NC State Game Notes

NC State opens the NCAA Tournament against Temple. Here are some game notes on the Wolfpack.

After posting 24 wins last season, the second-most for a Pack rookie head coach, and 24 wins so far this season, Mark Gottfried's 48 combined wins are the most in back-to-back years since 1981-82 and 1982-83 (48 wins). He is one of only three coached in ACC history (Bill Guthridge and Roy Williams) to take each of his first two teams to the NCAA Tournament.

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 13th nationally, in scoring with 77.5 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 points per game. Last year, his first 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 scored at least 80 points in 19 contests this season - the highest total for a Wolfpack squad since 1990-91 (20 in 31 games).

NC State will be returning to the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row, and the 24th appearance in school history The Pack was selected as the eighth seed in the East Region, and will be traveling to Dayton, Ohio, to face ninth-seeded Temple on Friday. Game time is 1:40 p.m. on TBS.

Last season, the Pack earned its first NCAA bid since the 2005-06 season. NC State was the 11th seed, but knocked off San Diego State (79-65) and Georgetown (66-63) before falling to eventual runner-up Kansas (60-57) in the Sweet 16.

NC State has never entered the NCAA Tournament as the eighth seed.

NC State has never faced the ninth seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Technically the Pack's first game in the 2013 NCAA Tournament will be in the second round, but in the Pack's previous trips to the Big Dance, NC State has found success in its opening game. NC State enters 12-5 in what was formerly the first round, now the second round.

In fact, the Pack has failed to win a NCAA Tournament game only once in its last eight trips.

For the second straight year, the Pack was placed in the East Region. NC State currently posts a 9-7 mark in the region.

Of NC State's 55 previous NCAA Tournament games, the Pack has played the most in the East Region (16).

Head coach Mark Gottfried is making his second appearance in the NCAA Tournament as head coach of the Pack, and his ninth trip overall as a head coach.

Last season, Gottfried became the 11th coach in ACC history to reach the NCAA Tournament in his first season. He is now only the third coach in ACC history to take both of his first two squads to the ‘Big Dance', joining Bill Guthridge (1998, 99) and Roy Williams (2004, 05).

In his first stop as a head coach at Murray State, Gottfried took the Racers to the NCAA Tournament in each of his final two seasons. At Alabama, Gottfried went to five straight NCAA Championships (2002-06), advancing as far as the Elite Eight in 2004.

Last season, no players on the Wolfpack roster had NCAA Tournament experience. This season will be different, as four of the Pack's current starters also started all three games in last year's run to the Sweet 16.

C.J. Leslie (15.7 ppg), Lorenzo Brown (13.0), Scott Wood (12.0), and Richard Howell (11.7) all averaged double figures and at least 29.0 minutes in the three games last season. Rounding out the Pack's 2012-13 seven-man rotation is a trio of freshmen who obviously have never competed in the tournament.

All three Pack assistant coaches have NCAA Tournament experience, combining for 23 NCAA Tournaments entering this season. Associate head coach Bobby Lutz started his NCAA postseason experience with back-toback NCAA appearances as an assistant coach at Charlotte in 1997 and 1998. Lutz was then promoted to head coach for the 49ers, and led them to five NCAA appearances in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005.

Orlando Early has now been an assistant coach at four different schools that made a combined eight NCAA Tournaments appearances. Early was part of the Western Carolina squad that won the Southern Conference and advanced to the 1996 NCAA Tournament.

Then, he was an assistant under Lutz at Charlotte in 1999 and 2001. Early joined Mark Gottfried's staff at Alabama in 2001, and was an assistant coach for four seasons, reaching the NCAA all four years.

Rob Moxley's NCAA postseason experience came as an assistant at Charlotte under Lutz in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005.

Friday's matchup between NC State and Temple will the eighth meeting in a series that dates back to 1950-51.

