Down 18 in the second half, NC State rallied with a flurry to defeat Louisiana Tech last week. The Wolfpack trailed 50-32 at the 14:11 mark and rallied with an 18-2 run to cut the deficit to 52-50. NC State took a 61-60 lead with 4:25 left and never trailed again. In all, State held La Tech to .292 shooting in the second half and to just three field goals in the game’s final 9:39.
MALIK TRENDING UPWARD
Athletic freshman Abdul-Malik Abu has improved and, as a result, has earned more playing time. Abu is averaging 24.0 minutes over the last three games after playing 12.4 minutes in the season’s first 10 games. Abu is scoring 7.0 points on 8-for-11 shooting and grabbing 3.7 rebounds over the last three games. That’s not to mention five games ago when Abu had a season-high 11 points vs. Charleston Southern.
RALSTON’S TURN UP
Ralston Turner on Wednesday scored a career-high 33 points vs. Tennessee on 9-for-18 shooting (8-for- 17 3FG). He tied for second in NC State history for treys made in a game, one shy of the 1989 record set by Rodney Monroe. He had 17 points in the first half with five 3-pointers and then added 16 in the second half. Turner was also 7-for-8 from the foul line. His previous career high was 24 points, which came in November vs. Hofstra.
HAVE A WEEK, RALSTON
The third week of December wasn’t a bad one for Ralston Turner. The 6-5 fifth-year senior last Wednesday scored a career-high 33 points in NC State’s win over Tennessee. The next day, he graduated from NC State with a degree in sports management.
TREVOR ON THE ACC CHARTS
Trevor Lacey’s play is critical to the Wolfpack on the court. As a result, his name is littered all over the ACC leadboards. Lacey currently leads the league in scoring (18.0), is third in 3-point percentage (.450), tied for fourth in 3-pointers made (2.25) and third in minutes played (34.83).
ACC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK Caleb Martin, a 6-6 freshman from Mocksville, N.C., was voted ACC Freshman of the Week after a career-best outing last Friday night. Martin posted career highs of 17 points and seven rebounds in NC State’s 86-50 win over Charleston Southern. For the week, Martin averaged 9.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in two games.
NC STATE AT HOME
The Wolfpack is 187-68 all-time at PNC Arena. NC State went 12-6 at PNC last season and 15-1 there in the 2012-13 season. Mark Gottfried owns a 48-13 record in the arena, which is the eighth-largest in all of college basketball.
RALSTON 2nd in THE LEAGUE
Ralston Turner is second in the ACC with 31 made 3-pointers this season. He led the conference in free throw percentage until missing a pair on Dec 20. Turner is 32-for-37 at the foul line this season. The senior from Alabama is also seventh in the ACC in 3-point shooting percentage (.397).
TURNER Vs. CINCINNATI
It was just his second game at NC State, but Ralston Turner did have success last year vs. Cincinnati. Turner drilled four 3-pointers and finished with 13 points in the road loss.
2014 FOR NC STATE
NC State enters its final game on the 2014 calendar with a 22-14 record. State was 12-11 after New Year’s last year and 10-3 going into Tuesday’s game.
NC State is holding opponents to .374 shooting this season, good for fourth in the ACC. When digging a bit further, you can see NC State is one of the better defensive teams in the country right now. The Pack stands 13th in the nation in defending 2-point field goals and 26th in the country in effective field goal percentage defense.
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.
3 SEASONS, 3 NCAA TRIPs
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.
WINNING THE TRANSFER GAME
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 longrange shooter who scored 11.7 ppg at WVU last season.
LENNARD DOING HIS THING
Lennard Freeman has quietly been one of NC State’s most productive players. Freeman is among the ACC leaders with 7.0 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.
NO LOSS NOVEMBER
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.
WOLFPACK IN THE 12TH MONTH
NC State owns a 23-5 mark in December under Mark Gottfried. That includes a 7-1 December record last year and a 7-0 mark the season before. NC State is 35-13 in December since the 2008-09 season.
LENGTH AND (LESS) WIDTH
BeeJay Anya is one of the largest players in college basketball. He’s actually trimmed down considerably, having lost nearly 60 pounds since last season. But it’s his wingspan that sets him apart. He has a measured wingspan of 7-9, the longest wingspan recorded for a non-7-foot player in the NBA Draft Express database for basketball prospects. Only 7-6 Mamadou N’Ddiaye has a longer wingspan.
RALSTON PASSES 1,000
Fifth-year senior Ralston Turner passed the 1,000-point mark for his career in the season opener. He enters Tuesday’s game with 1,173 career points, 554 of which have come at NCSU. Turner has made 389 field goals in his career (192 at NC State), 203 of them from 3-point range. He’s made 108 treys at NC State. Turner, in his fifth year after playing two seasons at LSU before coming to State, averaged 10.5 points per game last season.
Mark Gottfried will tell you last year’s tough schedule was the difference in NC State playing in the NCAA Tournament instead of the NIT. NC State’s 2013-14 schedule was ranked 21st toughest in the nation. Mark Gottfried has adopted a similar philosophy this season, scheduling nine teams who played in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. After playing Louisiana Tech, which won 29 games last season, NC State hosts Cincinnati before entering ACC against Pitt, Virginia, Duke and North Carolina.
TREVOR ON THE BOARDS
In addition to his scoring, ballhandling and leadership, Trevor Lacey is a great rebounder from the guard position, averaging 5.2 boards per game. He is fourth among ACC guards in rebounding, behind Notre Dame’s Pat Connaughton, FSU’s Montay Brandon and Sheldon McClellan of Miami.
ACC’s KING OF TWITTER
Last season, The Sporting News evaluated the prominent college basketball coaches related to their presence on Twitter. TSN named Mark Gottfried (@Mark_Gottfried) the ACC’s King of Twitter. As of this week, Gottfried has 34,596 followers. He ranks 14th among college coaches in Twitter followers.
As a team, the NC State Twitter account boasts 35,306 followers. That total ranks 15th in all of college basketball.
CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK
There’s a familiar name on NC State’s bench this season. Chris Corchiani, Jr., is a freshman guard on this year’s team after walking on to the squad over the summer. He is the son of former Wolfpack standout Chris Corchiani, who played at State from 1987-91. The elder Corchiani graduated as the NCAA’s all-time leader in assists and is NC State’s all-time leader in steals.