After winning five of its last six games, NC State will play its next three contests on the road. The three-game swing begins Saturday, Feb. 15 at top-ranked Syracuse at 3 p.m.
SOMETHING TO LOOK FOR
NC State is no stranger to seeing zone defenses this season. Syracuse is known for its tenacious matchup zone, which will force the Wolfpack to make some shots from the outside.
BIG-TIME SCORING LEADER
T.J. Warren, ranked ninth in the nation in scoring, is the top scorer among players in the ACC, American, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC.
#TONYBUCKETS DOUBLING UP
T.J. Warren posted his seventh career double-double in the win over Wake. He scored 34 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, his fifth double-doubles of the season. Warren reached the mark vs. Cincinnati (13 and 10), Eastern Kentucky (30 and 11), Tennessee (21 and 11) and Missouri (24 and 13). THE PACK WHEN T.J. GETS BUCKETS Over the past two seasons, the Wolfpack is 33-13 when Warren scores in double figures and 20-7 when he leads the team in scoring.
CARRIER RECORD FOR 3S
When Bobby Lutz was coaching at Charlotte in 2003, he took his team to Syracuse and won 96-92 over the seventh-ranked Orange. Charlotte's Brendan Plavich made 10 3-pointers in the game, which is still the single-game Carrier Dome record.
WHEN RALSTON STARTS
Since moving into the starting lineup six games ago, Ralston Turner is averaging 14.0 points per game. He scored 23 points vs. Maryland and 17 in each of the last two games. NC State is 5-1 over the last six games.
RALSTON's BEST SHOOTING
Ralston Turner came to NC State knowing he'd be relied on to make 3-point baskets. He made 95 long range shots in two seasons at LSU. He's having his best college season shooting the trey, with a team-best 45 made 3-pointers.
DIALING LONG DISTANCE
Over the last two games, NC State is 15-for-38 from long range. State was 7-for-20 shooting from beyond the arc at Miami and then the Pack improved to 8-for-18 from deep against Wake Forest. It was the most made 3-pointers over a two-game span this season.
NO SOPHOMORE SLUMP
T.J. Warren is in rare company. He has 532 points this season, the third-most in NC State history for a sophomore. His scoring average is on pace for second all-time for a sophomore, behind only David Thompson's 24.7.
LAST 6 GAMES
Over the last six games, NC State is 5-1. T.J. Warren is averaging 26.4 points and 7.6 rebounds during that stretch. Warren is also 10-for-18 from 3-point range. The Wolfpack is shooting .454 over that span.
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.
DESMOND PUTS IT BACK
Desmond Lee, who started the season's first 19 games, made a late-game put-back to lift the Wolfpack to two consecutive wins. He rebounded a T.J. Warren miss with 19 seconds left in regulation to force overtime vs. Georgia Tech. He then scored a put-back with :09 on the clock to ice NC State's win over FSU.
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.
NC STATE INSIDE THE ARC
No team relies on two-point baskets for its scoring than does NC State. The Wolfpack scores 63.1 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 65th nationally with a .512 shooting percentage on its attempts from inside the arc. T.J. Warren shoots .577 on his attempts inside the arc.
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 12 games with double-digit scoring. Barber, who is averaging 10.3 points per game and leads NC State in assists, has five outings with 16 points or more this season.
LIFT FROM LEWIS
Tyler Lewis, who started in NC State's win at Miami, has provided the Pack with a spark in recent 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.
Cat Barber is in the top four among all freshmen in the ACC in both scoring and assists. Barber's 10.3 scoring average is fourth in the conference, while only SU's Tyler Ennis and VaTech's Devin Wilson have more assists than Barber's 3.9 assists per game.
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 also leads the ACC in wins when trailing at halftime (3).
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.
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
IMPROVED FOUL SHOOTING
T.J. Warren is shooting .723 at the foul line this season, an improvement from his .542 mark from a year ago. He made nine of his 10 attempts at Miami, all of them in the second half.
CRASHING THE GLASS
T.J. Warren is the ACC's leading offensive rebounder, pulling in 3.2 offensive boards per game. He has five outings with five or more offensive rebounds and has at least one offensive board in every game except one (Jan. 11 vs. Virginia).
GOTT'S SON A SAINT
Cameron Gottfried, Mark Gottfried's son, recently committed to play basketball at Siena. The Wolfpack coach's second-oldest son and third-oldest child averages 12 points per game for Raleigh's Broughton High School. He averaged better than seven points last season on a team that made the state tourney final.
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.
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.
WINS VS. LOSSES
NC State is known as a fast-tempo, offensive team. In its 15 wins, the Pack has scored nearly 76 points per game.
The Wolfpack has held 11 of its last 16 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.
LENNARD DOUBLING UP
Lennard Freeman, a 6-8 freshman forward who just turned 18 years old on Dec. 10, missed the Duke game with a sprained left ankle but has returned. Freeman posted his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds vs. Northwestern on Dec. 4. He followed that with a career-high 13 rebounds against Long Beach State. Freeman is second on the team in defensive rebounds (85).