NC State has won 21 ACC games since Mark Gottfried came to NC State. His 20 wins during his first two years was the most for NCSU over a two-year span since the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons. NC State also won 20 ACC games during those two seasons. Additionally, Gottfried became just the third coach in ACC history to lead his first two teams to the NCAA Tournament.
Before NC State routed Virginia in last year's ACC Tournament, the previous three meetings between the schools were settled by a total of seven points. The two schools have split the last four meetings, but NC State has defeated Virginia in the ACC Tournament in each of the past two seasons.
PACK FROM THE COMMONWEALTH
Two NC State starters, Cat Barber and Desmond Lee, are natives of Virginia. Barber is from Newport News, Va., and played at Hampton High School. Lee is from nearby Barber in Norfolk. Both are due east of Charlottesville down I-64.
NC State has won each of its last three road games, including its ACC road opener earlier this week at Notre Dame. NCSU claimed two road wins in nonconference play, defeating Tennessee on Dec. 18 and UNC Greensboro on Dec. 30. Those two victories were NC State's first two non-ACC true road wins under Mark Gottfried.
The Wolfpack has held eight of its last 11 opponents to worse than 42 percent shooting. The Wolfpack held Northwestern to just 49 points on .250 shooting on Dec. 4. It was the lowest shooting percentage for a Pack opponent since it held NC Central to .203 shooting in January 2008. On Dec. 18, NC State traveled to Tennessee and held the Vols to .294 shooting.
THE MOST IMPROVEMENT IN THE ACC
T.J. Warren has lifted his scoring average from last year's 12.1 points to his current 23.4 average. The +11.8 points-per-game increase is the best in the ACC.
DOUBLE-FIGURE SCORING STREAK
T.J. Warren has scored in double figures in 15 consecutive games, or each game of this season. He is the only ACC player to have double-digit scoring over the last 15 games.
T.J. GETTING HISTORICAL BUCKETS
When T.J. Warren scored 30 points against both Florida Gulf Coast and Eastern Kentucky, he became the first NC State player to post consecutive 30-point performances since Rodney Monroe in 1991. He then followed those performances with 22 points against Northwestern on Dec. 4. His 82 points was the most during a three-game span since Tom Gugliotta scored 83 during the first three contests in 1991-92.
Mark Gottfried specifically set out to challenge his young team when he built the 2013-14 schedule. NC State will play 20 games against 18 different teams, including Virginia, that competed in a postseason tournament in 2013 (9 in the 2013 NCAA Tournament).
NC State's 14-for-15 performance at the free throw line vs. Pitt was the team's best free throw shooting of the season. The .933 foul shooting percentage was the team's best mark since Feb. 27, 2008 when the Wolfpack shot 11-for-11 vs. Florida State. The Pack followed that with a 25-for-32 effort at Notre Dame.
LENNARD DOUBLING UP
Lennard Freeman, a 6-8 freshman forward who just turned 18 years old on Dec. 10, provides rebounding and inside toughness for the Wolfpack. Freeman posted his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds vs. Northwestern on Dec. 4. He is one of just four freshmen in the ACC to post a double-double (Jabari Parker, Kennedy Meeks, Trevor Thompson). Freeman leads the team in defensive rebounds (68).
It didn't take long for Anthony ‘Cat' Barber to become an impact player at the college level. The freshman scored 22 points in just his fourth college game and has 10 games with double-digit scoring. Barber, who is averaging 12.3 points per game and leads NC State in assists, has five outings with 16 points or more this season.
WRAPPING UP 2013
NC State finished the 2013 calendar year with a 23-12 record. That set the Wolfpack with a 47-23 mark during the combined 2012 and 2013 calendar years (24-11 in calendar year 2012).
CAT IS THE NEW ANSWER
Like former NBA star Allen Iverson, Anthony ‘Cat' Barber grew up as quick, scoring point guard in Virginia. Barber broke Iverson's local scoring records in high school, totaling 2,097 career points. Barber tallied 11 points and four assists in the 2013 McDonald's All-American Game. Barber was ranked among the top point guards in the 2013 class, owning No. 9 rankings from both Scout.com and Rivals.com.
CAT 2ND AMONG ACC FROSH
Cat Barber is second among all freshmen in the ACC in scoring. Barber's 12.3 scoring average stands ahead of all first-year ACC players except Duke's Jabari Parker.
After missing four games due to an ankle injury, fifth-year senior Jordan Vandenberg has rebounded to play the best basketball of his career. The 7-1 Australia native is averaging 6.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. He entered the season with career averages of 1.2 points and 1.5 rebounds.
Vandenberg scored a career-high 18 points and dunked seven times vs. ECU on Dec. 21. He tied his career high with 11 rebounds in NC State's win at Notre Dame.
Jordan Vandenberg leads NCSU with 26 dunks in 272 minutes of action this season. That comes out to one dunk every 10 minutes, 26 seconds of game action.
BASKET IS HALF FULL
NC State has held each of its opponents this season to worse than 50 percent shooting from the floor. Conversely, NC State has shot 50 percent or better six times this season and has won each time. That includes a .619 shooting night in the season opener vs. Appalachian State. Dating back to the beginning of last season, NC State is 20-5 in games when shooting at least 50 percent. The last team to shoot 50 percent or better against NC State was No. 9 Miami in the semifinal of the ACC tourney last March.
EASY ‘DEZ' IT
Desmond Lee is another top scoring option for NC State, standing third on the team with 10.5 points per game. Lee, who scored 24 points in the season opener vs. Appalachian State and has eight double-digit scoring outings this season, finished with 15 points both vs. Long Beach State and at UNCG.