Tip-Off: 9:00 p.m.
Television: JP Sports
Radio: Airtime begins @ 8:30 PM on the Wolfpack Radio Network
NC State Information
Probable North Carolina State Starters
14 Engin Atsür G 6-3 200 So. 24-24 8.5 2.4 62 22 Tony Bethel G 6-2 178 *Jr. 20-16 7.7 3.9 53 32 Jordan Collins C 6-10 242 Sr. 24-15 6.0 2.4 †23 3 Ilian Evtimov F/C 6-7 232 *Jr. 24-12 8.4 3.3 51 24 Julius Hodge F/G 6-7 205 Sr. 23-21 18.0 7.2 96Maryland's Probable Starters
F 22 Nik Caner-Medley (22-21) 6-8 241 Jr. 16.5 5.9 F 4 Travis Garrison (22-21) 6-8 238 Jr. 9.5 6.5 C 31 Will Bowers (21-5) 7-1 248 So. 2.6 2.8 G 13 Chris McCray (21-21) 6-5 195 Jr. 13.1 4.0 G 11 John Gilchrist (22-21) 6-3 194 Jr. 14.5 5.7#Players to Watch
Julius Hodge -- Hodge has had two straight strong games for the Wolfpack and usually plays very well against Maryland.
John Gilchrist -- Gilchrist is starting to play like he did last year when he led the Terps to the ACC Championship.
NC State Notes
NC State jumped out early, streaking to a 53-27 halftime lead. In the first half, NC State nailed 10-of-18 (.556) three-pointers, and limited the Terps to just 25 percent (5-20) shooting. Up by as many as 28 in the second half, NC State saw its lead shrink to 10 twice, but the Pack answered each time and never let the lead slip to single digits. Engin Atsür once again had a big game at Maryland, this time scoring 17 points, with five three-pointers, and recording six assists against no turnovers. Ilian Evtimov added 16 points, while Gavin Grant had 12 in his first career start.
NC State and Clemson are the only ACC schools that 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.
The defensive prowess came after the Pack had given up its two highest scoring outputs of the season in two of its last three games (95 by UNC, 86 by WFU).
The following players have missed time this season: Julius Hodge (1 game), Tony Bethel (4 games), Levi Watkins (6 games), Cameron Bennerman (5 games).
The Wolfpack has had some close calls in conference games this season, losing to Miami and Virginia Tech by one point, to Virginia by two and defeating Georgia Tech in Atlanta by two.
Maryland Notes -- Gary Williams Pregame Quotes
"NC State is in a situation where they're back is to the wall a little bit. They feel like they have to win out the rest of the way. We're going to catch a team that has confidence coming off its win against Georgia Tech. In conference play, a lot is determined by when you play a team. Whether someone is injured, or the team is coming off of a tough loss, or they're in a situation where they have to win or maybe they have confidence because they did get a win ... it happens with every team in the league and no one is immune to it.
"Any time Duke, Wake Forest and North Carolina are ranked where they are, someone can get overlooked. NC State has four starters back from last year, the ACC Player of the Year Julius Hodge back from last year and they finished second in the league last year. This is a good basketball team."
"He played great against Duke, in the second half especially. He was very aggressive and we need him that way for 40 minutes Wednesday night. When he plays like that, he's a really good player. He can shoot the ball, he's a good free throw shooter and he can rebound. He should be a force inside."
"It takes time to develop, especially when you move to the next level. His defense has really improved, his ball handling is better than it was last year and he knows now that he can use his athletic ability to help him score."
"You always want to get better and I think we can play better. There's always something you can work on. The big thing is to put emotion into every game. If you can come out with that intensity level every game, then the other things will come. If you can't play with intensity at this time of year, then you're in trouble."
"I hope he gives us what he gave us against Duke. That was a great game he had. He made a big play with the tip-in and if he can continue to play like that it will really help us."
"We've changed our starting lineup more this year than we ever have, depending on who we're playing. We have the luxury of some really quick inside players and we have Will's size that we can use. So there are several ways for us to go in terms of a starting lineup."
"We've had our ups and downs, there's no doubt about it. We've seen what it takes to be a good team, so we've had our ups and downs but we're the No. 22 team in the country. I like where we are right now."
Gilchrist ... McCray
Caner-Medley ... Ibekwe
Garrison ... Williams