NOTES: Huge Game For State

Here are some pregame notes on NC State with the Wolfpack set to face Georgia Tech in Atlanta.


v NC State checks in at No. 27 in the RPI, and No. 22 in strength of schedule. The Pack posts three wins against the RPI top-50 this season. NC State is 20th in the BPI.

v Lorenzo Brown (Roswell) and Richard Howell (Marietta) are both from the Atlanta area, they were AAU teammates as well.

v The Pack has outrebounded Florida State, North Carolina and Boston College by an average of 15.7 rebounds over the last three games.

v Howell is just 15 rebounds away from becoming only the fifth player in NC State history to record 1,000 career rebounds.

v Howell ranks fourth nationally and leads the ACC in rebounding (11.1).

v Scott Wood is 10 three-pointers away from tying Rodney Monroe's school record of 322. Wood is ninth in ACC history, with 312 career makes.

v Freshman T.J. Warren has started the last three games and recorded the first two double-doubles of his career. He has averaged 18.0 points and 10.3 rebounds.

v Lorenzo Brown is only the third player in school history to record 500+ career as­sists (Chris Corchiani and Sidney Lowe). He currently has 532 for his career.

v C.J. Leslie is one of four players in the ACC to rank in the top-10 in points (sixth, 15.2), rebounds (eighth, 7.6) and field goal percentage (fifth, .536).

v NC State leads the ACC with 32 double-doubles, Duke is second with 18.

v Howell is fifth nationally, and leads the ACC with 16 double-doubles this season. That total is more than 10 ACC teams.

v The current Wolfpack squad is only the ninth in ACC history to have four 1,000-point scorers on the same team.

v The Pack, which led the nation in field goal percentage for several weeks, currently ranks fourth with a .498 mark. State ranks ninth nationally in scoring (78.3).

v Lorenzo Brown is the ACC's active leader with 532 career assists - 141 more assists then Virginia's Jontel Evans, who ranks second in that category.

Mark Gottfried has brought a fast-paced, high energy offense to NC State as evidenced by the team's scoring numbers. The Wolfpack currently ranks second in the Atlantic Coast Confer­ence, and is ninth nationally, in scoring with 78.3 points per game.

The Pack's offensive production has improved dramatically since Gottfried took over the program prior to last season. In 2010-11, the campaign prior to his arrival, State ranked 115th nation­ally and sixth in the ACC in scoring with 70.7 point per game. Last year, his first season with the Wolfpack, the average was up slightly to 72.9 points per game - the nation's 59th-best mark at season's end.

State has already scored at least 80 points in 15 contests this season - tying for the highest total for a Wolfpack squad since 1995-96 (15 in 31 games).

Mark Gottfried is bringing top-level talent to Raleigh, as both of his recruiting classes have been ranked in the top-10 nationally. Last year, having just seven months till the fall signing period, Gottfried brought in the No. 5 recruiting class in the nation, including three McDonald's All-Ameri­cans.

It marked the first time the Wolfpack had three McDonald's All-Americans in the same class since 1979. Gottfried followed up with three more recruits signed in November and that class currently ranks ninth nationally and once again boasts a McDonald's All-American.

Gottfried came to NC State with the reputation of being a first-class recruiter. In three of his final four seasons at Alabama, Gottfried's recruiting classes were nationally ranked: 10th in 2005, 27th in 2007, and 16th in 2008.

Sunday's matchup will be the 91st meeting between NC State and Georgia Tech, with the Pack currently holding a 53-37 edge in the series which dates back to 1924-25.

The Yellow Jackets hold a 21-15 edge in games played in Atlanta, including a 20-14 advantage in the newly renovated McCamish Pavilion, formerly the Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

The Pack has won three of the last four against GT, including last season's 61-52 win, which was played at Philips Arena.

NC State surged past Georgia Tech in the final eight minutes of what had been a close game for an 83-70 victory Jan. 9 at PNC Arena.

After a hard-fought first half, in which Georgia Tech owned a 38-37 lead at intermission, the Wolfpack came out strong after halftime. The Pack outscored the Yellow Jackets 46-32 after the break, shooting 56 percent in the half.

