WOLFPACK SHOOTING FOR 6-0 START
The NC State men’s basketball team, winner of five straight games, will continue its season-opening homestand with a Friday contest vs. Boise State. The game is a 7 p.m. tip on ESPN3.
1.Going For 6-0
A win Friday would lift the Wolfpack to a 6-0 start, the first such start for NCSU under Mark Gottfried. NC State is currently 5-0 to start a season for the first time since 2009-10, when the Wolfpack also started 5-0. That team ended up 20-16 and in the NIT.
2.Opponents Feeling Rejected
NC State is among the national leaders in blocked shots. The Wolfpack is currently first in the ACC and sixth in the nation with 7.80 blocked shots per game. Led by BeeJay Anya’s school-record 10 rejections, NC State recorded 14 blocked shots in a 79-43 win over Jacksonville.
The Pack also owns two games with seven blocks and Wednesday’s Richmond game resulted in six swats.
Anya leads the conference with 22 swats, which is also good for fourth in the nation.
3. Method To The Scheduling Madness
You won’t see a lot of basketball teams from Power 5 leagues (outside of exempt tournaments) play teams as good as Richmond and Boise State in a 48-hour span.
Mark Gottfried chose those two quality opponents thinking they would be able to contend for championships in their respective conferences. Additionally, playing two opponents with just one day in between can also simulate the schedule and quality of play found in the NCAA Tournament.
4. Board Work
NC State’s early results on the rebounding front suggest the Wolfpack is much improved on the glass. NC State ranked 326th in the nation in defensive rebounding percentage (64.3%) last season. After five games, that number has improved to 75.2%, which ranks third in the ACC.
NC State currently leads the ACC in defensive rebounds per game with 31.0. Individually, NC State is led on the boards by Lennard Freeman. The 6-8 sophomore is pulling in 9.4 rebounds per game and has 44 rebounds over the last four games.
5. 3 Seasons, 3 NCAAs
Mark Gottfried, in his fourth season at NC State, will be working toward mentoring his team into the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight season. The Wolfpack has made the Big Dance in each of his first three seasons, making Gottfried the first Pack coach and just the third in ACC history to achieve that feat.
It marks the first time NC State had made three straight tournaments since 2004-06.
A 6-0 ‘MARK’
Prior to this season, Mark Gottfried had begun a season 6-0 or better four times in his coaching career.
At Alabama, he started the 2006-07 season 7-0. He coach Alabama to 9-0 starts in 2002-03 and 2000-01. His last Murray State team (1997-98) also started that season 9-0.
NC STATE AT HOME
The Wolfpack is 183-68 all-time at PNC Arena. NC State went 12-6 at PNC last season and 17-1 there in the 2012-13 season. Mark Gottfried owns 42-13 record in the arena, which is the eighth-largest in all of college basketball.
WOLFPACK GUARD PLAY
One strength for NC State is the team’s backcourt. Cat Barber, Trevor Lacey and Ralston Turner are theteam’s leading scorers, with the trio combining to score 43.6 points per game. Each player has at least one game with 23 points or more. Barber poured in a career-high 25 points with six rebounds and six assists against Jackson State and Turner went for a career-high 24 vs. Hofstra. Lacey scored 22 points (20 in the first half) against Jackson State and led NCSU wtih 21 points vs. South Florida. Barber and Lacey are also the team’s primary ballhandlers.
MORE ON TREVOR
Trevor Lacey, who Mark Gottfried calls “a coach on the floor”, provides leadership on and off the court for NC State. Lacey is averaging 18.0 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while leading State in minutes played (32.6). Lacey opened the season with 22 points vs. Jackson State and then added a double-double (16 pts, 10 rebs) vs. Hofstra. He has led NC State in scoring the last two games (21 vs. USF and 26 vs. Richmond).
After four games, NC State has posted some impressive defensive outings. The Wolfpack is currently 15th in the nation in field goal percentage defense (.352) and sixth in the country in blocked shots (7.8).
The Pack held its first three opponents to worse than 31 percent shooting. Jacksonville shot just .232 against the Pack, the lowest field goal percentage for an opponent since Jan. 9, 2008 vs. NC Central (.203).
NC State blocked 14 Jacksonville shots while allowing just 13 made baskets.
LENNARD DOING HIS THING
Lennard Freeman has quietly been one of NC State’s most productive players. Freeman, now fourth in the ACC with 9.4 rebounds per game, has grabbed 44 rebounds over the past four contests. He pulled in 13 rebounds vs. Hofstra, had a double-double vs. Jacksonville (10 pts, 12 rebs) and then grabbed 10 boards against USF. Freeman is third in the ACC in offensive rebounds and eighth in defensive rebounds.
CALEB MARTIN’S BREAKOUT
Caleb Martin made a splash in NC State’s exhibition win over Queens, scoring 16 points and making four 3-pointers. The freshman was quiet in the first two regular season games but broke out vs. Jacksonville. The 6-6 freshman scored 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting in 21 minutes off the bench
and also had a highlight blocked shot on a JU fast break.
NC STATE ALL-TIME 6-0 STARTS (since 1953, ACC Era)
Since the beginning of the ACC, NC State has recorded 10 seasons with a 6-0 start or better:
2004-05: Started 8-0... Ended 21-14
1999-00: Started 7-0... Ended 20-14
1995-96: Started 6-0... Ended 15-16
1981-82: Started 9-0... Ended 22-10
1975-76: Started 8-0... Ended 21-9
1974-75: Started 8-0... Ended 22-6
1972-73: Undefeated Season... 27-0
1969-70: Started 10-0... Ended 23-7
1955-56: Started 10-0... Ended 24-4
1954-55: Started 12-0... Ended 28-4
NC STATE HONOR ROLL
Led Pack in Points (includes ties): Lacey 2, Turner 1, Barber 1, Caleb Martin 1
Led Pack in Rebounds (includes ties): Freeman 4, Washington 1
Led Pack in Assists (includes ties): Lacey 3, Barber 2
Led Pack in Steals (includes ties): Lacey 3, Barber 2, Turner 1, Lee 1, Freeman 1
Double-Doubles: Lacey 1, Freeman 1