Tip-Off: 6:30 p.m.
Television: MSG Network
Radio: Airtime begins @6:00 PM on the Wolfpack Radio Network
NC State Information
NC State Projected Starting Line-up
G Tony Bethel
G Engin Atsur
G Julius Hodge
F Levin Watkins
F Andrew Brackman
Columbia Projected Starting Line-up
G Mack Montgomery
G Jeremiah Boswell
G Brett Loscalzo
F Matt Preston
F Draqutin Kravic
Players to Watch
Julius Hodge -- Senior guard returns to New York to play in Madison Square Garden for the first time as a member of the Wolfpack. Emotions will be running high for the NC State All-American who will be looking to put on a show.
Matt Preston -- Senior forward is the leading returning scorer and rebounder for the Lions.
The travel day home was a long one, as the group heading back to Raleigh ended up spending most of the day stuck on the tarmac in Cincinnati. Julius Hodge and Gavin Grant had a long layover in Minneapolis on their way home to New York.
The team met back in Raleigh on Christmas afternoon and will leave for the Holiday Festival in New York City on Dec. 27.
Named ACC Rookie-of-the-Week for his performances against La-Lafayette and Washington, Brackman has now tallied 15 blocked shots for the season, the best mark on the team and the ninth-best mark in the ACC.
Both players have attended games in the Garden, but neither has ever played a game there.
Hodge went over the 1600-point mark in the win over Louisiana Lafayette on Dec. 15 and now has 1,652 points for his career. He has 617 rebounds and 346 assists entering the Holiday Festival.
This season, only one player, leading scorer Julius Hodge, is playing over 30 minutes per game (32.7), while four others are playing over 20 minutes per game and seven others have seen action in 15 or more minutes per contest. Of the 10 scholarship players on the squad, only two (rookies Cedric Simmons and Gavin Grant) have been in for less than 15 minutes per game.
Last season, four Wolfpack players (Ilian Evtimov, Engin Atsur, Julius Hodge and Marcus Melvin) saw action in more than 29 minutes per game. The rest of the team averaged 8.5 minutes per game. In 2002-03, four players averaged more that 32 minutes per game.
The Pack's pups have combined to play 26 games and play 312 minutes, that's 10 minutes per player per game. Freshman forward Andrew Brackman, is tied as State's third-leading scorer, is leading the way with 18.2 minutes per game and has played in all 10 contests. Center Cedric Simmons has seen action in eight games, averaging 8.3 minutes, while guard Gavin Grant has seen 8.0 minutes of action in eight contests.
Bethel, a redshirt junior, has started all 10 contests and is averaging 29.6 minutes per game, the second-highest tally on the team.