Notebook: Pack Faces UNC-G Tonight

NC State (9-4) is looking to conclude the nonconference schedule with a win tonight against UNC-Greensboro (6-6). Tip-off is set for 7:00 and the game is televised nationally on ESPNU.

  • NC State is in the middle of a five game homestand, covering 13 days.
  • Brandon Costner leads all ACC rookies in both scoring and rebounding.
  • Costner set a new NC State freshmen record with 19 rebounds against UNCW.
  • Engin Atsür has missed each of the last seven games, the first action he has missed since he became eligible four games into his freshman season - he'd played in 100 straight.
  • Small forward Gavin Grant is running the point in Atsür's absence.
  • Four Wolfpack players - Gavin Grant, Brandon Costner, Ben McCauley and Courtney Fells- rank in the top six of the ACC in minutes played.
  • Five Wolfpack players have played the entire 40 minutes in a game.
  • Every Wolfpack starter has posted a career-high in terms of scoring this season.

    NC State holds an all-time advantage of 4- 0 against UNC Wilmington, with each game played in Raleigh.

    The two squads last faced off last season, with NC State winning 83-52 at the RBC Center. NC State opened the game on a 13-4 run, and had five players score in double figures while shooting 54.5 percent from the field.

    After taking a few days off for christmas break, NC State will have a busy schedule through the middle of January. The good news for the Pack is they will not have to leave the state of North Carolina to play a game until January 31.

    The Wolfpack is currently playing five straight home games, and seven of the next eight are all at the RBC Center. The one road contest is a January 13 contest at Wake Forest.

    Even though the Pack will be at home, NC State will be busy with five games over a span of 13 days. Following last Thursday's win over East Carolina, the Pack hosted UNC Wilmington on Saturday at noon, and will UNC Greensboro on Tuesday, before beginning it ACC home schedule with Boston College and Clemson.

    Playing its second game in less than two days, NC State downed UNC Wilmington 72-51 on Saturday afternoon.

    With the score tied 6-6 early, NC State went on an 11-4 run and never lost its lead, holding a margin as big as 23 points late in the game. The Wolfpack defense held the Seahawks to just 51 points, 29.5 percent from the field and just 13.6 percent from three-point range.

    Redshirt freshman Brandon Costner had a huge game against UNC Wilmington on Saturday, in fact he had a double-double before halftime.

    Costner finished with new career-highs of 27 points and 19 rebounds in the win. He pulled down the most rebounds for a Wolfpack player since Todd Fuller had 21 on Nov. 25, 1995. Costner also set a new NC State freshman record with 19 rebounds in that contest, and his 27 points tied as the fourth-most for a Pack rookie.

    Costner currently leads NC State in both points (16.5) and rebounds (7.8).

    Sophomore Ben McCauley has turned into a very reliable inside scoring force as of late for the Pack. McCauley is averaging 21.3 points over the last four games, topping 20 points three times.

    McCauley has also been a warrior on the boards this season. He ranks 10th in rebounding in the ACC with 6.5 a contest, and over the last three games has averaged 8.3.

    j With his career-best 10 rebounds against East Carolina on Thursday, Mc- Cauley notched his first career doubledouble when he also had 20 points.

    The Wolfpack entered the season with just seven players who came to NC State on scholarship (Bryan Nieman and Braxton Albritton have since awarded a scholarship). One of those seven (Bartosz Lewandowski) suffered a knee injury two games into the season and has been unavailable.

    Another, senior point guard Engin Atsür, has missed the last eight games with a hamstring injury, leaving the Pack with five players who originally came to NC State on scholarship.

    In eight of the last nine games (until the final minute against UNCW NC State played just seven as well), NC State has played no more than seven players, with only six players seeing time in four of those. Five different Wolfpack players have gone the entire 40 minutes in a game 10 times this season, led by Gavin Grant's four times.

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