NC STATE-UVA ON ESPN BIG MONDAY
After defeating Wake Forest on Saturday, the NC State men’s basketball team has a day in between before playing at No. 7 Virginia Monday night at 7 p.m. The Wolfpack owns three wins over ranked teams this season, with two of them coming away from home. NC State has lost all six of its games at John Paul Jones Arena.
THE STARTING FIVE
1. QUICK TURNAROUND
NC State doesn’t have much time to rest on the laurels of its 99-88 win over Wake Forest. The Pack played at noon on Saturday and will fly to Charlottesville, Va., Sunday afternoon for Monday night’s game at UVa. It’s NC State’s second two-day turnaround in league play, with the previous stretch coming at the beginning of February. Both of those two-day turnarounds featured the second game on the road.
2. BARBER IS OUR CAT-ALYST
Mark Gottfried on Saturday: He’s playing as well as anyone in this conference, for sure. We have other great players. It’s hard to argue he’s not playing better or as well as anyone in our league.” Cat Barber received a ringing endorsement from his coach after he scored a career-high 38 points (30 in the second half) against Wake Forest. The 6-2 junior is leading the ACC in scoring with 24.1 points per game and he’s on pace to become the second player in ACC history to average 24 ppg, 4.5 rpg and 4.5 apg (Kenny Anderson in 1990-91). Barber has a league-best seven games with 30 or more points, including five in ACC play. Additionally, he is also leading the conference in free throws made (189) and minutes per game (38.8) and is fourth in free throw percentage (.868) and fourth in assists (4.6).
3. BARBER IN LEAGUE PLAY
After 12 ACC contests, Cat Barber’s production has continued to soar. Barber is averaging 25.3 points per game in league play, 5.0 more than the second-best scorer. He’s shooting .418 from 3-point range and .897 at the foul line. While playing a league-high 39.2 minutes per game against ACC opponents and facing constant double teams and gimmick defenses, Barber leads the ACC in scoring, ranks fifth in assists and second in free throw percentage.
4. HISTORIC FREE THROW SHOOTING
Wake Forest coach Danny Manning spoke in understatements when he called Cat Barber a “tough cover.” Barber slashed and darted around the Demon Deacons to the tune of 17-for-20 free throw shooting, including 17-for-18 in the second half. His 20 attempts tied for fourth in school history. Earlier this season, he had a 19-for-22 effort at the foul line against Winthrop. This season, Barber owns three of the ACC’s top four free throw shooting performances (19-22 vs. Winthrop, 17-20 vs. Wake Forest, 14-14 at Pittsburgh). As a team, the Wolfpack attempted 45 free throws, which is the second-most attempts in a game in the ACC this season (Virginia Tech shot 50 on Nov. 24).
5. SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE ON THE GLASS
Monday’s game features one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the ACC crashing the boards against the top defensive rebounding team in the conference. NC State grabs 37.2 percent of its misses, which stands fourth in the ACC and 18th in the country. The Pack will be going up against Virginia, which leads the league by grabbing 75 percent of possible defensive rebounds. Virginia’s defensive rebounding percentage ranks 21st in the nation.
THERE’S ONLY CAT WITH 24 - 4.5 - 4.5
Cat Barber is the only player in the nation averaging at least 24 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. In all of college basketball dating back to 1994, only three players have reached those averages in a season:
Charles Jones, Long Island (96-97, 97-98), Rodney Stuckey, Eastern Wash. (06-07) Billy Baron, Canisius (13-14).
23 PPG, 4.5 RPG AND 4.5 APG IN THE ACC
Cat Barber would be the second player in ACC history - joining Georgia Tech great Kenny Anderson - to average 23 ppg, 4.5 rpg and 4.5 apg in a season (assists became official stat in 1984):
Cat Barber (2015-16) 24.1 ppg 4.6 rpg 4.6 apg
Kenny Anderson (1989-90) 25.9 ppg 5.7 rpg 5.6 apg
Cat Barber now has 1,334 career points, lifting him to 27th in NC State history. He needs 21 points to tie Kenny Inge for 25th on State’s all-time list. Barber is seventh among active players (and tops among non-seniors) in the ACC in career scoring. He is also now 10th in school history in career assists.
NC State tied its season scoring high on Saturday, tallying 99 points in the win vs. Wake Forest. NCSU also scored 99 in December vs. Bucknell. The 99 points was the most in a league game since Jan. 22, 1992 when NC State beat UNC 99-88. Tom Gugliotta scored 36 points in that contest. The two games with 99 points are the highest outputs since the Pack scored 100 against ECU in 2004.
CAT AND DAVID THOMPSON
Cat Barber scored “only” 26 points at Duke last week, snapping a streak of three straight 30-point performances. It was the first such streak since David Thompson in March 1975. Thompson scored 36 in the 1974-75 season finale and then 38 in the ACC Tournament against Virginia. The next day’s ACC semifinal saw DT go for 30. His streak was broken against UNC the next day in the 1975 tournament final, which was Thompson’s last college game. Barber has dropped 30 points in five of his last seven games.
5TH IN THE NATION
Cat Barber has climbed to fifth in the nation in scoring and second among all players playing for Power 5 schools. Only Buddy Hield of Oklahoma (25.6) averages more points than Barber.
PACK SHOWING IMPROVEMENT
Cat Barber, Caleb Martin and Abdul-Malik Abu have three of the higher increases in scoring in the ACC:
PPG 14-15 PPG Increase (Rank)
Cat Barber 24.1 12.1 12.0 (2nd)
Abdul-Malik Abu 12.8 6.4 6.4 (6th)
Caleb Martin 11.0 4.8 6.2 (7th)
CAT BARBER: T.J. WARREN
In 2013-14, NC State’s T.J. Warren had a historic season and was named ACC Player of the Year. Here’s how Cat Barber stacks up to Warren at the same point this season (25 games):
PPG FG% 3FG% FT% 30+ Pts
Barber (15-16) 24.1 .444 .372 .867 7
Warren (13-14) 23.1 .520 .284 .704 5
IN EVERY GAME
After the game at Cameron Indoor, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski said Cat Barber “gives them a chance to win every game.” Despite being 3-9 in league play, the Pack has been competitive every night. NC State has four league losses by five or fewer points.
BOARDS OFF THE BENCH
Lennard Freeman owns the ACC’s top two rebounding performances off the bench this season. Freeman came off the bench at Pitt on Jan. 19 to grab 14 rebounds. He also pulled in 13 boards vs. Bucknell in December.
LENNARD’S THE MAN OF STEEL
Lennard Freeman, NC State’s leading rebounder, is rounding into form after missing several months of the offseason healing a fracture in his lower right leg. He had successful surgery in May, and now has a 14-inch rod inserted in his lower right leg to heal a fracture.
CODY IN LEAGUE PLAY
Cody Martin is shooting .565 from the floor in league play and has increased his scoring and rebounding. He has shot .500 or better in 11 of the 12 conference games, including a 6-for-8 mark vs. Duke on Jan. 23. Additionally, he has made his first two career 3-pointers since ACC play began.
LENGTH AND (LESS) WIDTH
BeeJay Anya has lost nearly 75 pounds since enrolling at NC State in 2013. 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 (UC-Irvine) has a longer listed wingspan.