. The Eagles might not have the athleticism to handle such players as F C.J. Leslie and F Richard Howell of the Wolfpack.

FUTURES MARKET: The Wolfpack is hoping that freshman F Thomas de Thaey can get untracked. It's not for a lack of trying because he has been given ample opportunity to show that he can contribute after he missed the start of the season as his eligibility status was evaluated. He needs to develop a better shooting touch so his rate of converting in the lane improves. He has the type of athleticism that should bode well if he can find comfort level that allows him to stay on the court.

PLAYER NOTES
-- G Lorenzo Brown has averaged 6.7 assists per game through the first 14 outings. That's crucial for the Wolfpack as Brown evolves into a full-time role as the point guard.

-- F Richard Howell has compiled three consecutive double-doubles. The junior had a total of three double-doubles in his first two seasons combined.

-- G Scott Wood has connected on all 31 of his free-throw attempts this season. His 39 in a row dating to last season is tied for the 10th-longest streak in ACC history.


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