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Pack, Heels Meet Tonight

NC State (13-7, 3-4) hits the road to face North Carolina (17-2, 6-1) in the Dean Smith Center. <P><B><CENTER> <a href=>Premium Chat</a> | <a href="javascript:'', 'mbaskblGameTracker', 'toolbar=no,width=780,height=540'); void('');">GameTracker</a></b></center>

Location: Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Tip-Off: 7:00 p.m.

Television: ESPN

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

NC State Information

  • Roster
  • Schedule

    North Carolina Information

  • Roster
  • Schedule

    NC State's Rotation

    Projected Starters:
    22 Tony Bethel (6-2, 178, G, Jr.) - 6.6 ppg, 2.7 apg
    14 Engin Atsur (6-3, 200, G, So.) – 8.8 ppg, 2.5 apg
    24 Julius Hodge (6-7, 205, F, Sr.) – 18.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg
    40 Andrew Brackman (6-10, 205, F, Fr.) – 8.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg
     3 Ilian Evtimov (6-7, 232, F, Sr.) - 8.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg
    32 Jordan Collins (6-10, 242, C, Sr.) – 6.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg
    11 Gavin Grant (6-7, 190, F, Fr.) – 5.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg
    33 Cedric Simmons (6-9, 216, C, Fr.) – 3.5 ppg, 1.6 rpg

    North Carolina's Probable Starters

    32 McCants, Rashad 16.6 ppg 2.7 rpg
    21 Williams, Jawad 16.1 ppg 4.2 rpg
    42 May, Sean 15.1 ppg 9.2 rpg
    02 Felton, Raymond 10.9 ppg 7.2 apg
    05 Manuel, Jackie 6.0 ppg 2.7 rpg

    Players to Watch

    NC State
    Tony Bethel --
    With two upperclassmen out, Bethel must step up and have a big game for the Wolfpack.

    North Carolina
    Ray Felton --
    He's the engine for North Carolina. Will Bethel and Atsur be able to slow him down?

    NC State Notes

  • NC STATE VERSUS NORTH CAROLINA: Thursday's meeting will mark the 205th between NC State and North Carolina in the series that dates back to the 1912-13 season. The Wolfpack has faced just two other teams, Duke and Wake Forest, more times than the Ta r Heels.

    UNC holds a 130-74 lead in the series and has won 18 of the last 26 meetings between the teams. NC State had earned four consecutive victories over North Carolina, the most consecutive wins since the 1970s, before dropping both contests to the Tar Heels last season.

  • THE PACK VERSUS RANKED TEAMS: The game against second-ranked North Carolina will mark the Pack's third against a top-10 squad this season, fourth against a ranked opponent.

    Earlier this season, NC State played back-to-back regular season games against top-10 teams (No. 5 Duke and No. 8 Georgia Tech) for the first time since 1992-93. NC State fell to Duke by 12, but came back three days later to upset the Yellow Jackets.

    NC State has won seven of its last 13 games against top-25 squads, eight of its last 17 against top-10 opponents. The Pack has not won against a top-10 team on the road since 2002, when it knocked o ff fourth-ranked Virginia in Charlottesville. That season, State also defeated No. 9 Syracuse on the road.

    The Wolfpack defeated North Carolina in Chapel Hill when the Tar Heels were ranked No. 1 in 1997-98.

    The Wolfpack now posts a 23-58 mark versus top-25 teams under Herb Sendek (since 1996-97) and a 13-35 mark versus top-10 teams.

    In the past three seasons, the Wolfpack has posted an 12-19 record against top 25 teams (8-10 against the top 10). In the five prior campaigns, the Pack posted an 11-39 mark against the top 25 (5-25 vs. the top 10).

    Herb Sendek's squad played eight contests against ranked teams last season, posting a 5-3 record as the Pack defeated Wake Forest and Georgia Tech twice each when the squads were ranked and knocked off top-ranked Duke.

  • THREE FOR THE ROAD: NC State has shot over 50% in ACC road games this season, averaging 10.8 three's per game (as compared to 7.3 at home). The Wolfpack has connected on double figure three-point shots at Miami (12), Maryland (12) and Clemson (13).

    NC State's 65% mark on threes at Clemson marked the highest ever for an opponent in Littlejohn Coliseum.

