NOTES: Huge Test For State

No. 14 NC State (14-2, 3-0) heads on the road tonight to face Maryland (13-3, 1-2) in a tough game for the Wolfpack.

Of the many great rivalries NC State has in men's basketball, the most intense outside of North Carolina's boundaries is the one it shares with Maryland, which owns a slight 76-73 edge in the series between two of the league's charter members. The only tighter series record for the Wolfpack against its ACC brethren is a 7-8 record all-time record against newcomer Boston College.

Last season, in the only meeting between the Pack and the Terps, State snapped a nine-game losing streak to Maryland, gaining a 79-74 win at home on Jan. 8, 2012.

Mark Gottfried became only the second coach in school history to win his ACC opener, when the Wolfpack downed Maryland, 79-74, on Jan. 8, 2012.

C.J. Leslie led the way to the Pack's 79-74 win over Maryland last season, scoring 20 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Scott Wood added 19 points, going 6-for-6 from the charity stripe to set the NC State record for consecutive free throws made at 47 (that streak would eventually get to 66).

NC State's 78-73 victory over Boston College on Jan. 5 in Chestnut Hill, Mass., was the first time the Wolfpack opened ACC play with a road win since Dec. 4, 1997, when the Pack beat Georgia Tech in Atlanta, 71-69.

On Jan. 9, an 83-70 victory over Georgia Tech at PNC Arena gave the Wolfpack its first 2-0 record in league play for the first time since 2003-04, which is also the last time NC State had beaten a top-ranked Duke team prior to this past weekend.

On Saturday, Mark Gottfried and company sent top-ranked Duke packing, winning 84-76 to move to 3-0 in the league for the first time since 1988-89. That year, head coach Jim Valvano led State to its most recent regular-season league championship.

A win at Maryland would give State its first 4-0 start in ACC action since 1973-74. That year, Norm Sloan's squad ended up with a 12-0 league mark, a 30-1 overall record and the national title. That will be a tall task, as the Pack hasn't won at Maryland since the 2004-05 season.

Wolfpack assistant coach Rob Moxley spent the 2005-06 season on the Maryland bench under former Terrapin head coach Gary Williams. Moxley, a Baltimore native, helped recruit 2010 ACC Player of the Year Greivis Vasquez, who was part of a class that was ranked 18th by

That season, Moxley helped the Terps to a 19-13 record and a berth in the NIT.

Another tie between the two programs is Terrapins assistant coach Delonte Hill. Hill played for Wolfpack associate head coach Bobby Lutz in Lutz's first season as the head coach at Charlotte, while Moxley was a 49er assistant.

Lutz also coached Hill in his first two seasons at Charlotte when he was an assistant to Melvin Watkins before taking over the reigns of the team in Hill's junior season. During that time, the 49ers won the 1999 Conference USA title and made three postseason appearances: two NCAA Tournaments and an NIT appearance.

NC State continues to lead the nation in field goal percentage, as the Wolfpack is currently connecting at a .528 clip - hitting 473 of its 895 attempts.

In 14 of 16 contests this season, State has shot .500 or better, including a season best .614 in its season-opening victory over Miami of Ohio.

In its three games against ACC competition, State has hit .500 from the field. Accurate shooting was missing in the Pack's pair of losses this season - versus Oklahoma State and Michigan the squad shot just .458 (54 of 118) from the field.

NC State's current 10-game winning streak is the longest under coach Mark Gottfried, the longest for the Pack since the 1988-89 campaign and the sixth-longest active streak in the nation.

That season, State put together 10 consecutive wins, starting with a 109-81 victory over Alabama State (Dec. 20) and stretching to an 82-64 victory over Wake Forest (Jan. 18). North Carolina handed the Pack its first setback in a month, handing State an 84-81 loss in Chapel Hill.

If the Pack's current streak were to stretch to 11 games, it would mark the first time since the 1979-80 campaign, when Norm Sloan led the Pack to 11 straight before losing to ... you guessed ... UNC in Chapel Hill, 64-67. The longest winning streak in NC State history is 36 games which spanned the 1973-74 and 1974-75 seasons.

