NOTES: Pack Back In Reynolds

NC State returns to action tonight in Reynolds Coliseum against Charleston Southern. Here are some pregame notes on the Wolfpack.

1. Heritage Game

Each year, NC State honors its past by playing a regular season game in historic Reynolds Coliseum. The Wolfpack played in the on-campus arena for 50 seasons, compiling a 593-187 (.760) regular season record. Since moving its games off campus in 1999, the Wolfpack has played 13 games at Reynolds Coliseum and won each contest.

Mark Gottfried is 4-0 at Reynolds, and overall the Pack has won 17 of its last 19 games in the old gym.

2. A Special Season At Reynolds
In addition to playing two regular season games in Reynolds Coliseum, NC State also hosted its midnight madness event there this year back on Oct. 17. This is the last season for Reynolds before a massive renovation begins in March. The renovation project has a $35 million budget and will be complete for the 2016-17 academic year.

3. NC State Led By Veteran Guards
NC State goes as its two veteran guards go. Trevor Lacey (16.8 ppg) and Ralston Turner (12.9 ppg) lead the team in scoring, while point guard Cat Barber also scores 11.9 points per game and plays 30.8 minutes per game. Lacey, who also handles the ball a lot for NC State, is fifth in the ACC in scoring, sixth in assist-turnover ratio and fourth in the league in minutes played. Turner, the team’s top long threat, is eighth in the ACC in both 3-point percentage and 3-pointers made.

4. Opponents Feeling Rejected
NC State is among the national leaders in blocked shots. The Wolfpack is currently first in the ACC and 10th in the nation with 6.63 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 three games with seven blocks and a game with six swats. Anya leads the conference with 29 swats, which is also good for 6th in the nation.

Only four teams (Kentucky, Texas, Washington and Utah) in Power 5 conferences have more blocked shots than NC State.

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 fourth in ACC history to achieve that feat.

It marks the first time NC State had made three straight tournaments since 2004-06.

Cat Barber, Trevor Lacey and Ralston Turner are the team’s leading scorers, with the trio combining to score 41.6 points per game. Each player has at least one game with 23 points or more. Lacey scored a career-high 26 points vs. Richmond and 22 vs. Jackson State. Barber poured in a career-high 25 points with six rebounds and six assists against Jackson State. Turner went for a career-high 24 vs. Hofstra and 23 against Richmond. Barber and Lacey are also the team’s primary ballhandlers.

Trevor Lacey and Ralston Turner have been hot the last four games. Lacey is averaging 17.5 points while shooting .578 from the floor in the last four games. He’s hit 9-for-19 from 3-point range during that time. Turner is scoring 15.8 points wtih .500 shooting and 9-for-18 from beyond the arc.

As a team, NC State is shooting .483 the last four game.

NC State is fifth in the ACC committing just 10.4 turnovers per contest. What’s more is that the Wolfpack ranks 22nd in the nation in turnover percentage (16.2%). That means NC State turns the ball over roughly once in every six possessions. That 15.5% mark ranks third in the ACC (behind Duke and Notre Dame).

Since opening PNC Arena in 1999, the Wolfpack is 198-68 (.744) in home games. NC State is 13-0 at PNC and 185-68 at PNC Arena during that time. Mark Gottfried owns a 46-13 record in PNC and a 4-0 mark at Reynolds Coliseum.

While hundreds of players transfer schools each spring in college basketball, few coaches have been able to capitalize on that better than Mark Gottfried. His first squad at NCSU included transfer Alex Johnson (CSU Bakersfield), a key component in the team’s 2012 Sweet 16 run. Next came Ralston Turner (LSU), a double-digit scorer and starting wing player. Trevor Lacey (Alabama) is currently NC State’s on-court leader and leading scorer. Currently sitting out is Terry Henderson (West Virginia), a long-range shooter who scored 11.7 ppg at WVU last season.

Cat Barber has shot 58 foul shots in the first eight games, averaging 7.3 FT attempts per game. That mark leads the ACC and ranks 16th in the nation. Overall, Barber is 29th in the nation in number of FT attempts.

The Wolfpack is currently 23rd in the nation in effective FG defense (.412) and 15th in the country in blocked shots (6.57).

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.

NC State shot .553 from the floor vs. Wake, the first time it has shot 55% in a game since a .582 mark vs. ECU on 12/21/13. The last ACC game with 55% shooting came on 2/27/13, when the Pack shot .559 in a win over Boston College.

In NC State’s lone Reynolds game last year (an 82- 79 win over Detroit), Ralston Turner was the difference. Turner went for 21 points off the bench and shot 6-for-8 from 3-point range.

Lennard Freeman has quietly been one of NC State’s most productive players. Freeman ranks ninth in the ACC with 8.0 rebounds per game. He pulled in 13 rebounds vs. Hofstra, had a double-double vs. Jacksonville (10 pts, 12 rebs) and then grabbed 10 boards against USF.

This year’s Wolfpack team is shooting 3-pointers at a much improved clip. Here’s a look at NC State’s 3-point shooting:
2013-14: 160-for-525 (.305) (15th in ACC)

2014-15: 46-for-129 (.357) (7th in ACC)

NC State is much improved on the glass. NC State ranked 326th in the nation in defensive rebounding percentage (64.3%) last season. That number has improved to 74.5%, which ranks 41st in the country.

NC State is currently third in the ACC in total rebounds per game (43.3), trailing just Louisville and UNC.

The Wolfpack is fifth in the ACC in rebounding margin.

The Wolfpack finished 6-0 in November, raising its mark to 19-6 in the month under Mark Gottfried.

The Pack, now 6-0 this season, went 4-2 in November 2013 and 2012 and 5-2 in November 2011. NC State owns a 36-9 record in November games dating back to 2007.

NC State owns a 19-3 mark in December under Mark Gottfried. That includes a 6-1 December record last year and a 7-0 mark the season before. NC State is 32-11 in December since the 2008-09 season.

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