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Pack Looking For First ACC Road Win

NC State (11-5, 1-2) faces Virginia Tech (8-6, 1-2) at the Cassell Center and looks to secure its first ACC road win. <P><B><CENTER> <a href=>Premium Chat</a> | <a href="javascript:'', 'mbaskblGameTracker', 'toolbar=no,width=780,height=540'); void('');">GameTracker</a></b></center>

Location: Cassell Center in Blacksburg, Virginia

Tip-Off: 7:00 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports Net

Radio: Airtime begins @ 6:30 PM on the Wolfpack Radio Network

NC State Information

  • Roster
  • Schedule

    Virginia Tech Information

  • Roster
  • Schedule

    Probable North Carolina State Starters

    F 3 Iliam Evtimov r-Jr. 6-7 8.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.4 apg
    F 24 Julius Hodge Sr. 6-6 18.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 4.5 apg
    F 40 Andrew Brackman Fr. 6-10 9.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.6 bspg
    G 14 Engin Atsur So. 6-3 7.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.4 apg
    G 13 Cameron Bennerman Jr. 6-4 10.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 0.9 spg

    Virgina Tech's Probable Starters

    F 32 Carlos Dixon r-Sr. 6-7 14.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.1 spg
    F 13 Deron Washington Fr. 6-7 9.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 0.8 bspg
    C 33 Coleman Collins So. 6-9 10.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 0.9 bspg
    G 1 Zabian Dowdell So. 6-2 14.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.7 apg
    G 22 Jamon Gordon So. 6-3 10.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 4.7 apg 

    Players to Watch

    NC State
    Andrew Brackman --
    The Wolfpack freshman has played well lately, and he could exploit the Hokies suspect frontline.

    Virginia Tech
    Carlos Dixon --
    Tech needs a terrific game from their senior leader.

    NC State Notes

  • PACK FACES NEW OLD RIVAL: The Wolfpack hits the road this week to make its first trip to Blacksburg, Virginia, in 35 years. NC State hasn't played at Virginia Tech sine the 1969-70 season and hasn't faced its new ACC rival since 1983-84.

    Despite the long lapse between games, State and Tech have faced each other on the hardwood 37 times. The Wolpack posts a 28-9 advantage in the series that dates back to the 1914-15 season.

  • ON THE ROAD AGAIN: After playing two consecutive home games, the Wolfpack will pack its bags for two straight road games, as Herb Sendek's squad plays at Virginia Tech on Wednesday and then at Maryland on Sunday. In fact, four of NC State's next five games are on the opponent's home court, as the Wolfpack will make a brief visit back to the RBC Center to take on Florida State on Jan. 26, then heads to Clemson on the 29th and to UNC on Feb 3.

    After playing eight home games to open the season, the Wolfpack is now in the middle of playing 12 of its next 16 away from home. NC State and Clemson are the only ACC schools who are playing five of their first eight league games on the road this season.

    The good news is that State will close out the season with four of its last five at home.

  • GIANT KILLERS: With the win over eighth-ranked Georgia Tech on Sunday, NC State has now knocked off a top-10 team in each of the last five seasons and has won nine of its last 22 games against teams ranked in the top 10.

  • PACK GAINS FIRST CONFERENCE WIN: NC State opened ACC play with two straight losses, the first time the Pack had opened 0-2 in the league since the 2000-01 season. However, the squad bounced back with a win over eighthranked Georgia Tech on Sunday, halting its losing streak at four and marking the Pack's first victory over a ranked team this season (in three tries).

    The Wolfpack, which has struggled from the foulline at times this season, shot 81% from the line (21-24 in the second half) and hit 17 straight shots from the line.

    Two of the Pack's starters to open the season missed the game due to illness or injury (Tony Bethel and Levi Watkins).

  • SECOND-HALF LETDOWNS: NC State has lost five of its last eight games after opening the season with a perfect 8-0 mark. One key factor behind the losses could be the Wolfpack's secondhalf letdowns.

    In the first eight games of the season, The Wolfpack averaged 44.4 points in the second half. In the last eight outings, that tally is down to 36.8. 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 eight, that mark is up to 40.1 points.

  • ATSUR IS DEFENSIVE DEMON: Since Tony Bethel has been on the bench due to illness, sophomore guard Engin A t s ü r has been handling the ball much more and has become the ball-stopper for the Wolfpack.

    Although Atsür has not scored prodigiously in those three games (he had 15 in the loss at Miami and then 11 points in the last two games combined), he has been impressive on defense and with his ball handling skills.

    Atsür drew the duty of being the primary person to guard Duke's J.J. Redick and Georgia Te c h 's Jarrett Jack, both prodigious three-point shooters. Against A t s ü r's tenacious defense, Redick shot just just 1-5 from the field (0-4) on three's , while Jack went 5-13, 1-4 from behind the arc. The two combined to shoot just 33% from the field and 12% on three's. In the last three games, Atsür has boasted an impressive 3.0 assist-toturnover ratio (12-to-4), has stolen the ball eight times and has tallied 26 deflections.

    Virginia Tech Notes

  • GORDON STEALS SHOW IN 2 LEAGUES: Jamon Gordon leads the ACC and the Hokies in steals and is eighth nationally in steals ... He finished sixth in the nation in steals last season ... Gordon recorded 66 steals last season ... With those steals, he set a new Virginia Tech record for steals in a season by a freshman ... He led the BIG EAST Conference in steals last season ... Gordon averaged 2.8 steals per game last season and that average has risen to 3.0 steals per game this season.

  • CLUTCH WHEN NEEDED: In the win over Clemson, the Hokies hit 18 of 24 free throw attempts ... That 75% looks even better when you see that Tech hit 13 of 15 (86.7%) in the second half ... Tech's last missed free throw came at the 3:24 mark ... Carlos Dixon and Zabian Dowdell were both a perfect three-for-three from the line in the win.

  • YOUTH: So far this season, Virginia Tech has just 15 starts (all but one by Carlos Dixon) from members of its junior and senior classes ... The next fewest number of starts by juniors and seniors in the ACC is Miami's 30 and Virginia's 35 ... Shawn Harris' start at Florida State was the first for a Tech junior this season.

  • DEFENDING THE CASSELL: Virginia Tech is 7-2 at home this season ... The loss to North Carolina was the Hokies' first loss in Cassell Coliseum since a loss to #6/8 Connecticut on Jan. 28, 2004 ... Tech has won 12 of it's last 14 games in Cassell ... The nine-game winning streak before the loss to North Carolina was the longest home winning streak since Tech won 17 straight at home from 1994-96 ... Seth Greenberg is 18-6 (.750) in Cassell Coliseum and 6-4 (.600) in conference games in Cassell (both ACC and Big East) ... Tech has not lost to an unranked conference team in Cassell Coliseum since a 74-63 loss to Notre Dame on Jan. 20, 2004.

  • ON THE BOARDS: Forward Deron Washington recorded the first double-figure rebounding game of his career with 10 boards in the win over James Madison ... The freshman from New Orleans, who is second for the Hokies in rebounding, is the first Hokie freshman to grab double-figure rebounds in a game since Bryant Matthews grabbed 10 rebounds against Providence on Jan. 20, 2001 ... Matthews recorded three double figure rebounding games as a freshman in the 2000-01 season ... Washington missed his first career double-double in the win over Clemson, with 10 points and eight rebounds.

    Photo Gallery

    Collins ... Dowdell

    Calloway ... Greenberg

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