Lorenzo Brown led the Wolfpack with 21 points, as well as 10 assists. Scott Wood had hit four 3-pointers and four of five free throws for his 20 points.

A pair of Wolfpack players will be making a trip back home when the Pack plays at Geor­gia Tech Sunday night. Senior Richard Howell is from Marietta and junior Lorenzo Brown is from Roswell, both towns just 30 minutes from Atlanta. The game will mark Howell's third time play­ing at Georgia Tech and Brown's second. NC State also went 2-1 in last year's ACC Tourna­ment held at Philips Arena.

As a freshman in 2009-10, Howell made his first career start at Georgia Tech and finished with two points and nine rebounds.

In the current RPI, NC State sits at No. 27. The Pack posts three wins against teams currently in the RPI top-50. The Pack currently holds the 22nd-toughest strength of schedule.

In the current BPI rankings, the Pack is 20th.

With the win over Boston College on Wednes­day, the Pack picked up its 20th win of the season. After posting 24 wins last season, the Pack has back-to-back 20+ win seasons for the first time since 2005-06 and 2006-07.

If the Pack picked up the road win at Georgia Tech this weekend, the 45 combined wins over the last two seasons will be the most in back-to-back years since 1987-88 and 1988-89 (46 wins).

Several NC State players continue their climbs in the NC State record books, and a pair of significant milestones are within reach.

Richard Howell is just 15 rebounds away from becoming only the fifth player in school history to record 1,000 rebounds during his career. Howell will also become the fifth player in school history with 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.

He is also set to establish a new school record for offensive rebounds, as he is just one away from tying Kevin Thompson's career mark of 370. Scott Wood is also close to establishing a new school record. He is 10 three-pointers away from tying Rodney Monroe's career mark of 322. Wood already has the school record for career starts, with 129 and counting.

Senior sharpshooter Scott Wood is regarded as one of the nation's top long range threats. He currently leads the ACC in three-pointers per game (2.9) and is second in three-point field goal percentage (44.3 percent).

Over the last four games, Wood has averaged 17.8 points, hitting 21-of-44 bonus shots. He has led the Pack in scoring twice, the first two times this season he has done so.

In the last nine ACC games, he has hit 34-of-71 (.479) three-pointers, compared to 15-of-38 (.395) in the first six ACC affairs.

Freshman forward T.J. Warren was inserted into the Pack's starting lineup in the last three games, and the rookie has responded by post­ing the first two double-doubles of his career and averaging 18.0 points and 10.3 rebounds.

Warren had a monster night in the thrash­ing of Florida State, with 31 points and 13 rebounds in 31 minutes for his first career double dip. That point total was the third-highest ever by a Wolfpack freshman.

At UNC, he had 10 points and 10 boards, fol­lowed by 13 points and eight rebounds in the win over Boston College.

Warren ranks second among ACC freshmen in scoring with 12.1 points per game. He has scored 20 or more points five times this sea­son - more than any player on the Wolfpack squad. He leads the ACC in field goal percent­age with a .619 mark, ranking 15th nationally.

NC State will enter next Wednesday's home finale against Wake Forest with a 15-1 home mark this season, including 7-1 in ACC games.

The Pack will be looking to win 16 home con­tests for the first time since 1999-00 (17).

In 16 home contests this season, the Pack is averaging 84.6 points per game, compared to 69.8 in the 12 road/neutral games.

Junior point guard Lorenzo Brown returned to action at Clemson on Feb. 10 after missing two starts and most of a third game with an ankle injury.

Although he wasn't at full speed, Brown came off the bench and sparked the Pack's come­back win with 15 points and four assists in 32 minutes of action.

It was Brown driving to the basket and then dishing to Scott Wood in the corner that led to Wood's game-winning three-pointer with just 1.0 left on the clock in the 58-57 win.

Brown played a career-high 42 minutes in the overtime win over Virginia Tech on Feb. 16, dishing out seven assists and chipping in 15 points. He came back with nine points and nine assists in 33 minutes of action in the blowout of Florida State on Jan. 19.

At UNC last Saturday, Brown recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 assists, playing all 40 minutes.

