Seven-Man Wolfpack

The Wolfpack is relying on a few players to carry a big load, and it's worth monitoring.

Coach Mark Gottfried said he would have liked to have developed more depth, but the Wolfpack is limited in that category. Only seven players have been used in each of the last three games, including in the rematch with Wake Forest when N.C. State's largest lead was 14 points in an eventual 87-76 victory.

So this might be a good part of the schedule for the Wolfpack, which plays only two games during a 12-day stretch.

It's unclear how the extended minutes for the starters might eventually take a toll. Forward Richard Howell has had some of his minutes reduced by foul troubles, but that wasn't a problem against Wake Forest and he checked in with a season-high 36 minutes. He had gone nine consecutive games without reaching the 30-minute mark, then played 35 minutes at Boston College in the game before Wake Forest.

N.C. State might be steering clear of trouble considering it has won five of its last seven games, with one of the losses by one point to nationally ranked Virginia.

Guard Lorenzo Brown is the most-used player as he's logging slightly more than 33 minutes per game. Apparently, his workload isn't about to be reduced; in the team's 24th game, a victory against Wake Forest on Saturday, he posted a season-high 38 minutes.

The players don't seem to mind. They've pointed out that they've become accustom to the heavy-duty minutes.

-- F C.J. Leslie went without an offensive rebound for only the fourth game this season when all five of his rebounds against Wake Forest on Saturday came at the defensive end. He had nine games in a row with at least one offensive rebound.

-- G C.J. Williams had his jersey retired at his high school in North Carolina, becoming the first basketball player at Britt High School in Fayetteville to have that honor. Williams didn't flinch, because in the game after that ceremony, he poured in 18 points on 8-for-13 shooting against Wake Forest.

-- G Scott Wood pushed his streak of consecutive made free throws to 64 by making his lone attempt Saturday (as part of a four-point play) against Wake Forest. That's the ACC record, and it's 21 away from the NCAA record of 85 by Butler's Darnell Archey (2001-03).

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