NC State currently ranks eighth nationally in scoring, as the Pack is averaging 81.5 points per game. Mark Gottfried's team has eclipsed the 80-point mark in 11 of the 16 games this season, including eight of the last nine.

The Pack has not averaged 80 points in a season since 1996 (81.2) and this season marks the Pack's highest scoring average since 1991 (89.3).

Junior point guard Lorenzo Brown was very giving in the Wolfpack's win over top-ranked Duke on Saturday. He was also extremely selfish.

Brown generously passed the ball to his teammates in that epic Wolfpack win - dishing out 13 assists to tie his career high in that category.

The oddest thing about that statistic is that Brown had every assist in the game. Nationally, only three times since 1996-97 has a team tallied more than 10 assists in a game with every one going to a single player.

Brown ranks fourth in school history with 463 assists and is 10 away from third place. He had one other 13-assist game in his career. That one also came against the nation's No. 1 team, as he handed out a baker's dozen when top-ranked Syracuse visited the PNC Arena on Dec. 17, 2011.

NC State's 84-76 win on Saturday against top-ranked Duke was the program's first over the nation's No. 1 team since Feb. 2, 2004. On that date, the Wolfpack also knocked over the No. 1 ranked Blue Devils, 78-74, snapping an eight-game winning streak.

The most recent victory was NC State's sixth over a No. 1 team. The Wolfpack is one of 18 programs to boast multiple wins over No. 1 teams and joins Indiana with six wins against top-ranked squads. That mark ranks 12th nationally.

NC State and Duke are the only two ACC teams with five or more players averaging in double figures. Only six other teams nationally have five or more double-digit scorers: Detroit, Duke, Indiana, Iowa State, Oregon and Oregon State.

NC State is the ONLY program with five players averaging more than 12 points per game. The Pack is led by junior C.J. Leslie with an average of 16.2 points per contest. Junior Lorenzo Brown is second on the team in scoring, averaging 13.0 ppg.

Senior Richard Howell is contributing 12.9 ppg, while freshman T.J. Warren and senior Scott Wood are both chipping in 12.3 ppg. The Wolfpack spreads its scoring responsibility around the lineup, with five different players leading the team in scoring more than once, Leslie leads the way with six times as the Pack's top scorer.

Senior Scott Wood now has 271 career 3-pointers for the Wolfpack, which leads all active ACC players. He ranks second in NC State history behind Wolfpack career-scoring leader Rodney Monroe's 322 career treys and ranks 14th in ACC history.

Wood has averaged more than 76 baskets from behind the arc in his first three seasons with the Wolfpack, which means he has a chance to become one of 10 players in ACC history to hit 300 or more 3-point baskets since the bonus shot was introduced experimentally for the 1982-83 season and permanently in 1986-87. If he matches his career high of 95, set last season, Wood could eclipse Monroe's school record of 322, which ranks sixth in ACC history.

When senior Scott Wood has success from beyond the 3-point arc, so does NC State. Since Mark Gottfried took over the program, whenever Wood hits three or more 3-pointers in a contest, the Wolfpack's record is 22-2. Its record improves to 13-0 when Wood connects on four or more 3-pointers in a contest.

In his career, Wood has nailed three or more threes 46 times. State posts a 35-11 mark in those contests.

Wood knocked down big shots when NC State needed them the most in the Pack's ACC opening win at Boston College on Jan. 5. He was 0-for-4 for the first 36:14 of the game and had gone to the bench with four fouls, but exploded for 12 points over the final 3:46 of the contest to seal the win for the Wolfpack.

He scored his first six points on consecutive 3-pointers. Then in the final 27 seconds of the game, Wood connected on all six of his free throw attempts, including two with a second remaining to seal the victory.

Freshman forward T.J. Warren currently leads the ACC by a wide margin in field goal percentage. The rookie from Durham, N.C., is connecting at a .672 (86-128) clip this season, well ahead of the league's number-two shooter, who checks in with a .623.

If the season ended today, Warren's mark would be the Pack's single-season record by a landslide. Kevin Thompson shot .624 in 1992 for the current best mark (Warren needs to have 100 made field goals to qualify for the season list).

The ACC's second-best marksman this season is Pack senior Richard Howell.