  • INJURIES BITE WOLFPACK: Four Wolfpack players have missed a total of 10 games this season due to injury or illness.

    All four of those players have been starters at some point of the season. The following players have missed time this season: Julius Hodge (1 game), Tony Bethel (4 games), Levi Watkins (2 games), Cameron Bennerman (3 games).

    North Carolina Notes
    Roy Williams Quotes
    On if Jackie Manuel or Marvin Williams got him sick:
    "I think it was the William's strain--I think it's Marvin. It just hit me Monday night. I was out of town yesterday, and my temperature went to 102. I still don't feel very well, but today I'm coaching the team from a distance."

    On the health of the team and Marvin Williams:
    "They've told me that he's better, but I left early yesterday morning on a recruiting trip and so I haven't seen him today. They told me, he'd be limited and will be playing at practice today."

    On his thoughts about what the seniors have gone through in their four years and what this year's success has meant to them:
    "Well if I were in their shoes it would mean much more to me because I would have gone through the adversity. So that's the only way I can answer that question; I'd have to ask them, but they've gone through a lot and gone through a kind of period no one else has."

    On what Tony Bethel means to the NC State team:
    "I'd say the same thing I said Monday: they are 9-0 when he's starting and was extremely important to them, and ... they are 13-7 overall. So you can do the math. But he came back, and I don't know if it was 24 or 28 [minutes], whatever he played at Clemson the other day, but I think he is really, really important. He gives them that stability, and a guy that can handle it."

    On how important patience is when it comes to NC State's offense:
    "I think it's extremely important. You've got to just keep doing what you are supposed to do over and over again. And you may have to play defense a lot longer than you normally would, but as soon as you start trying to take shortcuts that's when they burn you."

    On finding a way to win scoring 50s or 60s, even though you want to win in the 90s:
    "You've got to do the same thing. I mean I would like to be in the 90s. I'm sure Herb [Sendek] doesn't want it to be in the 90s, but we have to be able to win ugly sometimes. And this team has been able to win ugly sometimes. Sometimes we've been able to win ugly even at a fast pace. And so I think if winning ugly at a slower pace is something we'll have to do, [then] we'll do it."

    On if he thinks NC State is going to try to play more of a half-court game:
    "We'll see--it's the reason we play the game. I know it's what they are going to try to do, but we are going to try to impose our will; they're going to try to impose their will. It would be easier for us to win at a faster pace. It would be easier for them to win if it's not a fast pace."

    On what is NC State's biggest strength:
    "They have a tremendous ability to shoot the basketball. They have big wins; they've made a lot of threes. They have ball-handlers, even some of their big guys, who create match-up problems before being able to get on the court. They play better defense than they get credit for. I think they are a much better team then they were last year. I know they miss Marcus Melvin, but they added four new players who give them more depth and more players. So I think they're a better team."

    On the biggest difference between David Noel now and a year ago:
    "He understands what we want and so much more. He's understanding his own ability more. He's adopted the philosophy that Jackie [Manuel] had last year, just trying to do everything the coaching staff asks, and I think he's crucial to us. And another thing in fairness to him, last year a lot of times, he was asked to guard the post players, asked to guard guys three or four inches taller than him a lot. He was our first sub in the four-five spot, and in fact, started there a couple of times when Jawad [Williams] was out. And I think he still does that some, but not nearly as much as he did last year by any means."

    On if coaches have to be more animated in games to get their points across to the officials:
    "I've tried to be seated more this year. Last year I felt I was struggling to get more points across, and it required me to be up more than it [does now]. So from my viewpoint I think I've been down more this year than last; I think it has a lot to do with the level of how your team is doing compared to that other team. That is the biggest reason coaches get up. I don't think coaches get up to put on a show. I know when I'm up and screaming and ranting, the biggest thing is I'm trying to be heard. But I think that there is no question that there's a lot of stress and a lot of pressure and so it drives you to do some things--I've even said to myself, if I knew what I looked like sometimes before I did it, I'd never do it."

    Photo Gallery

    Ray Felton, Rashad McCants

    Jackie Manuel, Jawad Williams

    Sean May, Marvin Williams

    Roy Williams

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