Gameday: NC State vs. Georgia State

NC State begins the season tonight with a home game against Georgia State. Tip-off is set for 7:00, and the game is not televised.

Location: RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C.

Tip-Off: 7:05 p.m.

Television: None

Radio: Airtime begins @ 6:30 PM on the Wolfpack Radio Network

NC State Information


    Georgia State Information


    NC State Projected Starting Line-up
    G Javy Gonzalez
    G C.J. Williams
    F Scott Wood
    F Dennis Horner
    C Tracy Smith

    Georgia State Projected Starting Line-up
    G Joe Dukes
    G Trae Goldston
    F Trey Hampton
    F Jihad Ali
    C Xavier Hansbro

    Players to Watch
    NC State
    Tracy Smith --
    The 6'8 junior will be a focal point for NC State's offensive attack. The Wolfpack needs him to produce every night out.

    Georgia State
    Joe Dukes --
    Wake Forest transfer was an all-league selection last season. The senior is disruptive on defense and a playmaker.

    NC State Game Notes

    NC State kicks off its 2009-10 campaign by hosting Georgia State Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. The Wolfpack played one exhibition game in Reynolds last week, defeating St. Paul's College, 84-42, last Thursday.

    Georgia State will also be making their season debut. In their only exhibition game, the Panthers defeated Shorter, 72-68, on Nov. 3. Georgia State is coached by third-year head coach Rod Barnes, and is a veteran team the features six seniors, including all-conference guard Joe Dukes, who transferred from Wake Forest. This contest is part of the Glenn Wilkes Classic, which continues with three games in three days in Daytona Beach, Fla, Nov. 20-22, where the Pack will be facing Akron, Austin Peay, and Auburn.

    This game will be able to be viewed online, on's Pack Pass.

    This will be the first ever meeting between the teams.

    The Wolfpack will be looking to extend an impressive streak in the first regular season game, as NC State has won the past 15 season openers and done so with a whopping 21.0 margin of victory The Pack has not dropped the first game of the season since a 94-80 loss in 1993-94 against Weber State in Alaska.

    NC State will see a famaliar face when they take the court against the Panthers, as former NC State guard Marques Johnson will be playing his first game in a Georgia State uniform. Johnson sat out last season after transferring from NC State following the 2007- 08 season. In his lone season with the Pack, Johnson played in 21 games with six starts, and averaged 2.0 points and 1.2 assists an outing at point guard.

    NC State fans got one chance to see the new look Pack during the exhibition season, as the Pack downed St. Paul's College, 84- 42, last Thursday night in Reynolds Coliseum. The Pack jumped out to an 18-2 lead, and coasted to the easy win. NC State shot 58.9 percent (33-56) from the field, and all 13 players that saw action scored. Junior Tracy Smith made 9-of-11 shots to finish with a game-high 21 points, and freshman Scott Wood made all four of his three-pointers to add 12 points.

    The Pack opened with a lineup of Javier Gonzalez and C.J. Williams in the backcourt, with Wood, Smith and Dennis Horner up front.

    Freshman Richard Howell underwent knee surgery in early October, and has missed the entire preseason. The forward from Marietta, Ga., will add depth to the Pack's front court once he returns to action.

    After playing his first two seasons at NC State exclusively at point guard, redshirt senior Farnold Degand has spent much of the preseason at shooting guard. With Degand seeing more of his minutes at the two-guard position, it allows the Pack to have at least two primary ball handlers on the court at the same time.

    Degand's first season with the Pack was cut short, as he suffered a torn ACL only 10 games into the 2007-08 season. Degand returned last year to play in 24 games, making 11 starts, and averaged 4.7 points. This is the first time that Degand has said his knee is back to full strength.

    2009-10 will mark the 100th season of NC State basketball. The Pack first took the court in 1910-11, and currently ranks among the top-25 nationally for most wins for a program. Throughout the season, NC State will be honoring former players, coaches and teams at various home games.

    Five scholarship freshmen have joined the Wolfpack for the 2009-10 season; Josh Davis (Raleigh, N.C.), Richard Howell (Marietta, Ga.), DeShawn Painter (Norfolk, Va.), Jordan Vandenberg (Melbourne, Australia), and Scott Wood (Marion, Ind.).

    A spring signee, Davis is a local product from Athens Drive High School. He has seen action this preseason at small forward.

    Howell attended the same high school as former Pack forward J.J. Hickson. Howell has missed the whole preseason with a knee injury, but will add depth to the front court once he returns to action.