Since returning from the injury, Brown has averaged 12.4 points, 7.6 assists and 35.4 min­utes in the last five games. The Pack has gone 4-1 in those contests.

Brown went down with an ankle injury mid­way through the first half at Virginia on Jan. 29, and missed the rest of that game and then each of the Pack's next two, against nationally ranked foes Miami and Duke.

The Miami contest on Feb. 2 contest marked the first game of Brown's career that he missed, breaking a string of 59 straight starts dating back to his freshman season.

Over those two-plus games in Brown's absence (all losses), NC State went from aver­aging 79.7 points to 72.7 points, while assists were also down from 15.3 in the first 20 games to 11.0.

Over the last three games, NC State has been hitting the boards. The Pack has outrebound­ed Florida State, North Carolina and Boston College by an average of 15.7 rebounds.

NC State cleaned up on the glass vs. FSU, edg­ing the Noles 45-21, including a 21-6 edge on the offensive boards.

The 45 rebounds were the most the Pack has produced this season, and the 21 by FSU were the fewest for an opponent.

At UNC, the Pack had a 43-34 edge and 39-25 advantage against Boston College.

In the FSU and UNC contests, NC State had two players reach double figures in rebounds: T.J. Warren (13) and C.J. Leslie (10) against the Seminoles, and Richard Howell (17) and War­ren (10) against the Heels. Howell once again reached double digits against BC with 10.

NC State is one of just two teams (Wake For­est) to have a pair of players in the top-10 in the ACC rebounding stats. As a team, the Pack ranks third in the ACC in rebounding margin.

NC State is currently second in the ACC and ninth nationally in scoring at 78.3 points per game. The Pack is one of six teams with five double-figure scorers, so it's probably safe to say that the offense is the driving force behind State's success.

In the Pack's 20 wins, Mark Gottfried's squad is averaging 82.3 points per game while shoot­ing 51.7 percent from the field. In those 20 wins, NC State has been held under 70 points only twice. However, when the Pack's offense has stalled, the results have not been positive.

In its eight losses, NC State averaged just 68.1 points per game, shooting 45.1 percent from the floor. In four of those eight games, NC State was held under 70 points.

It has been almost four decades since an NC State basketball player had more double-dou­bles than senior Richard Howell has posted in 2012-13.

Howell leads the ACC with 16 double-doubles on the season, posting nine in conference play. Howell's season mark ranks fifth nationally, and is more than 10 entire ACC teams totals. Not since Tommy Burleson had 26 in 1973-74 has a Pack player posted a higher total. Howell had posted double-digit point and rebound totals in 15 of the last 23 outings.

NC State leads the ACC with 32 individual double-doubles this season - the next closest team is Duke with 18. In fact, Howell has more double-doubles than 10 of the 11 other ACC teams!

The Pack accomplished a rare feat in both games against North Carolina this season. In each contest, NC State had THREE players record a double-double.

In the Jan. 26 victory over North Carolina, Richard Howell had 16 points and 14 re­bounds, Lorenzo Brown posted 20 points and 11 assists, while C.J. Leslie had 17 points and 10 rebounds. It marked the first time in 22 years that a trio of Pack players had hit double digits in two categories in the same game since the 1991 NCAA Tournament.

In the return game in Chapel Hill this past Sat­urday, Howell (13 pts, 17 reb) and Brown (12 pts, 12 assists) were joined by T.J. Warren (10 pts, 10 reb) in double-double category.

All four of the Pack's upperclassmen are climb­ing up the charts in the ACC and NC State record books in various categories:
• Scott Wood set a new NC State record for ca­reer starts with his 126th on Feb. 16 vs. Virginia Tech. He broke the record set by Julius Hodge, and now has 129 for his career.

• Wood now ranks ninth in ACC history - sec­ond in NC State history - in career three-point field goals made with 312.

• Richard Howell now ranks fifth in school his­tory in career rebounds with 985.

• Lorenzo Brown is only the third player in NC State history with 500+ career assists (Chris Corchiani & Sidney Lowe). He now has 532.

• C.J. Leslie moved into fifth place in school history for career blocks with 123 for his career.

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