Gameday: NC State vs. New Orleans

RALEIGH, N.C. -- No. 21 NC State (1-0) return to the hardwood tonight in a nonconference game against New Orleans (1-0).

Location: RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C.

Tip-Off: 6:30 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports South

Radio: Airtime begins @ 6:00 PM on the Wolfpack Radio Network

NC State Information


    New Orleans Information


    NC State Projected Starting Line-up
    G Farnold Degand
    G Courtney Fells
    G Gavin Grant
    F Brandon Costner
    F J.J. Hickson

    New Orleans Projected Starting Line-up
    G Kyndall Dykes
    G Bo McCalebb
    C James Parlow
    F Ben Elias
    F Shaun Reynolds

    Players to Watch
    NC State
    J.J. Hickson -
    Wolfpack freshman tallied 31 points and seven boards in the season opener, including a 12-of-12 performance from the field. He is a beast in the paint and can step out and knock down the mid-range jumper.

    New Orleans
    Bo McCalebb --
    Recruited by Pack assistant Monte Towe, McCalebb is one of the best players to ever suit up for the Privateers. The high scoring guard tallied 16 points in the season-opening win.

    Additional Notes
    NC State Set to Host New Orleans:
    NC State will be looking to pick up its second straight win to start the 2007-08 season, when the Wolfpack plays host to New Orleans this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on Fox Sports Net South.

    New Orleans enters the contest at 1-0 on the young season, winning at Northwestern State, 72-66, on November 14. Kyndall Dykes had a game-high 19 points and eight rebounds, while Bo McCalebb finished with 16 points. UNO connected on 53.8 percent (28-52) of its shots.

    Last Time Out For NC State: The Wolfpack won its 14th straight season opener, when NC State defeated visiting William & Mary Tthursday night, 66-47. NC State had a huge effort of 31 points from freshman J.J. Hickson in his college debut, and Brandon Costner added a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds.

    The Wolfpack's defense was tough throughout the night, as NC State held The Tribe to just 47 points, on a combined 16-of-55 (29.1 percent) shooting performance.

    The Series Versus New Orleans: NC State and New Orleans will meet for only the second time in the history of the two programs. The only other previous match-up was a contest to open the 2004 season, in which NC State won 92-58 in Raleigh.

    Gavin Grant is the only current member of the Wolfpack squad to play in that contest. As a freshman in his first collegiate contest, Grant came off the bench and scored six points in 10 minutes of action. Current NC State associate head coach Monte Towe was the head coach of New Orleans at that time.

    Towe Facing Former School: Associate head coach Monte Towe is sure to have mixed feelings during the New Orleans game on Sunday, as he faces the team he was the head coach at for five seasons.

    The former starting point guard on the Pack's 1974 national championship team, was at New Orleans from 2002-06, before returning to coach at NC State. Just two years removed from the Privateers, coached and recruited many of the current players, including conference player of the year Bo McCalebb.

    While at UNO, Towe was 70-78 overall and earned a berth in the 2004 Sun Belt Conference championship game.

    The Hickson Debut: With nine days between the Wolfpack's last exhibition contest and last Tthursday's season opener, freshman J.J. Hickson had plenty of time to see the impressive performances of other highly-touted freshmen around the country. But Hickson's delayed debut may have topped them all.

    Hickson shot a perfect 12-of-12 from the field to score a game-high 31 points, almost half of NC State's total in a 66-47 win over William & Mary. Hickson also added seven rebounds and played 30 minutes as the Pack's starting center.

    With just one collegiate contest under his belt, Hickson now ranks among the all-time conference leaders in shooting, as only two other players in the 54-year history of the league have been perfect from the field with as many attempts as he had on Tthursday night. Brad Daugherty (UNC) hit all 13 of his attempts against UCLA in 1985, while Scott Williams (UNC) was also 12-of-12 against UVA in 1990.

    Hickson's 31 points marked the highest tally in conference history for a freshman in his first college game. Two NC State players held the previous record of 29 points, Ivan Wagner in 1995 and Ishua Benjamin in 1994.

    Hickson also set the ACC record for consecutive field goals made to start a career, besting Cherokee Parks (Duke) who hit his first 11 shots as a freshman in 1991 shots. Parks' mark was over two games, however. The rookie's name is already linked to one of the greatest players in collegiate history, as Hickson's 31 points in his first game in the Wolfpack uniform were the most for a Pack player in his varsity debut since David Thompson had 33 points against Appalachian State as a sophonore in 1972 to start his illustrious career.

    Hickson came close to breaking the single game record for points by a Pack freshman, just four points shy of tying Ernie Myers (35 versus Duke in 1983).

    In terms of overall scoring, Hickson scored the most points in a single game for a Pack player since Julius Hodge had 31 in the 2003 ACC Tournament, and his 31 points was an RBC Center record for a State player.

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