The tandem ranks eighth and 25th respectively in the national statistics. Warren and Howell are the only teammates that rank in the top 25 nationally in shooting percentage.

The last Wolfpack freshman to lead the ACC in field goal percentage was J.J. Hickson, who shot .591 for the 2007-08 season.

Mark Gottfried's starters and top reserve are definitely seeing the bulk of the action for 14th-ranked NC State in 2012-13. The Wolfpack is the only team in the ACC that has six players averaging over 25 minutes of playing time a game. Duke and Miami each have five players seeing that much action.

Beyond the Pack's top six of Leslie, Brown, Howell, Wood, Purvis and Warren, only freshman Tyler Lewis sees double-digit numbers in terms of minutes played (10.4). In ACC games, Lewis has averaged just 3.7 minutes per contest. In league play, Leslie, Brown and Howell are all averaging 31+ minutes.

By the end of the January, the Wolfpack's four upperclassmen could all be members of the program's 1,000-point club.

Scott Wood scored his 1,000th point in last season's opening-round win over San Diego State in the NCAA Tournament.

Junior C.J. Leslie earned his place in the fraternity in the first half in NC State's win over Western Michigan on Dec. 29. He became the 46th player in NC State's storied basketball history to score his 1,000th point.

Senior forward Richard Howell is 24 points away from joining them and junior Lorenzo Brown is 33 points earning a spot in the club as well.

The last time NC State had three 1,000-point scorers on the same team was in 2008-09, with Brandon Costner (1,273), Engin Atsur (1,181), Ben McCauley (1,138) and Courtney Fells (1,060). The 1982-83 squad also had a trio of 1,000 scorers led by Thurl Bailey (1,495), Dereck Whittenburg (1,272) and Sidney Lowe (1,048). That squad went on to win the national title.

Senior Richard Howell has been a force to be reckoned with over the course of his career, and never more so than in Saturday's win over top-ranked Duke.

The senior from Marietta, Ga., who was named ACC Player of the Week for his efforts, scored 16 points and pulled down 18 rebounds in the Wolfpack win. He is one of only two players in the ACC (along with Duke's Mason Plumlee) who is averaging a double-double this season, with 12.9 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.

Howell, who could become the 26th player in State history to post 1,000 career points and 800 career rebounds, has turned in nine double doubles in 15 games this season and has 22 for his career. That is the most for any Wolfpack player since forward Kenny Inge recorded 23 double-doubles from 1998-2001.

Howell is looking to become the first Wolfpack player since Kenny Carr, who averaged 10.3 boards per game in 1975-76, to average doubledigit rebounds. Last season, Howell averaged 9.2 rebounds per game, the most of any Wolfpack player since Todd Fuller averaged 9.9 as a senior in 1995-96.

Howell has pulled 316 offensive caroms in his career and needs just 24 more to move into third place in Wolfpack history in that category.

The Washington, D.C.-Baltimore metro area has been fertile recruiting territory for the Wolfpack, dating back to head coach Norm Sloan's earliest days, and has produced some of the best players in Wolfpack basketball history.

Sloan began his pipeline in Maryland, beginning at Rockville's Peary High, where he recruited Steve Nuce, Paul Coder and Craig Davis, and Chevy Chase's Steve Graham in the early 1970s.

Sloan and his staff moved on to Morgan Wootten's DeMatha Catholic High in the mid-1970s, as assistant coach Eddie Biedenbach began wooing Adrian Dantley, who eventually signed with Notre Dame. Biedenbach, however, developed a relationship with a younger player – power forward Kenny Carr – and started a D.C.-to-Raleigh trail that is still active to this day.

Prominent DeMatha High graduates who played for the Wolfpack include Charles "Hawkeye" Whitney, Sidney Lowe, Dereck Whittenburg, Bennie Bolton, Quentin Jackson and Jordan Collins.

Current Stags' center BeeJay Anya of Gaithersburg, Md., has signed to play with the Wolfpack next season.

One of Sloan's final recruits, forward Thurl Bailey, is from Bladensburg High School in Seat Pleasant, Md. Bailey, Whittenburg and Lowe were seniors on NC State's 1983 NCAA championship team.

