Primetime With The Pack A Success

RALEIGH, N.C. - The NC State men's basketball team showcased the 2013-14 edition of its team to a loud and enthused crowd on Friday night during Primetime With The Pack: Operation Our State, presented by PNC.

Among the festivities of the two-hour event was a 20-minute split-squad scrimmage, a 3-point shooting contest with each NC State player teamed with a member of the Fort Bragg military basketball team and a 45-minute autograph session after the scrimmage.

"It's a fun event. It's fun for our players and they have a great time," head coach Mark Gottfried said. "We have great fans and it's so fun for our guys. I like the fact that our young guys are trying to learn, they're doing things that I like. Overall, it was a good night, a fun night and we're going to get back at it early in the morning."

In the scrimmage, sophomore guard Tyler Lewis led the White team to a 39-38 win over the Red. Lewis scored 16 points with a game-high five assists, while teammate Jordan Vandenberg, also of the White team, scored 12 points to go along with seven rebounds. T.J. Warren led the Red team with 13 points while Desmond Lee and Anthony 'Cat' Barber chipped in with nine and eight points, respectively.

"I like the fact that Jordan has put himself in a position to have a good year," Gottfried said. "He's in the best shape of his life, he's got good stamina and conditioning and it shows. He's running up and down the floor and not getting tired and he can affect the game because he won't tire so much. I thought Tyler, Jordan and TJ as the most experienced guys, played a little better than everybody else."

Things began at PNC Arena in boisterous fashion as the emcee led the crowd through a series of cheers and chants. The players were introduced with each appearing out of the PNC Arena tunnel wearing military fatigues as a tribute to our nation's military. The assistant coaches, starting with associate head coach Bobby Lutz, were then introduced with each coach wearing a different shirt emblazoned with Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines on the front as further tribute to the military.

Everyone was now present except for head coach Mark Gottfried. The third-year head coach made his grand entrance into PNC Arena in a Humvee, but not before an in-house video production detailing his trip to PNC Arena. He traveled by helicopter and sky dived to join his team at Primetime with the Pack in just the nick of time. Gottfried, like the Wolfpack players, was dressed in full military fatigues and he donned a camouflage NC State cap.

This was followed by the team stepping and marching together in a call and response military drill formation. Coach Gottfried then addressed the crowd, telling the roughly 5,000 in attendance "We play to win national championships."

A rousing and inspirational edition of the national anthem, performed by 4Troops - a singing quartet of soldiers who served in Iraq - was next before the 3-point shooting. Freshman Patrick Wallace, along with his Fort Bragg partner, took home bragging rights by edging Barber and his partner from Fort Bragg in the final round.

Moving forward, the Wolfpack will prepare for its challenging 2013-14 schedule. NC State will host exhibition games vs. UNC Pembroke at Reynolds Coliseum on Oct. 30 and Morehouse at PNC Arena on Nov. 2. NC State's regular season opener is Friday, Nov. 8 against Appalachian State at 7 p.m.

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