NC State (12-7, 2-4) hits the road to face Clemson (10-9, 1-6) in Littlejohn Coliseum. <P><B><CENTER>
Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, South Carolina
Tip-Off: 1:30 p.m.
Radio: Airtime begins @ 1:00 PM on the Wolfpack Radio Network
NC State Information
Probable North Carolina State Starters
G 14 Engin Atsur 6-3 200 So.(8.2 PPG, 2.8 RPG)
G 24 Julius Hodge 6-7 205 Sr.(18.2 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 4.2 APG)
C 40 Andrew Brackman 6-10205 Fr.(9.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG)
F 11 Gavin Grant 6-7 190 Fr.(5.4 PPG, 2.8 RPG)
F 3 Ilian Evtimov 6-7 232 Jr (8.6 PPG, 3.4 RPG)
Clemson's Probable Starters
3 Vernon Hamilton 6-0 190 So.(6.6 PPG, 2.5 APG)
25 Cliff Hammonds 6-3 200 Fr.(9.7 PPG, 3.8 RPG)
5 Sharrod Ford 6-9 230 Sr. (14.5 PPG, 8.4 RPG)
15 Cheyenne Moore 6-6 190 (6.0 PPG, 2.8 RPG)
12 Olu Babalola 6-6 245 Sr. (6.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG)
Players to Watch
Julius Hodge -- With the Wolfpack at 2-4 in the conference, Hodge needs a huge game against Clemson.
Sharrod Ford -- Clemson big man leads the team in scoring and rebounding.
NC State Notes
NC STATE VERSUS CLEMSON: Saturday's
matchup will be the 134th meeting
between NC State and Clemson with the
Wolfpack holding an 92-41 lead in the series.
NC State has won the last four games
against Clemson in the RBC Center, and
had won six straight before falling to the
Tigers at Clemson last season, 55-60.
Prior to that six-game Wolfpack win
streak, the Tigers had won five of the previous
NC State has won just four of the last
12 games against the Tigers at Clemson.
LITTLE MARGINS AT LITTLEJOHN: NC State has posted a 2-2 record in its
last four games at Clemson's Littlejohn
Coliseum. However, the victory/defeat
margins have been very small. In fact,
last year's five-point loss marked the
largest margin in the previous four games
and the average margin has been just
three points in those four contests. In
eight of the last 10 games between the
two teams on Clemson's home court, the
margin has been eight points or less.
PACK LIKES THREE VERSUS CLEMSON: In the last six games between NC
State and Clemson, the Wolfpack has attempted
166 three-point shots - an average
of almost 28 per game. Herb
Sendek's squad has connected on 64 of
those attempts for a 38% mark in those
contests and has gained 45% (202
points) of its scoring from behind the
In the last three home games against
the Tigers, NC State has shot 45% (35-77)
on three-pointers. In the last three
games at Clemson, however, the Wo l fpack
has shot just 33% (29-89) from behind
the arc, including a horrendous 6-27
performance in last season's loss in Littlejohn.
The Pack posts a 3-5 record at Clemson
under Herb Sendek. In the three NC
State wins, the Pack has shot .486 (36-74)
from three-point range. In the five losses,
the tally stands at just .222 (28-126).
PACK WINS BIG, LOSES CLOSE IN
CONFERENCE PLAY: The Wolfpack has opened ACC play with a 2-4 slate,
the worst conference start since 2000-01,
when the Pack went 5-11 in league play.
NC State started conference competition
with two straight losses, the first time the
Pack had opened 0-2 in the league since
the 2000-01 season.
The squad bounced back with an eightpoint
win over eighth-ranked Georgia
Tech on January 16, halting its losing
streak at four and marking the Pack's first
victory over a ranked team this season
(in three tries). The squad also won at
Maryland, 85-69, on January 23.
Fifth-ranked Duke defeated the Wo l fpack
by a dozen points, but two of the
squad's other ACC losses have been by
one-point, as the team dropped nail-biters
at Miami (66-67) and at Virginia Tech (71-
72). The margin in the loss to Florida
State was six points.
The average margin in the four league
losses is five points.
Each of the last four games in Littlejohn Coliseum between Clemson and NC State have been decided by five points or less. Both teams have won two of these games.
Clemson won the last meeting between the two teams, 60-55 last year at Littlejohn Coliseum. It is Clemson's last win over an ACC team in Littlejohn Coliseum. Clemson held the Pack to 6-37 threepoint shooting. The 31 missed three-point attempts is the most by one team in Littlejohn Coliseum.
Clemson has played five of its first seven ACC games on the road, the only school that has done that. In fact, Clemson and NC State are the only two league teams that must play five road games within its first eight league games.
Clemson has had five games come down to a threepoint attempt within the last 10 seconds of the game. Clemson is 2-3 in this situation. All three losses have come within Clemson's last three road games. Clemson has lost four ACC road games by 16 total points. Last year Clemson lost eight ACC road games by an average of 16 points.
Sharrod Ford is coming off a 20-point, 15-rebound performance at Miami (FL). He is now just 47 points away from 1000 for his career. When he reaches that mark he will be the first Clemson frontcourt player to score 1000 points since Harold Jamison reached the plateau in 1998-99.
Clemson has a 5-3 record against NC State in Littlejohn Coliseum since Herb Sendek became the head coach of the Pack in 1996-97. In the five Clemson wins the Tigers have held the Pack to .222 three-point shooting (28-126). In the three Pack victories, NC State has made 48.4 percent of its threepoint attempts (36-74).
Clemson has two players on its roster from the Raleigh area. Shawan Robinson is from Raleigh and played at Leesville Road High School. James Mays is a freshman from Garner, NC who played at Garner High School.
Ten of the last 12 Clemson games, the team that has won the first five minutes of the second half has gone on to win the game. That was the case against Miami (FL) last Wednesday when the Hurricanes outscored Clemson 14-8 in the first five minutes of the second half to erase a four-point Clemson halftime lead, on the way to their four-point win.
Clemson is ninth in the nation in steals per game this week. Tiger guard Vernon Hamilton is 31st in the nation in that category. He has a 2.02 average for his career on a per game basis, best in school history.
Clemson has 20 ACC wins over NC State in Littlejohn Coliseum, more than any other school.
Sharrod Ford, Shawan Robinson
Vern Hamilton, Olu Babalola
James Mays, Akin Akingbala