NC State's all-time leading scorer, shooting guard Rodney Monroe, is from Hagerstown, Md., where he played at St. Maria Goretti High School. In his four seasons with the Pack, Monroe scored 2,551 career points as part of the Wolfpack's "Fire & Ice" backcourt with Chris Corchiani.

Other players from the D.C. metro area who have contributed to the Wolfpack through the years include Kenny Matthews of Baltimore's Dunbar High, and Levi Watkins and Tony Bethel of Montrose Christian in Rockville.

Senior sharpshooter Scott Wood has played in a team-high 119 career games and has started 117 of those contests.

In NC State history, only 2004 ACC Player of the Year Julius Hodge started more contest. Hodge got the nod 125 times.

T.J. Warren is one the top scoring freshmen in the ACC with an average of 12.3 points per game. Only Boston College's Oliver Hanlan has a better average among rookies (13.4 ppg).

Warren, whose father Tony played for the Pack from 1977-79 under Coach Norm Sloan, owns the top two scoring games in the conference among freshmen this year with 22 against Penn State (tied with Hanlon, who also had 22 versus Penn State) and 21 versus Massachusetts and Norfolk State.

Warren has led the Pack in scoring four times, with three of those performances coming as a reserve. He has hit the 20-point mark on three occasions, becoming the Wolfpack's first freshman since J.J. Hickson in 2007-08 to score 20 or more points multiple times in a season.

Hickson scored at least 20 points on seven occasions in his only season with the Pack, including 33 in his first game.

C.J. Leslie had a season-high 21 in his first game with the Wolfpack in 2010-11 and Scott Wood surpassed 20 once with his 31-point performance against Florida State in his inaugural season. Brandon Costner had nine 20-point performances as a redshirt freshman in 2006-07.

The Pack has outscored its opposition, 660-513, in the paint this season, an average of 41.3 points per game. The opposition is scoring just 32.0 points per contest in the lane, giving the Pack a 9.8-point advantage.

That equates to .506 of the Wolfpack's scoring production coming from in the post, compared to .457 of the scoring output for its opponents' post players.

Five times this season and in each of the past two games, junior Lorenzo Brown has recorded double digits in assists, versus Michigan, Massachusetts, St. Bonaventure, Georgia Tech and Duke.

Against the Yellow Jackets last Wednesday, Brown had 10 assists to go along with a game-high 21 points for his third career double double. He had 13 assists to go with a dozen points in the win over Duke on Saturday for his fourth double-double this season.

All of last season, Brown had two performances with 10 or more assists, including a career-best 13 in the Pack's loss to top-ranked Syracuse. Against the Orange, he also registered his first career double-double, adding 10 points.

Brown, who leads the ACC in assists per game at 7.1, is the conference's active leader for double-digit assist games with five. Brown's assists per game are the most by a Wolfpack player since Chris Corchiani averaged 9.6 per game during the 1990-91 season.

Senior Richard Howell and junior C.J. Leslie are both on the ACC list of career double-digit rebound games. Howell is second among active players with 33 10-plus rebound contests, while Leslie is fifth with 16.

Howell also ranks second in the league for career rebounds with 841 and Leslie is sixth with 581. Howell's rebounding total places him in seventh all-time in program history. Howell needs 46 more to overtake Todd Fuller (8387, 1993-96) for sixth in school history.

One of the points of emphasis in NC State's offensive style is to score points in transition.

This season, the Pack has outscored its opponents, 262-105, on fastbreak points.

Through 15 games, NC State is averaging 17.5 points per game on the fastbreak, compared to 7.0 points per contest for its competition.

NC State is ranked 14th in the latest edition of the Associated Press poll, which was released Monday. The Wolfpack jumped six places after defeating top-ranked Duke in the PNC Arena last week.

State has been ranked in the Associated Press poll since the preseason, opening the year at No. 6 and dropping to as low as 25th. This week marks the 11th-straight that the Pack has been in the poll.

The marks the longest stretch that NC State has been ranked by the AP since spending 15 weeks in the poll during the 2005-06 season.

The most time NC State has spent in the polls in a season is 19 weeks during the 1974-75 season and the most consecutive weeks it has been ranked is 67 weeks beginning with the 1972-73 season and going through March 2, 1976 of the 1975-76 season.

Pack Pride Top Stories