    Painter, who originally committed to Florida, was another spring signee for the Pack. He has been playing as a reserve forward.

    Vandenberg was the third player to sign in the spring. He will see action as a reserve center.

    Wood was a high school teammate of current Pack sophomore Julius Mays. Wood got the start at small forward in the Pack's lone exhibition game.

    Georgia State Game Notes

    Marques Johnson, a transfer from NC State who is now eligible to play for Georgia State, will play his first regular-season game in a Panther uniform against his former team.

    Johnson, who sat out the 2008-09 season while practicing with the Panthers, played in 21 games for the Wolfpack in 2007-08. He averaged 2.0 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists while playing about 15 minutes a game. He started six straight games in January and early February, then came off the bench for the final 10 contests. His top scoring effort was seven points versus Maryland.

    The Fort Wayne, Ind., native originally enrolled at Tennessee in the fall of 2006 and played in four games for the Volunteers before moving to NC State in January 2007.

    Georgia State and NC State are meeting for the fi rst time. Head coach Rod Barnes is 0-1 against NC State as his Ole Miss squad fell to the Wolfpack, 77-54, in Raleigh in the third round of the 2000 NIT.

    Senior guard Joe Dukes, a transfer from Wake Forest, faced the Wolfpack four times over the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. He only saw signfi cant minutes in one of those games, an 88-74 NC State victory on Jan. 13, 2007, when he had two points, four rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot in 20 minutes of action. He played a total of just 11 minutes in the other three games, with two points and two rebounds.

    NC State is one of two Atlantic Coast Conference teams on this year's Georgia State schedule as the Panthers will travel to Florida State on Dec. 15. Over the last three seasons, GSU has played seven games against three ACC schools, falling to Georgia Tech and Florida State each year and at Clemson in 2006-07. Before 2006-07, however, the last time Georgia State faced an ACC team was in the 2001 NCAA Tournament second round, when the Panthers fell to eventual Final Four team Maryland, 79-60.

    Georgia State has never defeated an ACC team, although the Panthers do have two wins over Georgia Tech in 1972-73 and 1975-76 before Tech entered the ACC.

    Senior guard Joe Dukes was selected to the preseason all-Colonial Athletic Association second team, selected by media, head coaches and sports information directors and announced at the league's annual media day.

    Last season, the 6-1 native of Cuthbert, Ga., made an immediate impact in his first season with the Panthers aft er transferring from Wake Forest and earned third-team all-CAA honors. He ranked in the Top 15 in the league in scoring (12.8 ppg, 14th), assists (4.3 apg, 5th), steals (1.7 spg, 5th) and FG% (8th, .439). He was also the team's second-leading rebounder at 4.7 per game.

    Th e 2009-10 Panthers are easily the most experienced Georgia State team in Rod Barnes' tenure, featuring six seniors. All six should be contributors, with Joe Dukes, Trae Goldston, Trey Hampton and Xavier Hansbro probable starters, and Ousman Krubally and Kevin Lott key reserves.

    All six seniors are scheduled to earn their degrees in the coming year.

    Junior guard Trae Goldston hit two game-winning three-pointers last season and three in his career. All three have come at the Georgia State Sports Arena. Most recent was his winning trey against UNC Wilmington on Feb. 14, 2009, which came with just five seconds left . With the score tied, he took a feed from Joe Dukes and nailed a trey from the corner with just fi ve seconds left to lift Georgia State to the 69-66 victory.

    On Jan. 3, 2009, Goldston's three with just 11 seconds left gave Georgia State a 55-54 victory over Old Dominion. Aft er ODU had taken a two-point lead with 37 seconds left, Goldston took a pass from Dukes and hit from the right wing. On Feb. 16, 2008 against Northeastern, Goldston nailed a trey with 1.5 seconds left to give the Panthers a 57-55 victory.

    Th e Georgia State basketball team has excelled in the classroom under head coach Rod Barnes. All four seniors who have finished their careers under Barnes have graduated, and this year's class of six seniors are all on schedule to earn their degrees in the coming year. Jihad Ali (2008), Ousman Krubally (2009) and Kevin Lott (2009) have earned the Colonial Athletic Association Commissioner's Academic Award under Barnes.

    The Panthers posted a grade point average of better than 2.8 for the 2008-09 academic year. In the fall 2008 semester, eight players had a GPA of 3.0 or better, with Jihad Ali making the Dean's List (3.5 GPA) and Dante Curry and James Fields on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll (3.2 GPA).

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