NC State faces the first of two games this week against in-state rivals when the Wolfpack travels to Wake Forest Wednesday, Jan. 15. NC State has won six of the last seven meetings against the Demon Deacons.
ON THE ‘MARK' in ACC PLAY
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.
NC State has won six of the last seven meetings against Wake Forest, with the average margin of victory of those seven contests 17.1 per game. All six of the wins were double-digit margins.
GOTT GOT WAKE THE FIRST TIME
In his first game against Wake Forest as NC State's coach, Mark Gottfried brought the Pack to Winston- Salem and won 76-40. Gottfried is 3-1 against the Demon Deacons.
The Wolfpack has held eight of its last 12 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 22.2 average. The +10.1 points-per-game increase is second in the ACC
DOUBLE-FIGURE SCORING STREAK
T.J. Warren scored in double figures in 15 consecutive games to start the season. The streak, the longest in the ACC, was broken when Warren was held to four points by Virginia.
IMPROVED SHOOTING BY RALSTON
Ralston Turner, who made 95 shots from 3-point range during his two seasons at LSU, leads NC State with 30 made 3-pointers. Turner scored a season-high 21 points in the win over Detroit. He shot 6-for-8 from 3-point range and made his final five attempts on the night. He buried three treys against Northwestern for 13 points and made 4-for-7 from 3-point land in NC State's game at Cincinnati. He is 12 for his last 23 from long range.
PACK GOES AS T.J. GOES
There's little doubt NC State needs production from its 6-8 standout sophomore forward T.J. Warren, who is 9th in the country with 22.2 points per game. Over the past two seasons, the Wolfpack is 29-10 when Warren scores in double figures and 16-4 when he leads the team in scoring.
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 scheduled 20 games against 18 different teams that competed in a postseason tournament in 2013 (9 in the 2013 NCAA Tournament).
TOUGH AVERAGE RPI LOSSES
NC State's losses have come to some of the nation's top teams. The average RPI of the five teams that have defeated the Pack is 42.8. NC State has losses to the Nos. 20, 23, 24 and 42 teams in the most recent RPI published by the NCAA.
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 and is shooting .800 at the foul line over the last three games. TOP CAT
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 11.7 points per game and leads NC State in assists, has five outings with 16 points or more this season.
CAT 2ND AMONG ACC FROSH
Cat Barber is second among all freshmen in the ACC in scoring. Barber's 11.7 scoring average stands ahead of all first-year ACC players except Duke's Jabari Parker.
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.
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.
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 6.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 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 and BeeJay Anya are among the ACC's leaders in blocked shots. Vandenberg stands second in the league with 2.25 blocks per game, while Anya is seventh (1.92). Earlier this season, NC State recorded 12 swats in the win at Tennessee, the most blocked shots in a game since it blocked 13 against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 12, 2010.
Jordan Vandenberg leads NCSU with 26 dunks in 287 minutes of action this season. That comes out to one dunk every 11 minutes, 2 seconds of game action.
GUARDING THE ARC
NC State is one of the nation's best teams at defending 3-point shooting. The Wolfpack stands 17th in the country and second in the ACC with a .287 3-point field goal percentage defense.
EASY ‘DEZ' IT
Desmond Lee is another top scoring option for NC State, standing third on the team with 10.4 points per game. Lee, who scored 24 points in the season opener vs. Appalachian State and has nine double-digit scoring outings this season, finished with 15 points both vs. Long Beach State and at UNCG.
DEZ THE TOP JUCO RECRUIT
When evaluating his roster's needs last year, Mark Gottfried felt he needed to sign a guard who could by ready to contribute on the floor immediately. He felt he added one of that with the addition of Desmond Lee of New Mexico Junior College. Lee was rated the 10th-best JuCo prospect for 2013 after averaging 20.3 points per game at NMJC. He led his team to a two-year record of 50-16 and an appearance in the 2013 junior college national final, where his team lost 88-87 despite Lee's 23 points and 11 rebounds.
Freshman forward Kyle Washington has increased his production in recent games. After scoring eight points vs. Detroit on Dec. 14, the 6-9 Minnesota native tallied a career-high 10 points vs. Missouri. He also pulled down a career-high seven rebounds in NC State's win at Tennessee. He totaled seven points, five rebounds and four blocks vs. Virginia.
NC State, which has been one of the country's highest-scoring teams since Mark Gottfried arrived in 2011, has two 90-point performances this season. NCSU exploded for 98 points on .619 shooting in the season opener vs. Appalachian State. The 98-point total was the team's highest since it scored 99 vs. Campbell on Nov. 26, 2004. The Pack totaled 90 points on .582 shooting vs. ECU on Dec. 21.