Tip-Off: 6:00 p.m.
Television: Fox Sports Net
Radio: Airtime begins @ 5:30 PM on the Wolfpack Radio Network
NC State Information
Georgia Tech Information
Probable North Carolina State Starters
# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. GP-GS PPG RPG Ast 14 Engin Atsür G 6-3 200 So. 23-23 8.6 2.4 60 22 Tony Bethel G 6-2 178 *Jr. Ft. 19-15 7.7 3.7 51 3 Ilian Evtimov F/C 6-7 232 *Jr. 23-11 8.5 3.4 49 24 Julius Hodge F/G 6-7 205 Sr. 22-20 18.1 7.1 93 33 Cedric Simmons C/F 6-9 216 Fr. 19-2 4.6 2.1 †22Georgia Tech's Probable Starters
Players to Watch
03 Jack, Jarrett 15.2 ppg 5.3 rpg 11 Bynum, Will 13 ppg 2.5 rpg 01 Elder, B.J 13 pgg 1.9 rpg 02 Muhammad, Isma'il 10 ppg 5.8 rpg 12 Schenscher, Luke 9.9 ppg 7.7 rpg
Julius Hodge -- Hodge played his best game of the year against Wake Forest. Can he repeat the performance against the Yellow Jackets?
B.J. Elder -- He's back! Look for Elder to have a strong game for Georgia Tech, giving them the perimeter threat they have been missing.
NC State Notes
NC State has won the last nine games against Georgia Tech in Raleigh, 11 of the last 13 and has never lost at home to the Jackets under Herb Sendek. The last time State dropped a home game to GT was on Jan. 24, 1996.
The story in Atlanta is slightly different, however, as last season marked the Pack's first win in five tries in Atlanta. Last season, the Wolfpack swept the Final Four-bound Yellow Jackets, winning 76-72 over 11th-ranked GT in Raleigh on January 24 and 79-69 in Atlanta on Feb. 25.
In fact, Hodge had just five single-digit scoring outputs during his sophomore and junior seasons combined, and three of them came at the hands of Georgia Tech.
Last season on the road, however, he came off the bench to score 22 points on 7-11 shooting from the field. He scored 14 points in the Wolfpack's win over the eighth-ranked Yellow Jackets earlier this season, but 12 of those points came from the foulline, as he was just 1-7 from the field.
For his career, Hodge has shot just 25% (15-60) in eight even games against Georgia Tech, 19% (4-21) from behind the three-point arc.
After playing eight home games to open the season, the Wolfpack is ending a string of playing 11 of its next 16 away from home. NC State and Clemson are the only ACC schools who played five of their first eight league games on the road this season.
NC State will take its last road trip March 2 to Virginia. At the end of the regular season, NC State will have played back-to-back road games on five separate occasions, and has only played two straight in the RBC Center just 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.
Overall, the Wolfpack is shooting 36% from behind the arc this season. NC State's 65% mark on threes at Clemson marked the highest ever for an opponent in Littlejohn Coliseum.
All five 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 (5 games), Cameron Bennerman (5 games).
Georgia Tech Notes
QUOTING HEAD COACH Paul Hewitt
On defending NC State:
"In spite of our recent struggles with them, we've played close ballgames. We need an outstanding effort from all of our perimeter defenders. NC State runs that [Princeton] offense, but when they're shooting the three, they're almost impossible to guard. So we've got to get out and contest the three and defend them off the dribble.
"They do a good job of spreading the floor. All the games have been very close, but nonetheless, they've been able to make shots and make free throws at the end of games and pull them out. I expect another close game on Sunday, but obviously we have to play better down the stretch in order to win the game."
On building on the Clemson victory:
"We've got work to do. We've got to get the two new guys back in the flow offensively and defensively. We're going to go back and go over some things that these guys missed due to a lack of court time."
"The significant part of that win was our play in the second half, particularly B.J. Elder's play and his contribution offensively. I thought he gave our team a nice lift. Our defense was very good again in the second half."
On B.J. Elder:
"When he's right, he's going to score from three, he's going to score off the dribble, he's going to post up, he's going to get on the foul line. In that one sequence when we got ahead by five or six points, he did all of those things. When you have a guy like that who can score in so many different ways, it makes it easier to find those options."
On Jeremis Smith's return:
"He did a nice job on the boards and did a great job defensively. He made some big plays defensively - he took a charge, made a steal - late in the game. He rebounded the ball very well."
On working Elder and Smith back in the rotation:
"They're going to earn the minutes, but our team recognizes that they provide something that's been missing. There are times when we haven't had the scoring we've needed, or had some of the toughness we've needed. Those two guys provide those elements very consistently.
On roles changing for others:
"It'll make it easier on Theodis Tarver. We've been playing him at the power forward position, and one of the things that has set him back this year is moving him from the five (center) position to the four (power forward) position. We'll play him more at the five now, and I think he'll be more confortable and more effective."
Jack ... McHenry
Bynum ... Muhammad
Schenscher ... Morrow