Tip-Off: 7:00 p.m.
Radio: Airtime begins @ 6:30 PM on the Wolfpack Radio Network
NC State Information
Probable North Carolina State Starters
# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. GP-GS PPG RPG AstProbable Duke Starters
14 Engin Atsür G 6-3 200 So. 14-14 8.0 2.7 31 40 Andrew Brackman F 6-10 205 Fr. 14-2 9.3 4.6 32 Jordan Collins C 6-10 242 Sr. 14-14 7.6 3.0 3 Ilian Evtimov F/C 6-7 232 *Jr. 14-2 8.1 3.1 35 24 Julius Hodge F/G 6-7 205 Sr. 13-12 18.8 7.2 61
Name Pos Ht Wt Cl-Exp PPG/RPG/APG 4 J.J. Redick G 6-4 190 JR-2L 21.5/2.8/3.0 5 Daniel Ewing G 6-3 185 SR-3L 16.8/2.8/4.3 13 Lee Melchionni F 6-6 205 JR-2L 5.8/2.4/1.1 15 Sean Dockery G 6-2 185 JR-2L 6.5/2.6/2.4 23 Shelden Williams F 6-9 250 JR-2L 14.1/12.0/0.5Players to Watch
Julius Hodge -- NC State senior's time to step up and lead his team as the Wolfpack's clearly struggling.
Shelden Williams -- The 'Landlord' will need to have a big game for Duke tonight with Reggie Love and Shavlik Randolph unavailable.
NC State Notes
NC State is 5-4 in ACC openers under Herb Sendek and posts a 30-22 overall record in its first ACC game of the season. The Pack is 4-4 in league home openers under Sendek, but has won its first ACC home game each of the past two years.
The Wolfpack hasn't lost four straight games since the 1999-2000 season, when State opened 15-4 and then dropped seven straight.
The Wolfpack, traditionally known as a three-point shooting team, has been up and down on three-pointers this season. In five games, NC State has hit 10 or more three pointers and in four games, has hit five or less. Thirty-percent of the Wolfpack 's field goals (115-381) have been three pointers (the mark stood at 34% last season).
Despite the high output, only three Wolfpack players hit three pointers in the contest with Miami: Ilian Evtimov (5), Andrew Brackman (4), Engin Atsür (3).
The Wolfpack started off the season with a respectable three-point percentage of .379 (72-190) in its first eight games (which were all at home). In the last six games, four of which have been losses, that percentage is down to .294 (43-146).
In the first eight games of the season, The Wolfpack averaged 44.4 points in the second half. In the last five outings, that tally is down to 36.2. Defensively, the swing is almost as dramatic. In the first eight games, the opposition averaged 31.6 points in the second half. In the last six, that mark is up to 38.7 points.
In the last four games, however, (three of which have been losses), NC State has given up its three highest opponent field goal percentages of the season. Columbia shot .542 in a Wolfpack win on Dec. 28, while West Virginia connected on .588 of its shots and defeated the Pack on Jan. 2. Miami shot 47% from the field.
After Christmas, when the Pack was playing in New York, he began having severe diarrhea, losing 15 pounds in a matter of days. That problem was diagnoses as colitis, which the medical staff has now discovered was caused by a bacteria that could have been come from eating chicken that was not thoroughly cooked. One of the strange manifestations of that particular bacteria is swelling in the joints, which Bethel began experiencing late last week. When the Pack left for Miami, he was on crutches and since then his wrist has become swollen and stiff. Unfortunately, the normal antiinflammatory medications that would be prescribed can't be because of the colitis. The doctors are confident that Bethel is on the road to recovery, as his stomach problems seemed to have cleared. He hopes to be back in action for the Georgia Tech game on the 16th.
After averaging 29.6 minutes per game in the first 10 contests of 2004-05, Bethel has played just 18.3 minutes in the last three outings (before sitting out the Miami game). He has not connected on a field goal attempt in the last three games in which he has played (0-9). At 6-2, 178 pounds (before the illness) Bethel is the smallest player on the Wolfpack squad, but that doesn't stop him from getting his hands on a lot of loose balls or jumping over his taller teammates and opponents for rebounds. Bethel currently ranks third on the team with 4.1 rebounds per game.
The redshirt junior was leading the team with 105 deflections (he now ranks second), has stolen the ball a team-high 21 times and has dished out 40 assists - the second-highest total on the team. His five steals against Louisiana Lafayette was a season high.
Ewing has played in 116 games, starting 58 times. He has a team-best 69 double-figure scoring games and has reached 10 points or more in 22 of his last 23 contests dating back to last season.
He now ranks 34th among Duke's all-time leading scorers with 1,275 points and has eight 20-point games in his career, including a season-best 29- point game vs. No. 11 Michigan State on Nov. 30.
Not only has Redick produced offensively, but he has done a good job on the defensive end of the floor as well in 2004-05. He was a preseason All-America selection by Blue Ribbon and Dick Vitale and an All-ACC pick in 2004-05 by the league's media. Redick is a finalist for the Wooden, Naismith and Rupp National Player of the Year awards.
Nicknamed "The Landlord," Williams is one of the top players at both of ends of the court now in his third season as a Blue Devil. A preseason All- America selection by several outlets, Williams has 47 double-figure scoring games (eight 20-point contests) and 29 double-figure rebounding games as a collegian. He has grabbed at least seven rebounds in 42 of his last 58 games.
Defensively, he is a leading candidate for National Defensive Player of the Year honors after becoming an intimidating shot-blocking presence for Duke as well. The team leader with 3.6 blocks per game in 2003-04, he has blocked at least one shot in 67 of his 81 career games and at least two in 45 of his last 55 contests. He swatted a seasonbest seven shots on Dec. 14, 2004, vs. Illinois- Chicago. He is fourth on Duke's all-time blocked shots list with 203 in his career (immediately ahead is Cherokee Parks with 231) and established the single-season record in 2003-04 with 111. He is one of only two Duke players in history to average more than two blocks per game in his career.
Williams averages 2.5 per game. Mike Gminski averaged 2.8 rejections per game. Photo Gallery
Redick ... Williams
Daniel Ewing ... Mike Krzyzewski