The Wolfpack will make its annual return to the "Big Barn" on Saturday when NC State takes on Appalachian State. The venerable Reynolds Coliseum served as the home of the Wolfpack from 1949-99 and was the site of 766 NC State basketball games, three Southern Conference Tournaments, 13 ACC Tournaments, eight NCAA regionals and varous NIT appearances.
The Wolfpack played its first game in Reynolds on December 2, 1949 against Washington & Lee. NC State's last contest with the old coliseum as its home was on March 15, 1999, when the Pack lost to Princeton, 61-58, in the second round of the NIT.
The Wolfpack is 3-0 in its annual ‘Heritage Game' in Reynolds, defeating NC A&T 101-63 in 2002-03, winning over Hartford, 78-49, in 2003-04 and defeating Liberty, 94-60, last season.
The Wolfpack posted an overall record of 589-177 (.769) in the 50-year history of Reynolds Coliseum, and has added victories in the three seasons that it has played Heritage games there.
Herb Sendek boasted a successful tenure in Reynolds, whch was home of the Wolfpack during his first three seasons with the program. His teams posted a 39-17 (.696) mark in Reynolds, with a record of 29-3 (.906) in non-conference games (not including the Heritage games since the Pack has moved to the RBC Center).
TEAM TAKES A BREATHER
After opening the season with a flurry of games, the Wolfpack has had 10 days off between games in order to take final exams. That's the longest break a Wolfpack team has had since 1997, when Herb Sendek's second NC State team played a game on Dec. 7 and did not play again until Dec. 18.
PACK TURNS IT OVER AT IOWA
The Wolfpack lost a hard-fought contest at 14th-ranked Iowa in its last outing, falling 42-45 and tying for the lowest scoring output for the Wolfpack under Herb Sendek's (State had a 42-51 loss at Clemson on 1/18/97, Sendke's first season). It marked the 17th time in Herb Sendek's 10-year tenure that the Pack has held an opponent to 45 points or less.
NC State turned the ball over 24 times in the contest (Iowa wasn't much better with 19 miscues) and missed half of its free throw attempts (5-10).
The November 30 game marked the earliest in the season that NC State has played a ranked opponent under Sendek.
60 IS MAGIC NUMBER
Solid defense has been the calling card for Herb Sendek teams over the years. The Wolfpack has led the ACC in scoring defense four times in his eight seasons as head coach, and ranked second in the league last season with just 66.1 points allowed.
Heading into this season, Wolfpack opponents had averaged just 65.0 points per game under Sendek.
NC State has been particularly effective when holding its opponent to 60 points or less in recent campaigns. During Sendek's tenure, the Pack has held the opponent under that scoring mark 107 times, including 10 times last season and five times already in 2005-06. In other words, in 37% of its games under Sendek (111 of 297), the Pack has held the opponent to 60 points or less. In the past nine campaigns, the Pack posts an 94-17 mark when holding the opposition to 60 or less and has won 40 of its last 45 games when doing so.
NC State's opponents have averaged a whopping 17.7 turnovers per game in the early season, with all six foes turning the ball over at least 15 times. The opposition has tallied just 60 assists (10 per game) for a 0.57 assist-to-turnover ratio.
NC State's turnover tally stands at 13.8 per game, but the team's 15.8 assists gives the Pack a solid +1.14 assist-toturnover ratio - the third-best in the ACC.
"THE BEAST" LEADS THE PACK
When former Wolfpack standout Julius Hodge visited Raleigh in September, he had one comment about his former teammates: "Cedric is a BEAST!"
He was referring to sophomore center Cedric Simmons, who has not only added 20 pounds to his 6-9 frame, but has also upped his level of play.
Simmons' beastliness was on center stage in the Wolfpack's three-point loss at Iowa, when he posted his first career double-double. He tallied 13 points n 5-8 shooting and pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds. He also had career-best eight blocked shots - a mark which ties for the third-best single game mark in school history and was the best for a Wolfpack player since 1995.
Simmons became the first player in NC State history to ever post five or more assists and five or more blocks in the same game against Iowa.
Simmons currently ranks fourth in the ACC in field goal percentage (.625) and second in blocked shots with three per game.