NC State has had some bad luck with its "free throw defense" this season. Wolfpack opponents are shooting .747 this season, one of the best marks in the nation. That same production from UNC would be an outlier as the Heels shoot just .618 at the line, the worst mark in the ACC.
THE MOST IMPROVEMENT IN THE ACC
T.J. Warren has lifted his scoring average from last year's 12.1 points to his current 22.5 average. The +10.4-point increase is the most in the ACC.
Several NC State players changed their bodies this offseason. T.J. Warren lost 20 pounds and is faster and has more stamina. When asked how he lost the weight, Warren said he gave up Chinese food and Bojangle's chicken. Conversely, Tyler Lewis added 15 pounds of muscle to his 5-11 frame.
Jordan Vandenberg also trimmed down, cutting 40 pounds to prime himself for a successful senior season.
SOMETHING ABOUT THE SEMINOLES
Last season as a freshman, T.J. Warren scored 31 points against Florida State. Warren pinned 30 on the Seminoles on Wednesday. In three career games vs. FSU, Warren is averaging 23.0 ppg on 28-of-41 shooting.
Ralston Turner has elevated his offensive production since moving to the starting lineup, averaging 14.7 points per game over the last three outings. With T.J. Warren out against Maryland, Turner tied his career high with 23 points en route to beating the Terrapins. He picked up where he left off in the first half against Georgia Tech, scoring seven points during the game's first 3:55. He finished the Tech game with 12 points.
On Jan. 20, NC State trailed Maryland 31-20 early in the second half. The Wolfpack erased that deficit to win 65-56. It was the largest comeback of the season for NC State. The Pack would match that comeback in the very next game, deleting a 52-41 deficit to defeat Georgia Tech in overtime. It is the first time NC State has posted a pair of double-digit comebacks in the same season since the 2010-11 campaign. NC State (along with Wake Forest and Pitt) also leads the ACC in wins when trailing at halftime (3).
#TONYBUCKETS DOUBLING UP
T.J. Warren is tied for third in the ACC with four double- doubles this season. Warren reached the mark vs. Cincinnati (13 and 10), Eastern Kentucky (30 and 11), Tennessee (21 and 11) and Missouri (24 and 13). He has six career double-doubles.
THE LAST WIN IN THE DEAN
NC State's last win in Chapel Hill came on Feb. 25, 2003 when the Pack edged the Tar Heels 75-67 in overtime. Scooter Sherrill scored 22 points and Julius Hodge added 21 as NC State made all 10 of its foul shots in the overtime to pull away.
NC STATE INSIDE THE ARC
No team relies on two-points baskets for its scoring than does NC State. The Wolfpack scores 64.1 percent of its points on field goals made inside the arc, the highest percentage in the nation. Further, NC State is fourth in the ACC and 56th nationally with a .517 shooting percentage on its attempts from inside the arc. T.J. Warren shoots .574 on his attempts inside the arc.
The Wolfpack has held nine of its last 14 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 and Maryland was limited to .314 shooting on Jan. 20.
Some of NC State's opponents' top players have had rough nights while being guarded by Desmond Lee. Here are some examples of ‘Dez' locking down on ‘D':
Game Player(s) Stat
vs. Northwestern J. Cobb/D. Crawford 5-23 combined FG
at Tennessee Jordan McRae 6-22 FG
vs. Pittsburgh Cameron Wright 4-12 FG
vs. Maryland Dez Wells 2-11 FG, fouled out
vs. Georgia Tech Marcus Georges-Hunt 3-14 FG
WOLFPACK RISES AS ONE
Shortly before its game vs. Maryland last Monday, NC State learned it would be without its leading scorer, T.J. Warren. The 6-8 sophomore was unable to play due to a left ankle sprain. Without their leading scorer and rebounder, the remaining Wolfpack players came together and delivered a 65-56 victory. The victory started with defense, as NC State held Maryland to .297 shooting in the second half. Ralston Turner led the Pack with 23 points, with 19 coming after halftime. Kyle Washington grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds.
LIFT FROM LEWIS
Tyler Lewis has provided the Pack with a spark in each of the last two games. With NCSU trailing Georgia Tech 52-41 in the second half, Lewis buried a pair of 3-pointers 39 seconds apart. Later, a floater by Lewis cut the Tech lead to 57-56. Lewis finished with 10 points, his first double-digit scoring game since the season opener vs. Appalachian State. Lewis added six points and seven assists with no turnovers during the win over Florida State.
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 11 games with double-digit scoring. Barber, who is averaging 10.8 points per game and leads NC State in assists, has five outings with 16 points or more this season.
Cat Barber is in the top four among all freshmen in the ACC in both scoring and assists. Barber's 10.8 scoring average is fourth in the conference, while only SU's Tyler Ennis and Va. Tech's Devin Wilson have more assists than Barber's 4.2 assists per game.
GET TO THE LINE
NC State has an 8-0 record when shooting the same number or more free throws than its opponents. State is 7-1 when making the same or more foul shots.
IMPROVED SHOOTING BY RALSTON
Ralston Turner leads NC State with 40 made 3-pointers and is 10th in the ACC in 3-point field goals made per game (1.90). Turner buried five treys in the win over Maryland and finished with a season-high 23 points. He scored 21 points in the win over Detroit, shooting 6-for-8 from 3-point range. He buried three treys against Northwestern and made 4-for-7 from 3-point land in NC State's game at Cincinnati.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
- NC State scores 64.1% of its points on 2-point field goals. That mark, which measures how teams rely on 2-point field goals for scoring, is the highest in the nation.
- NC State is 42nd in the nation in guarding the 3-point arc. Opponents shoot just .307 from long range against the Wolfpack.
- NC State is leaning on 6-8 sophomore T.J. Warren a fair amount. Despite missing a game, he has played 81 percent of the team's available minutes and takes more than 35 percent of NC State's shots, the 13th-highest mark in the country.
- 31.2 percent of NC State's offensive possessions involve T.J. Warren either shooting, getting to the foul line, assisting or turning the ball over. That ranks 32nd in the nation.
- Weighted by minutes played, NC State is 331st of 351 teams in player experience.