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Pack, Deacs Battle Tonight

NC State (13-9, 3-6) hits the road to face Wake Forest (17-3, 7-2) in a crucial ACC game for both teams. <P><B><CENTER> <a href=>Premium Chat</a> | <a href="'','mbaskblGameTracker','toolbar=no,resizable=no,scrollbars=no,width=780,height=540'); void('');">GameTracker</a></b></center>

Location: Lawrence Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, 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

    Wake Forest Information

  • Roster
  • Schedule

    NC State's Probable Starters

    G Tony Bethel 7.8 ppg 3.8 rpg
    G Engin Atsur 8.7 ppg 2.5 apg 
    G Julius Hodge 17.7 ppg 7.3 rpg
    F Ilian Evtimov 8.2 ppg 3.5 rpg
    C Cedric Simmons 4.6 ppg 2.1 rpg

    North Carolina's Probable Starters

    G Justin Gray 16.8 ppg 2.8 rpg 2.1 apg
    G Chris Paul 15.1 ppg 6.6 apg 4.5 rpg 
    C Eric Williams 16.6 ppg 7.3 rpg 0.5 apg
    F Vytas Danielus 6.9 ppg 4.4 rpg 0.6 apg
    F Jamaal Levy 7.8 ppg 7.1 rpg 2.5 apg

    Players to Watch

    NC State
    Cameron Bennerman --
    Junior guard returns tonight from an elbow injury. The Wolfpack's second-leading scorer will bring points and energy from the bench.

    Wake Forest
    Chris Paul --
    He's the engine for Wake Forest. Paul didn't play well in two games against the Wolfpack last season. Will things be different this year?

    NC State Notes

  • NC STATE VERSUS WAKE FOREST: The NC State-Wake Forest rivalry is the oldest series for the Wolfpack, dating back to the 1910-11 season. The two squads have faced each other a total of 214 times over 95 years, and NC State leads the overall series 124-90.

    The Pack hold a 86-53 advantage of games played in Raleigh, and also hold a 12-7 edge when the two teams have faced off on a neutral court. Wake Forest holds its own slight advantage in games on their home court, 30-26.

    N C State has won the last three matchups against Wake, the longest such streak since NC State won four straight from 1988-90. Prior to NC State winning three in a row, Wake posted eight straight wins over NC State, and won 23 of 29 games dating back to that four-game streak ending in 1990.

  • GIANT KILLERS: With the win over eighth-ranked Georgia Tech on January 16, 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.

  • THREE FOR THE ROAD: NC State has shot 45% in ACC road games this season, averaging 9.6 three's per game (as compared to 6.8 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.

  • PACK READY TO UNPACK: Thursday's game at Wake Forest will mark NC State's sixth ACC road game in its last 10 contests, its 10th game away from home in the last 15 games. Seven of the Pack's first 11 conference matchups are on the opponents home court.

    After playing eight home games to open the season, the Wolfpack is now in the middle of playing 11 of its next 16 away from home. NC State and Clemson are the only A C C schools who are playing five of their first eight league games on the road this season.

    After the game at Wake Forest, NC State will travel to Georgia Tech this Sunday, then make its last road trip March 2 to Virginia. NC State will have played back-to-back road games on five separate occasions this year, and has only played two straight in the RBC Center once since games back in mid-December.

    The good news, the Pack will close out the season with four of its last five games at home - all ACC contests.

    Wake Forest Notes
    Downey Within Reach Of 1,000th Point: Senior Taron Downey, with 989 career points, is within reach of becoming the third Demon Deacon this season to eclipse 1,000 career points. Downey will soon become the 44th player i

    n Wake Forest history to reach 1,000 points. Junior Eric Williams scored his 1,000th career point Feb. 2. Junior Justin Gray scored his 1,000th point Dec. 30 against North Carolina A&T in just his 66th career game.

    Senior Vytas Danelius has scored 905 career points.

    Only six schools have produced more 1,000-point scorers than Wake Forest.

    Deacon-Wolfpack Connections

  • Deacon junior Trent Strickland and Wolfpack junior Cameron Bennerman both previously played at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia.
  • NC State's Ilian Evtimov attended high school in Winston-Salem at Reynolds before transferring to Bishop McGuiness.
  • Deacon freshman Cameron Stanley hails from Raleigh, where he attended Millbrook High School.
  • Wake (Josh Howard in 2003) and NC State (Julius Hodge in 2004) have produced the last two ACC Players of the Year.
  • Bill Newton, who previously worked in the WFU media relations office, now works in a similar capacity at NC State.

    Lighting Up The Scoreboard

  • Wake Forest ranks third nationally in scoring (86.2 points per game) -- the Deacons' highest scoring average since 1976 and the second-highest scoring average in school history.
  • In ACC games, the Deacons rank second in the league in scoring at 91.2 points per game.
  • Wake scored more than 90 points in three straight games (from Jan. 27-Feb. 2) for the first time since 1993.
  • The Deacons scored 80 points or more in nine consecutive games at one point and Wake has scored less than 80 points just five times in 22 games.
  • Wake Forest has scored at least 81 points in all nine ACC games.
  • Wake has scored at least 100 points twice this season and eight times in the Skip Prosser era.

    No Gray Area: Justin Is Tough Two things that are certain about junior guard Justin Gray -- he's tough and he can score. Gray averages a team-high 16.8 points per game and he scored his 1,000th career point in just his 66th career game.

    But it is Gray's toughness that is well-known. Nov. 24 against Providence, Gray took an elbow to the head, opening up a gash just below the eyebrow. He received five stitches and returned to the game to make 5-of-8 three-point field goals en route to 21 points. Two nights later against Arizona, he took an elbow to the same spot above his eye, but bounced back to score 21 points. Dec. 22 at New Mexico, he came back from a twisted knee to score 17 points. In the ACC opener at Virginia, Gray overcame a stomach virus to score 17 points.

    As a freshman, an elbow from Duke's Dahntay Jones broke Gray's jaw. He sat out a month, had his jaw wired shut and lost 19 pounds on a diet of soup and milkshakes. When he returned to action 30 days later wearing a protective mask, he scored 18 points in a win over 8th-ranked Duke in a gutty performance.

    Senior Class A Diverse, Successful Group: Wake Forest's three seniors hail from three different countries. Vytas Danelius (Lithuania), Jamaal Levy (Panama) and Taron Downey (Oxford, NC) form a diverse trio that probably doesn't receive the recognition it deserves.

    All three were recruited by then-coach Dave Odom, and re-recruited by current head coach Skip Prosser. Danelius, Downey and Levy have combined to play in 344 games.

    Wake Forest has won 86 games during their careers. three senior classes in Deacon history won more games over a four-year period. The Deacons have won 72.9 percent of their games over the last four years -- the eighth-highest percentage over a four-year period in Wake history.

    Photo Gallery

    Chris Paul ... Jamaal Levy

    Justin Gray ... Eric Williams

    Taron Downey ... Vytas Danelius

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