Gameday: NC State vs. Wake Forest

NC State will honor three players on Senior Night, and Wake Forest will be in town looking to spoil the event. Tip-off is set for 9:00, and the game is televised on ESPNU.

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Tip-Off: 9:00 p.m.

Television: ESPNU

Radio: Airtime begins @ 8:30 PM on the Wolfpack Radio Network

NC State Information


    Wake Forest Information


    NC State Projected Starting Line-up
    G- 04 Courtney Fells
    G- 11 Gavin Grant
    G- 14 Engin Atsur
    F- 33 Brandon Costner
    F- 34 Ben McCauley

    Wake Forest Projected Starting Line-up
    F- 31 Jamie Skeen
    F- 42 L.D. Williams
    C- 55 Kyle Visser
    G- 04 Harvey Hale
    G- 10 Ishmael Smith

    Players to Watch
    NC State
    Engin Atsur --
    On Senior Night, look for Atsur to be fired up. The Wolfpack will need a big night from their senior point guard

    Wake Forest
    Kyle Visser -- Senior center Kyle Visser, one of the nation's most improved players and a candidate for the All-ACC team, has led the Deacons all season. Visser (17.3 ppg and 7.3 rpg) ranks in the top 10 in the ACC in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and blocked shots.

    NC State Game Notes

  • NC State has lost its last four games on Senior Day, last winning in 2002 against North Carolina.
  • NC State's conference opponents have the best league record of any other league team's opposition, winning .544 of the time.
  • The Pack ranks second in the league in field goal percentage at .490.
  • Ben McCauley's .593 field goal percentage ranks third in the ACC.
  • The Pack shot 66.7 percent (32-48) against Virginia Tech on Feb. 18, its best shooting performance in an ACC game since 1982.
  • Brandon Costner recorded his seventh double-double of the season against Virginia Tech on Feb. 18 - the second-best in the ACC.
  • Costner has set a new freshmen scoring record this season with 435 thus far, and his 207 rebounds are third-best.
  • NC State is playing five of its last eight regular season games on the road.
  • Senior Engin Atsür is the 39th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark. He now has 1,085 points for his career - the 11th-best mark among current ACC players.

    The NC State-Wake Forest rivalry is the oldest series for the Wolfpack, dating back to the 1910-11 season. The two squads have faced each other a total of 221 times over 97 years, and NC State leads the overall series 127-94.

    The Pack holds an 87-54 advantage of games played in Raleigh, and also holds a 13-8 edge when the two teams have faced off on a neutral court. Wake Forest has emerged victorious 32 times in the 59 games played in Winston-Salem (32-27).

    The two teams played three times last year - twice in the regular season and in the first round of the ACC Tournament.

    The Wolfpack won in Raleigh on Jan. 21, battling back from 13 down to take a 92-82 win. NC State lost to the Deacons twice in five days at the end of the season - losing 76-63 at Wake on March 4 and then losing in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament on March 10, 82-71.

    NC State has lost 14 or the last 17 contests played on the Deacons' home court, winning only in 1997, 2004 and earlier this season.

    Sidney Lowe picked up his first career ACC victory with a 88-74 win at Wake Forest on January 13. It was only the third win in the last 17 trips for the Pack at Wake Forest.

    With the score tied at 20-20 at the 9:18 mark, NC State went on a 30-12 run to finish the first half up 50-32. Shooting 55.9 percent (19-34) in the first, NC State was even hotter in the second 20 minutes, hitting 68.2 percent (15-22).

    Gavin Grant had his third straight game with at least 20 points, as he went for a game-high 24. Courtney Fells finished with 20 points, and all five NC State starters reached double figures.

    In the last 10 games between NC State and Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons have outrebounded the Wolfpack by an average of 35.7 to 27.4. Wake has outrebounded the Pack in nine of those match-ups, including a 29-24 advantage back in January.

    Seniors Engin Atsür and Bryan Nieman as well as junior Braxton Albritton will be playing in the RBC Center perhaps for the last times in their careers, and will be honored before the Wake Forest game.

    Atsür has started all but five games that he has played in during his career, and his 105 career starts is fourth-best in school history. Atsür went over the 1,000 point mark earlier this season for career points, and his 209 career three-pointers are currently third-best in school history.

    Nieman joined the Pack last season after transferring from Gulf Coast Community College. After playing only 10 total minutes last year, Nieman has played in 24 games thus far, making five starts.

    Albritton is a former walk-on who has earned a scholarship this season. He has played in nine games this year and in 21 for his career.

    NC State will be looking to win on its Senior Day for the first time since the 2002 season, as the Pack has lost its last four such outings.

    Since the RBC Center opened in 1999-2000, the Pack has had a difficult time winning on Senior Day, posting a 1-6 mark. NC State will be hosting Wake Forest for the fourth time in the Pack's final home contest since the RBC Center opened, with Wake winning all three of those previous match-ups.

