Location: RBC Center (19,722) in Raleigh, North Carolina
Tip-Off: 5:30 p.m.
Television: Fox Sports
Radio: Airtime begins @ 5:00 PM on the Wolfpack Radio Network
NC State Information
Probable NC State Starters
No Name Pos Ht Wt Cl Pts Reb Ast
03 Ilian Evtimov F 6-7 222 Sr. 12.6 3.4 2.0
13 Cameron Bennerman F 6-4 205 Sr. 9.0 3.1 1.5
33 Cedric Simmons C 6-9 233 So. 12.3 6.4 2.3
14 Engin Atsur G 6-3 200 Jr. 10.3 2.9 4.6
22 Tony Bethel G 6-2 185 Sr. 6.6 2.1 2.1
Probable Miami Starters No Name Pos Ht Wt Cl Pts Reb Ast 00 Jimmy Graham F 6-8 245 Fr. 3.9 3.1 0.1 50 Anthony King C 6-9 230 Jr. 9.8 8.2 1.0 13 Guillermo Diaz G 6-2 186 Jr. 16.0 3.7 3.4 15 Denis Clemente G 6-0 165 Fr. 9.0 1.3 2.9 22 Robert Hite G 6-2 190 Sr. 15.4 5.1 1.9
Players to Watch
Cedric Simmons -- Simmons has emerged as NC State's go-to player, and his willingness to play unselfish in the post has led to scoring opportunities for his teamates. The sophomore center is averaging 12.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game.
Guillermo Diaz -- Diaz was a major problem for NC State in last year's contest, but the game was no fluke as he finished the year as one of the league's top players. The junior is averaging 16 points per game and Wolfpack wings Cameron Bennerman and Gavin Grant must control Diaz.
NC State Game Notes
WOLFPACK TO HOST EARLY LEAGUE
NC State will begin Atlantic Coast Conference play against Miami on Sunday, December 18. It marks the earliest league opener for the Wolfpack since the 1998-99 season, when State travelled to fourth-ranked Duke on December 5. NC State posts a 4-5 mark in ACC openers under Herb Sendek, but has won two of its three conference openers played in December. Overall, NC State is 30-22 in ACC openers.
After the Miami game, the Wolfpack will be back in non-conference action four times before heading to Chapel Hill on January 7 to face the defending national champions.
HURRICANES MAKE FIRST TRIP TO
Although Miami joined the ACC prior to last season, this will mark the squad's first trip to Raleigh as conference foes. The Wolfpack also opened conference play last season against the Hurricanes, losing 66-67 in Coral Gables The 24th-ranked Wolfpack shot 50% on three-pointers in that contest (12-24), but was outrebounded 40-27.
Prior to last season, the two squads had played just once - a 46-35 NC State win in Raleigh in 1940.
D-ING IT UP....
NC State currently leads the nation in field goal percentage defense, as the Wolfpack's opponents are hitting just 34% of their shots. NC State also leads the ACC in scoring defense with a 56.1 mark and ranks third in the ACC in three-point field goal percentage defense at .273.
... AND THREE-ING IT UP
A third of the Wolfpack's scoring (201 points) has come from behind the three-point arc. In the last two games, the Wolfpack has been launching the three point shot and connecting on a good percentage of them. In the wins over Appalachian State and UNC Asheville combined, NC State has connected on 47% of its threepointers, shooting 24-51 from long range. Those two outputs followed a 3-18 performance from behind the arc at Iowa.
NC State has hit double-figure three's in three games this season (14 vs. The Citadel, 11 vs. App. State, and 13 vs. UNCA).
The Wolfpack leads the ACC in three-pointers made per game with 8.38.
SENDEK TO COACH 300th GAME
Herb Sendek will coach his 300th game as head coach of the Wolfpack on Sunday against Miami - he enters the game with a 176-123 overall record (.589) at NC State. Only three other coaches have ever coached in more games at State: Everett Case, Norm Sloan and Jim Valvano.
Sendek also boasts the third-longest tenure among current ACC coaches, as only Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and Maryland Gary Williams have been at their current schools longer. In his last 99 games, Sendek has posted a 62-37 record for a .626 winning percentage. His winning percentage has gone up in each increment of 100 games since he's been at NC State.
After starting the same lineup in the first six games of the season, Herb Sendek switched it up for the Appalachian State contest and has now started all three seniors in the last two games.
The Pack's current lineup includes seniors Tony Bethel, Cameron Bennerman and Ilian Evtimov, junior Engin Atsur and sophomore Cedric Simmons.
