Much of this comes from sophomore Lorenzo Brown, who directs the offense as the point guard but has been discouraged at some recent slow-paced games. He seemed back in the groove by providing eight of the Wolfpack's 19 assists Saturday against Wake Forest.
"It was a real positive to get him some confidence," coach Mark Gottfried said.
-- New ACC scheduling formats, to go into existence once Pittsburgh and Syracuse come on board, delivered a jolt to N.C. State fans. That's because the Wolfpack will no longer play annual home-and-home games with rival North Carolina. Instead, N.C. State and North Carolina will play home-and-home only once during a three-year cycle, with one meeting per season in the two other years. N.C. State's primary partner for two annual games every year has been designated as Wake Forest.
-- The 87-76 victory against Wake Forest on Saturday was actually below par for the Wolfpack in terms of recent games against the Demon Deacons. That's because in the previous three meetings, N.C. State won by an average of 27.3 points. Even though the Wolfpack won by 25 fewer points than in January's meeting, they swept Wake Forest. N.C. State has swept the Demon Deacons in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1985-86 and 1986-87.
BY THE NUMBERS: 2 -- Total number of points scored by N.C. State reserves in each of the team's last three games (a loss to Virginia and victories against Boston College and Wake Forest).
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Defensively, we didn't play very well. I thought we had some stretches where we were really sharp, but it wasn't quite as consistent as we would have liked." -- coach Mark Gottfried after an 87-76 victory against Wake Forest in which the Wolfpack yielded its most points in seven games and its most in any ACC triumph this season.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
THIS WEEK'S GAME:
--at Georgia Tech, Feb. 9
KEY MATCHUPS: The Wolfpack will aim to avenge what has been the only major stain on its record -- Georgia Tech's 82-71 victory on Jan. 11. N.C. State players know they have to bring energy to this matchup. Keeping a normally low-scoring Georgia Tech team in check by guarding perimeter shooters better will be one of the priorities in their only game during the week.
FUTURES MARKET: The Wolfpack is trying to use G Scott Wood as much as possible as a primary offensive weapon. Wood has pointed out the need to work harder to find openings, but the commitment to go to him is there if he does his part. With a season-high six 3-point baskets (on 10 attempts) Saturday against Wake Forest, Wood isn't shy about launching those shots. This could be a sign that he's coming out of a big shooting funk -- he entered the game a combined 8 for 24 in the three previous games.