NOTES: Pack Back In Action

NC State returns to action tonight against Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia. Tip-off is set for 7:00 pm, and it is a big game for State as the Wolfpack tries to remain among the ACC's top teams.

NOTABLES
This is the 89th meeting between NC State and Georgia Tech.
• The Pack fell to the Yellow Jackets, 82-71, on Jan. 11, at home.
• NC State leads the series 51-37.
• The Wolfpack is 7-3 in its last 10 games versus Georgia Tech.
• With a victory, the Pack would have its best ACC record after 10 league games since the 2005-06 season when it was 8-2.
• Following Thursday's game, NC State will face the three top teams in the ACC within a six-day span.
• The Wolfpack is averaging 67.4 points and 14.2 assists per contest on the this season.
• NC State is 2-0 in games televised on ESPNU this year.
• Scott Wood is 53-of-53 from the line this year and has hit an ACC and school record 63 straight dating back to last year. Wood is now tied with Western Illinois' Joe Dykstra (1981-82) for the fourth-longest streak in NCAA Division I history. He is 21 from tying the NCAA mark.
• C.J. Williams is one of the ACC's most improved players. He has improved his scoring average from 4.7 last year to 12.1 this season for a net of +7.4.
• Richard Howell is the ACC's fourth leading rebounder with an average of 9.4 per game.
• NC State is the top assist team in conference play, averaging 15.8 assists per game. The Pack (17.0) trails only UNC (18.2) for assists in all games.
• State has the second best three-point percentage (.364) in the ACC. Duke leads the conference with a .393 mark from long range.
• The Pack is only ACC program with five players listed among league's scoring leaders. Each player is averaging 11.6 points or better per game.
• The NC State starting five account for .862 percent of the scoring.
• The Pack's strength of schedule is 44th according to Collegerpi. com (as of 2/8/12) and its NCAA RPI is 57th.
• The ACC's RPI is sixth according to Collegerpi.com.

GOTTFRIED VERSUS GEORGIA TECH
NC State coach Mark Gottfried is 1-1 versus Georgia Tech following an 82-71 loss to the Yellow Jackets on Jan. 11 at the RBC Center. His win over Georgia Tech came during his tenure at Alabama, when he guided the Crimson Tide to an 88-77 victory over the Yellow Jackets on Jan. 3, 2009.

SCOUTING GEORGIA TECH
The Yellow Jackets enter Thursday's contest following a 51-47 home victory over Boston College last Saturday. The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech is led by Glen Rice, Jr., who is averaging 13.0 points per game and Mfon Udofia, who is contributing 10.0 points per outing.

As a team the Yellow Jackets are averaging 62.3 points per contest, while their opponents scoring 63.3 points per game.

LAST TIME OUT
The Pack defeated Wake Forest, 87-76, paced by Scott Wood's season-high 23 points. Wood heated up from three-point range, going 6-for-10 on the afternoon. His shooting from long range helped swing the momentum in favor of the Wolfpack as he hit three straight triples in a span of 91 seconds to turn a 29-22 deficit to a 31-29 lead.

NC State would finish the first half on a 20-4 run to take a 42-33 lead at the break. Wake Forest hacked into NC State's nine-point halftime lead early, eventually tying the game 50-50 just before the 13-minute mark. State responded with a 16-5 run to stretch the lead to its largest of the game to that point at 66-55 with 8:40 to play.

Wake rallied to pull within five at 69-64, but the Pack answered once again, this time with an 11-2 run to put the game away. The Deacs wouldn't come within striking distance the rest of the way, as NC State ran away with the win.

C.J. Williams and C.J. Leslie each contributed 18 points and Lorenzo Brown added 15 points with eight assists. Richard Howell notched his ninth double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds to round out the scoring.

THE PACK IN NBA ARENAS
NC State will be playing in the Philips Arena for the second time in school history. The Pack previously lost to Georgia at Philips Arena during the 2000-01 season while competing in the Delta Classic. The Pack will be returning to Philips Arena for the ACC Tournament, March 8-11. Since the 1999-00 season, the Pack has played in 10 different NBA arenas, compiling a record of 11-13. Of those 24 contests, NC State has gone 3-4 during the regular season at NBA arenas.

STARTING PRODUCTION
This season, the Pack's starting quintet is accounting for .862 percent of the team's scoring. That figure reflects a considerable power boost from last year when the starters were responsible for .646 percent of the scoring. It's also the highest scoring production by the starters since the 2006-07 season.

ACC ROAD PLAY
With three wins on the road in ACC play, NC State has already surpassed its total from last year. It's the most conference road wins by NC State since since the 2005-06 season when it went 4-4 away from home.

PROTECTING THE ROCK
NC State has done a great job this season of protecting the ball. The Pack ranks second in the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3). UNC leads the league at 1.4.

