Battle Of The Transfers

NC State and Miami have something in common that a lot of college programs don't often benefit from... experienced, impact transfers.

NC State (13-6, 4-2) is led this season by wings Trevor Lacey and Ralston Turner, a duo that hails from Alabama and LSU respectively.

Turner and Lacey are NC State's top two scorers, as they combine to average 30.8 points per game and both are shooting over 40% from 3-point range.

"Those guys have answered the bell most nights... Ralston and Trevor," said NC State head coach Mark Gottfried. "They've made shots... those guys have responded and stepped up most nights for us."

Not to be outdone, Miami (12-5, 2-2) also features two transfers who can light up the scoreboard in point guard Angel Rodriguez, a Kansas State transfer, and Sheldon McClellan, a Houston-native who began his college career at Texas.

Rodriguez and McClellan total 29.9 points per night and contribute in a variety of ways. Rodriguez is leading the Canes in assists (4.3 apg) and steals (2.1 spg), and McClellan, a high-flying wing, is shooting 52.7% from the field and 37.5% from 3-point range.

"They've got some really good guards," Turner said of the Canes after the Pack's win over Florida State. "They are actually a really good team."

This won't be the first time the players have crossed paths, particularly Lacey and Rodriguez. Kansas State defeated Alabama 71-58 on December 17, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Crimson Tide was ranked No. 24 in the country, but the Wildcats pulled out the win behind a strong game from Jordan Henriquez.

Lacey and Rodriguez were freshmen at the time and both came off the bench. Lacey scored five points in 25 minutes, and Rodriguez totaled 13 points and seven assists in 26 minutes of action.

Because of his familiarity with Rodriguez, Lacey isn't shocked by the impact the diminutive point guard has had for the Hurricanes.

"This offense fits him better I think than Kansas State," said Lacey. "Because he is more free and can do what he wants. It is going to be a difficult assignment.

"I am not sure if I will be guarding him the whole game but it will be fun."

If there has been a concern with Rodriguez it has been his shooting from the field. He's hitting just 36.1% from the field and 36% from 3-point range.

Rodriguez is coming off arguably his worst shooting game of the season, as he hit just 1-of-10 shots in the loss at Notre Dame.

"He just had a bad day shooting," said Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga. "He went 1-for-10. Against Duke he was really on fire, played great.

"I think Angel has had both extremes this year. He's shot the ball really well one game and not so great the next. Against Duke Angel made them, and against Notre Dame, he didn't."

Cat Barber is expected to defend Rodriguez if he's back in action after missing the Florida State game due to a death in the family, and that would leave Lacey to guard McClellan or 6-foot-2 freshman wing Deandre Burnett.

Make no mistake about it, Miami's offense is centered around their guards, who use multiple ball screens to create open shots or driving lanes to the basket.

"We have to defend the ball," said Lacey. "I'm not sure if they... it's pretty much ball screen or beat your man off the dribble and make plays.

"We have to defend and our bigs have to be disciplined and show on ball screens."

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