The Wolfpack's seniors are accounting for 34% of the team's points, as Evtimov is the leading scorer with 12.6 per game, Bennerman is fourth at 10.3 and Bethel is seventh at 6.6 ppg.
BETHEL AND BENNERMAN ARE
Prior to the Appalachian State game, Bennerman and Bethel had come off the bench this season, even though before the 2005-06 campaign, Bennerman had started 10 career games and Bethel 21. Both players have responded well to being starters again, increasing their shooting percentages and their scoring outputs.
MAKING THE EXTRA PASS
Moving the ball to the most open player is a signature of the NC State offense. NC State has three 20+ assists outputs this season and is averaging 17.6 assists per game, the third-highest mark in the ACC. The Wolfpack also ranks third in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio with a 1.2 mark. Two NC State players are ranked among the top 10 in the league in assists: Engin Atsür (4th/4.63) and Gavin Grant (t9th/4.00).
Miami Game Notes
Miami and NC State meet for just the third time with the all-time series tied at 1-1. Miami won the lone meeting last season, 67-66, in Coral Gables marking UM's first ACC victory. NC State defeated Miami 46-35 in the only other meeting during the 1939-40 season.
UM IN THE NCAA STATISTICAL RANKINGS
MAN OF STEAL
Guard Robert Hite recorded three steals against Wofford increasing his career total to 158 which is sixth on UM's all-time list.
GETTING IT DONE DOWN LOW
Last season the Hurricanes struggled to score inside. Miami's post players of only accounted for 20.3 points per game, or 28.5 percent of the teams scoring a year ago, and shot a combined 48.7 percent from the field.
This season the Hurricanes have made a concerted effort to establish the low post and Miami's post players have been up to the task. Miami's post players are averaging 24.3 points per game which accounts for 34.2 percent of the team's offense, and are shooting a combined 56.8 percent from the field.
DIAZ NAMED WOODEN/NAISMITH CANDIDATE
Junior guard Guillermo Diaz (Carolina, Puerto Rico) has been named a preseason candidate for both the Wooden Award and Naismith Award which are presented annually to the top collegiate basketball player in the nation. Diaz averaged 18.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.5 steals per game last season, and was the only player in the ACC to rank among the top-10 (conference games only) in scoring (2nd), field goal percentage (8th), three-point field goal percentage (10th) and steals (3rd).
HARRIS MAKES RETURN
Junior guard Anthony Harris made his first appearance of the season playing 11 minutes against Birmingham-Southern (12- 3-05) posting four points, five assists and no turnovers. Harris missed the first seven games with a fractured bone in his right foot suffered during the preseason. In the last two games Harris is averaging 5.5 points and 3.0 assists, and has not recorded a turnover in 14 minutes per game.
NOT IN MY HOUSE
Forward Anthony King recorded one block against Wofford increasing his career total to 110 placing him seventh on UM's career list.
HOLDING TEAMS UNDER 100
The University of Miami has always prided itself on playing tough defense. Over the last 16 seasons the Hurricanes have not allowed an opponent to reach the century mark, a streak of 439 games. The last team to reach the 100-point plateau was Miami (OH) on December 27, 1990 in a 101-99 double-overtime victory over UM at the Eastern Airlines Palm Beach Classic.
The last team to score 100 points against the Hurricanes in a non-overtime game was Providence on February 21, 1990, a 101-67 Friar victory at the Providence Civic Center.
Miami has not allowed a team to score 100 points at home since Kansas defeated Miami 100-73 on January 10, 1990, a current streak of 240 games.
KEEPING UP WITH THE ANTHONY'S
Miami juniors Anthony Harris and Anthony King may have been the most improved duo in the nation last season. The two went from little used reserves to starters, and improved their numbers in every statistical category. Anthony King has continued his remarkable improvement this season. Anthony Harris saw his first action against Birmingham-Southern (11 minutes) after missing the first seven games with a fractured bone in his right foot.
PLAYING HIS BEST AGAINST THE BEST
Last season Miami guard Guillermo Diaz played his best when facing the best. Miami faced nine ranked teams last season and in those games he averaged 22.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game. He shot 75-155 (.484) from the field against ranked teams including 26-63 (.413) from three-point range. Diaz scored 20-or-more points in seven of the nine games versus ranked opponents.
PLAYING ABOVE THE RIM
Last season the Hurricanes have recorded 74 dunks (2.6 per game). In 2003-04 the Hurricanes recorded 90 dunks (3.0 per game) marking the most since UM had 111 dunks during the 1988-89 season. Miami has 22 dunks (2.44 per game) in the first nine games this season.