No. 24 NC State (10-3) faces Miami (9-3) at the Convocation Center and looks to break a two-game losing streak. <P><B><CENTER>
Convocation Center in Coral Gables, Florida
Tip-Off: 4:00 p.m.
Radio: Airtime begins @ 3:30 PM on the Wolfpack Radio Network
NC State Information
Probable North Carolina State Starters
No Name Pos Ht Wt Cl Pts Reb Ast
24 Julius Hodge F 6-7 205 Sr. 19.2 6.8 5.0
40 Andrew Brackman F 6-10 205 Fr. 8.8 4.6 0.7
32 Jordan Collins C 6-10 242 Sr. 8.2 3.1 1.2
13 Cameron Bennerman G 6-4 198 Jr. 10.2 2.9 0.8
14 Engin Atsur G 6-3 200 So. 7.5 2.8 2.1
Probable Miami Starters
No Name Pos Ht Wt Cl Pts Reb Ast
34 William Frisby F 6-8 235 Sr. 9.8 5.7 0.3
50 Anthony King C 6-9 230 So. 6.4 9.4 0.9
12 Anthony Harris G 6-2 180 So. 12.9 2.2 5.0
13 Guillermo Diaz G 6-2 186 So. 16.1 3.9 3.4
22 Robert Hite G 6-2 190 Jr. 19.4 5.2 1.3
Players to Watch
Julius Hodge -- NC State senior missed the West Virginia game and the Wolfpack will need a healthy Hodge to defeat an improving Miami squad.
Robert Hite -- A prolific scorer, Hite enters the game averaging 19.4 PPG and 5 RPG on the season. He's an explosive guard who can put points on the board in a hurry.
NC State Notes
WOLFPACK FACES NEW FOE: NC
State will begin its 52nd year of ACC action
by facing a team that is brand new to
the league: Miami. The game will mark
the Pack's first ever at Miami and is only
the second meeting ever between the two
The Wolfpack has had mixed success
against new conference foes, as the
squad won its first eight contests against
Georgia Tech after the Yellow Jackets
joined the ACC in 1978, but lost its first
five matchups with Florida State after the
Seminoles joined the ACC in 1991.
NC STATE BEGINS CONFERENCE
PLAY: The Wolfpack has opened ACC
play coming off of a loss in each of the
past two seasons. Last year, a loss
against South Carolina on Dec. 20 was
followed by a home win over Virginia on
Dec. 28. In 2002-03, a the Pack lost at
Massachusetts and came home to defeat
the Cavaliers in the season opener.
NC State has not opened up ACC play
on the road since the 2000-01 campaign
and this will mark the fourth time it has
done so in Herb Sendek's nine years.
The squad has gone 1-2 when playing its
first A C C contest on the road under
Sendek, with the only win coming at
Georgia Tech in 1997-98. However, the
Pack has won two of its last three ACC
road openers (after opening conference
play at home): 2002 at Virginia and 2004
at Florida State.
NC State is 5-3 in ACC openers under
Herb Sendek and posts a 30-21 overall
record in its first A C C game of the season.
STATE LOOKING TO AVOID THIRD
STRAIGHT LOSS: The Wolfpack enters
the Miami game coming off of back-toback
losses to St. John's and West Virginia.
The Wolfpack has not dropped
three straight games since the 2000-01
season, when State lost three in a row to
fifth-ranked North Carolina, 12th-ranked
Wake Forest and 12th-ranked Syracuse.
HODGE MISSES GAME: It had been a
long time since #24 had not been in uniform
for NC State, but when the Wolfpack
took the floor against West Virginia on
Sunday, the returning ACC Player of the
Year was sitting on the bench in street
Hodge, who sprained his ankle late in
the game against St. John's on Dec. 30,
had never missed a game due to injury -
not in junior high, high school or college
(During his freshman campaign, he was
suspended for a contest against Virginia).
Hodge has played in 107 games during
his Wolfpack career and ranks seventh in
school history with 3,464 minutes played.
PACK HOPES TO REPEAT LEAGUE
SUCCESS: With an 11-5 ACC mark and
second-place finish last season, NC Statee
posted its best A C C regular-season finish
since 1989. The Wolfpack's 11 conference
wins were the most since 1974.
The Wolfpack posted a 5-3 mark in
league road games, tying for the most
league road wins since 1980, the secondhighest
in school history.
NC State posted four double-digit
league road wins in 2004, more than any
other ACC team last season and the most
for the Pack since 1955.
INJURIES, ILLNESS HIT PACK: Senior
sensation Julius Hodge was not the only
player hampered by physical problems in
the contest against West Virginia.
Cameron Bennerman, who started the
contest, had missed practice the previous
day with 103º fever. Tony Bethel, who
had started all 12 games heading into that
contest, was also struggling with fever,
upset stomach and other flu-like symptoms.
SHAKING UP STARTERS: After starting
essentially the same lineup in each of
the first 12 games of 2004-05 (Julius
Hodge missed one start after being late to
a team function), Herb Sendek shook up
his front five in the West Virginia contest.
The regular lineup of Hodge, Tony
Bethel, Engin Atsür, Levi Watkins and Jordan
Collins was changed due to an ankle
injury to Hodge and Bethel's illness. Instead,
Atsür and Collins joined Ilian Evtimov, Andrew Brackman and Cameron
Bennerman (his second start of the year)
in the starting lineup.
A WIN VERSUS NC STATE WOULD:
Improve Miami's record to 10-3 overall and 1-1 in the ACC this season.
Mark first Atlantic Coast Conference win.
Mark Miami's second win over a ranked opponent this season (at Florida, 12-4-04).
MIAMI'S LETHAL WEAPON III: Miami's three guard line-up of Robert Hite (19.4 ppg), Guillermo Diaz (16.1 ppg) and Anthony Harris (12.9 ppg) have been difficult for Hurricane opponents to contend with this season. The trio have combined to average 48.4 points per game, or 66.1 percent (581 of 878) of the teams scoring this season.
ACC'S TOP SCORING TRIOS: The University of Miami trio of Robert Hite, Guillermo Diaz and Anthony Harris has combined to score 581 of UM's 878 total points this season. The three have accounted for 66.1 percent of the team's scoring which is the highest of any trio in the ACC. Duke's J.J. Redick, Daniel Ewing and Shelden Williams rank second having accounted for 64.9 percent (521 of 803) of the Blue Devils' scoring this season. In addition UM's guards are the third highest scoring scoring trio in the ACC averaging 48.4 points per game. Duke (52.1 ppg) and North Carolina (49.8 ppg) rank first and second.
PLAYING ABOVE THE RIM: The Hurricanes recorded 90 dunks (3.0 per game) last season. Miami's 90 dunks were the most since UM had 111 dunks during the 1988-89 season. Rob Hite led the Hurricanes in dunks last season with 29. This season the Hurricanes have recorded 37 dunks (3.1 per game).
RETURN TO SENDER: Miami is averaging 5.58 blocks per game this season marking the highest average since the 2001-02 season when UM averaged 5.94 blocks per game. The highest average in school-history is 5.97 which was set during the 1996-97 season.
Guard Guillermo Diaz... Guard Robert Hite
Guard Anthony Harris... Forward William Frisby
Center Anthony King... Head Coach Frank Haith