    NC State has played the ACC's most difficult conference schedule so far this year. NC State's ACC opponents have a combined 123-103 record in league play so far this year for a .544 winning percentage.

    The Wolfpack has played the top third of the league (UNC, UVA, BC, VT) a combined seven times. On the flip side, the Pack has played the bottom three teams (WF, Mia., FSU) only three times before Wednesday's game against Wake Forest.

    NC State is 3-4 against the top four teams, but 1-6 versus the rest of the conference. The ACC played a balanced schedule for its first 51 years, but when the league expanded for the 2004-05 campaign the league began an unbalanced schedule. We are in the second year of playing five teams twice and the other six teams in the league once.

    NC State head coach Sidney Lowe had been suffering from a flu-like bug prior to Wednesday's game at North Carolina and at halftime, a combination of the heat, the sickness and dehydration caused him to fall ill. Coach Lowe was taken to a local hospital and spent the night having his fluids replenished, and rejoined the team in Tallahassee.

    Lowe was unable to coach the second half of the contest at UNC, and his importance to his team was obvious in his absence.

    At halftime, the score was 41-40 in favor of the Tar Heels and the teams were tied with 17 rebounds each. In the second half, UNC outscored the Pack, 42-24 and outrebounded the team 24-6. The Pack also committed a dozen turnovers in the second half.

    Lowe did not travel with the team to Florida State, but came down the morning of the game.

    Wake Forest Game Notes

    While the pairings for the ACC Tournament will likely not be decided until Sunday, it is safe to say that the final week will determine a great deal for Wake Forest.

    The Deacons could be seeded as low as 12th, or as high as high as seventh when the ACCTournament begins in Tampa next month. For Wake Forest to get the No. 7 seed, the Deacons would have to win out, beating NC State Wednesday and Virginia on Saturday. In addition, Georgia Tech would have to lose to both North Carolina (Thursday) and to Boston College (Sunday).

    For the Deacons to repeat as the tournament's No. 12 seed, Wake would have to lose its two remaining games and Miami would have to win at least one of its remaining two games. Wake Forest holds the tie-breaker with Miami. If the Deacons beat NC State and lose to Virginia, they could be seeded anywhere from ninth to 12th.

    If Wake Forest loses to NC State and beats Virginia, the Deacons could be seeded from 10th to 12th. They could not finish higher because NC State would own the tie-breaker in this scenario.

    Last year at this time, Wake Forest put together a solid late-season run that ultimately led to a 16th consecutive postseason appearance. The youthful Deacons are looking for a similar run this year and a win at NC State Wednesday might light the spark:

  • The winner of Wednesday's game will emerge from a group of three teams at the bottom of the ACC standings. Wake Forest, NC State and Miami all have four wins in league play heading down the homestretch.
  • Wake Forest holds the tie-breaker with Miami (the Deacons swept the season series).
  • Wake Forest, with a win, would be more optimistic about earning its 17th consecutive postseason bid -- the longest current streak in the ACC.
  • The Deacons are looking for their first ACC road win since Jan. 6 at Miami.
  • Wake Forest is looking to get back to .500 overall.
  • The Deacons have not finished with a losing season since 1990.
  • The Deacons are trying to avoid finishing last in the ACC in consecutive seasons for the first time ever.
  • Wake Forest needs one win to avoid last year's mark of 17 losses, which was the sixth-most defeats in school history.


  • NC State leads the all-time series, 128-96.
  • The Wolfpack won the last meeting, 88-74, Jan. 13th in Winston-Salem.
  • Wake Forest has won 12 of the last 18 meetings.
  • The Deacons won two of three meetings with the Wolfpack last season including an upset win in the quarterfinals of the ACC?Tournament in Greensboro.
  • Wake Forest is 14-4 all-time against NC?State in Lawrence Joel Coliseum.
  • Wake has won four of the last six meetings in Raleigh. All-time, NC State is 50-23 against the Deacons in Raleigh.
  • The Wake Forest-NC State series is the third-most frequently played series in the ACC (224 meetings).
  • The two teams have met at least twice each season since 1930 and they first met on the hardwood in 1910-11.
  • Seven out of the last eight meetings have been decided by at least 10 points.
  • Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser is 8-6 all-time versus NC State.
  • NC State coach Sidney Lowe is 1-0 against Wake.


  • Wake Forest sophomore Cameron Stanley is from Raleigh, home of NC State.
  • NC State's Bryan Nieman played on the high school level at Wake Forest-Rolesville.
  • NC State assistant coach Pete Strickland was head coach at Coastal Carolina in 1999 when the Chanticleers lost at Wake Forest, 73-46.
  • Former Wake Forest All-American Chris Paul now dishes assists to former NC State big man Cedric Simmons with the New Orleans Hornets.


    Kyle Visser, Ish Smith

    Michael Drum, L.D. Williams

    Harvey Hale, Anthony Gurley

    (Photos courtesy AP)

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