NC State leads the series 6-1, having won the first six meetings. The most recent match-ups have been a home-and-home, with each team winning on its home court, NC State 80-61 in 2002 and Temple 76-54 in 2003.

In the final RPI, NC State ranked No. 33 with the 33rd-toughest strength of schedule. In the final BPI rankings, the Pack was 22nd, with the 20th-toughest schedule.

All five of the Pack's starting five have earned earned some sort of ACC accolade in 2012- 13.

Senior Richard Howell nabbed first-team All- ACC honors by the media and second-team by the coaches. He was the Pack's first firstteam selection since Julius Hodge in 2004.

Juniors Lorenzo Brown and C.J. Leslie were named to the ACC's second and third teams respectively by both the media and coaches. Freshman T.J. Warren was named to the ACC's All-Freshman Team.

Last weekend, senior Scott Wood was tabbed to the ACC All-Tournament second-team.

Head coach Mark Gottfried has had an impressive start to his NC State career.

The Pack picked up its 24th win of the season in the ACC Tournament. 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.

Gottfried has now won more games in his first two seasons with the Pack (48) than any coach in school history with the exception of Everett Case (55) in 1947 and 1948.

Overall, the 48 combined wins over the last two seasons are the most in back-to-back years since 1981-82 and 1982-83 (48 wins). If the Pack picks up its 49th win in the NCAA Tournament, it will be the most in back-toback years since 52 in 1974 and 1975.

The Pack's 24 wins this season tie last year as the most since winning 26 en route to the national championship in 1983.

Last season under first year head coach Mark Gottfried, the Pack won six of its final eight games en route to a Sweet 16 appearance.

History seems to be repeating itself this year. NC State won six of its last eight games to close out the regular season, and reached the ACC Tournament semifinals for the second straight season.

Throughout the season, NC State's offensive attack has been balanced, with different players stepping up at different times.

Each of the Pack's starting five is averaging between 14.9-12.1 points per game. NC State is the only team nationally to have five players each average at least 12.0 points a game and is one of just seven teams to have five players average double figures.

Playing in his final ACC Tournament, senior Scott Wood left a lasting memory for many Wolfpack fans.

Wood averaged 19.0 points, shooting 59.3 percent (16-27) from three-point range, and was named to the all-tournament team. In the quarterfinals win over Virginia, he nailed 7-of-12 long range bombs and finished with 23 points. He tied a career-high for threepointers, and also set a school record for most three-pointers in an ACC Tournament game.

In the semifinal loss to Miami, Wood was 6-of- 10 on threes, and led the Pack once again with 21 points.

In 10 career ACC Tournament games, Wood hit 33-of-69 (.478) from three-point range and averaged 12.6 points.

NC State currently ranks second in the ACC and 13th nationally in scoring at 77.5 points per game, so it's probably safe to say that the offense is the driving force behind State's success.

In the Pack's 24 wins, Mark Gottfried's squad is averaging 81.4 points per game while shooting 51.0 percent from the field. In those 24 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 10 losses, NC State averaged 68.0 points per game, shooting 45.7 percent from the floor. In four of those 10 games, NC State was held under 70 points five times.

Seniors Richard Howell and Scott Wood have led a revival of the NC State program in their four years, and their names are now etched in the record books as their careers wind down. Howell became the school's all-time leader in career offensive rebounds, and now has 389. He broke the previous career mark of 370 set by Kevin Thompson (1990-93).

He also became only the fifth player in school history to reach 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds, and the first to do so since Tommy Burleson (1972-74). He ranks fifth in school history with 1,040 rebounds.

Scott Wood has already set two new career marks, and could add a third. In the ACC Tournament, he broke Rodney Monroe's record of 322 career three-pointers made, and now has 332. He also has the school record for career starts, with 135 and counting.

Wood is also on pace to became NC State's career leader in free throw percentage. His career total of 88.8 percent is well ahead of the pace of Terry Gannon's (1982-85) current school record of .854 percent.

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