SHARING THE SCORING
With all five starters listed among the ACC's scoring leaders, it not only shows the balance of Mark Gottfried's offense, but it exemplifies that any one of the Pack's starters can be the top scorer for any game. Each member of the quintet has been the Pack's leading scorer for at least one game this season.

EIGHT IS ENOUGH
Twenty-four games into his inaugural campaign at NC State, Mark Gottfried has settled into a fairly steady rotation of eight players. In addition to usual starters Lorenzo Brown, Scott Wood, C.J. Leslie, C.J. Williams and Richard Howell, center DeShawn Painter, guard Alex Johnson and to a lesser extent, forward Thomas de Thaey, make up the subsitution rotation.

The versatility of the Pack's individual players makes a smaller rotation workable, as Brown can move from point guard to shooting guard, Williams can play shooting guard or small forward and Howell can play both the four and five spots.

ON THE CLOCK
With a short rotation, the Wolfpack starters and the squad's small pool of reserves are logging significant minutes on the court. On average, a State starter is playing 30.0 minutes per game, while a reserve is averaging is 15.5 minutes per contest.

PROVIDING ASSISTANCE
NC State is definitely one of the most generous teams in the ACC this season when it comes to sharing the ball. Although the Pack ranks second in the league in assists per game with 17.0 (North Carolina leads with 18.2), Mark Gottfried's team leads the rest of the league by a large margin when it comes to number of assisted field goals made.

State has an assist on 409 of its 652 made shots this season - in other words, .627 percent of the team's shots have come off a pass.

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
Upon his hiring, head coach Mark Gottfried looked to improve the Pack's strength of schedule.

With a slate that already featured No. 2 Syracuse and No. 23 Indiana, Gottfried added teams like Vanderbilt, Texas and Stanford, his goal of bolstering the Pack's strength of schedule was achieved. NC State's current SOS is 44th according to Collegerpi.com (as of 2/8/12).

WOOD MOVES UP CAREER THREE-POINT LIST
With his six made three-pointers against Wake Forest, Scott Wood has now made 202 during his NC State career. He has surpassed Ilian Evtimov for fourth place in the Pack record books. Wood needs 16 more to tie Archie Miller for third on the list.

WOOD FROM THREE
Scott Wood is shooting .444 percent (67-of-151) from three-point range this season. He leads the ACC in three-point field goal percentage and is first in three-point field goals made (2.9 made per game). In win over Wake Forest, Wood made six three pointers.

Wood's 21-game streak with a made three pointer is currently the longest active stretch in the ACC. His 202 made three pointers are third most in the conference among active players.

WHAT BROWN DOES FOR STATE
Lorenzo Brown not only is one of the best distributors of the ball in the ACC, but he is also one of the league's top performers in several categories. His 1.8 steals per game ranks second in the ACC and his 6.8 assists per contest is the second-best average in the league (5th - nationally). Brown is also averaging 11.9 points per game (22nd - ACC). His 2.1 assist/turnover ratio is third best among conference players.

Against Syracuse, Brown recorded a career-best 13 assists and notched his first career double-double with 10 points. In a 87-81 win over Campbell, Brown posted a career-high 24 points. His eight steals against UNC Asheville is tops among ACC players this season.

THE SETUP MAN
Lorenzo Brown ranks among the national leaders in assists with 6.8 per game, the second-best mark in the ACC. That tally is the highest for a Wolfpack player since 1991, when Chris Corchiani dished out 9.6 assists per game to lead the nation. In the 21 years since, no State player has averaged more than 4.6 assists per game for the season.

After 24 games, Brown has tallied 163 assists and is just nine from posting one of the top 10 single-season marks in school history. He would become the first player since Corchiani to move onto the NC State single-season top-10 list.

STEPPING UP HIS GAME
C.J. Williams is one of the league's most improved players in terms of scoring. Last year, Williams averaged 4.7 points per game (ppg). This season he is averaging 12.1 ppg, a net improvement of +7.4 ppg among the league's most improved scorers.

Williams only trails Maryland's Terrell Stoglin (+10.3). Stoglin has improved his scoring from 11.4 ppg to 21.7 ppg. Williams is shooting a career-best .362 percent (25-of-69) from three-point range this season. His previous high for made threes is 16 as a freshman. As a sophomore and junior, Williams shot .229 and .222 percent, respectively, from behind the arc.

FROM ZERO TO 600
It might've taken C.J. Williams 101 games (25 pts. vs. Syracuse) to score 500 career points, but he has already surpassed the 600-point plateau in just 108 career games.

Williams also made his 100th game in a Wolfpack uniform one to remember. The Fayetteville native went out and led the team to a win over North Carolina Central with a then career- and game-high 21 points. He also hit a career-best eight free throws on a career-high nine attempts.


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