Tip-Off: 8:00 p.m.
Radio: Airtime begins @ 7:30 PM on the Wolfpack Radio Network
NC State Information
NC State Projected Starting Line-up
G Marques Johnson
G Courtney Fells
F Gavin Grant
F Brandon Costner
C J.J. Hickson
Miami Projected Starting Line-up
G Jack McClinton
G James Dews
F Brian Asbury
F Jimmy Graham
C Anthony King
Players to Watch
Courtney Fells -- Fells has led the Pack in scoring in both ACC games this season, and ranks sixth in points per game (17.5) in ACC games. He'll also be guarding Dews, a dangerous shooter, much of the night.
Jack McClinton -- McClinton might be the ACC's top shooter. The talented point guard is shooting nearly 47% from 3-point range as he's averaging 15.7 points on the season.
NC State Game Notes
Noting The Pack
• NC State is 3-2 all-time against Miami, including a perfect 2-0 at home.
• NC State will be facing its third straight ranked opponent to open ACC play, and its fifth ranked foe overall, but only the first one at home.
• NC State is one of only two ACC teams to play its first two conference games on the road. This marks the first time since 1995-96 NC State opened the ACC season with two road games.
• Courtney Fells has led the Pack in scoring in both ACC games this season, and ranks sixth in points per game (17.5) in ACC games.
• Starting point guard Farnold Degand tore his ACL against Cincinnati, and will miss the remainder of the season.
• Neither of the two players seeing time at the point started a college game prior to the Seton Hall contest. Javier Gonzalez started the first five contests since Degand went down, while Marques Johnson made his first career start at Clemson.
• NC State ranks fourth in the ACC in field goal percentage defense (.389), and is 11-0 when outshooting its opponent.
• J.J. Hickson leads all ACC freshmen in scoring (15.6 ppg) and is second among rookies in rebounding (7.7 rpg). Overall, he is the only freshman in the top-10 in the ACC in both those two categories.
• Hickson also leads the ACC in field goal percentage (.649). next player is at just 55.6 percent.
• Gavin Grant hit two free throws in the final five seconds to give the Pack the win over Davidson, the second time this year he has won a game in the final seconds with free throws (Villanova).
NC State Hosts No. 21 Miami
After opening conference play with two straight road games, NC State returns to home action as the Pack plays host to No. 21 Miami Saturday at 8:00 p.m. The contest marks the Pack's third straight against a ranked ACC foe, the first time since the 1997-98 season that NC State's first three conference games were all against ranked teams.
The Series Versus Miami
Saturday's matchup will mark only the sixth meeting between NC State and Miami. The Wolfpack leads the overall series 3-2, and has won both previous matchups played in Raleigh. The Hurricanes won the lone game last season, winning at home, 80-65 on February 10. NC State won both games against the Hurricanes during the 2005-06 season - winning by 12 (81-69) in Raleigh and then fighting to an 86-77 double-overtime win at Coral Gables. the two squads met just once in 2004-05, Miami's first year in the ACC. The Wolfpack dropped that one, 66-67. The only other game was played in 1939-40, a 46-35 Wolfpack win.
Last Season Versus Miami
The two teams faced off once last season, February 10 at Miami. The Hurricanes used a 42-25 rebounding advantage, including 21 offensive boards, to defeat NC State, 80-65, in Coral Gables, Fla. The Hurricanes held a 63-47 lead with 7:52 left, but NC State went on a 11-0 run to cut the lead down to five. But Miami's Anthony Harris hit a three-pointer at the 4:42 mark, and NC State would not get any closer than seven points the rest of the contest. Miami shot just 39.5 percent (15-38) in the first half, but shot 56.0 percent (14-25) in the second and outscored the Pack 47-35 in the half. Ben McCauley led the Pack with 19 points, on 7-of-9 shooting.
Last Time Out For NC State
NC State dropped its second straight game to begin ACC conference play, falling at No. 24 Clemson, 70-54, on Tuesday night. Playing its second straight road game to begin conference play, NC State gave up seven three pointers in the first half and fell behind 32-24 at the break. To begin the second half, the Pack had six turnovers in seven possessions as the Tigers built their lead up to 47-29. Courtney Fells hit five three-pointers enroute to a game-high 19 points, and freshman Tracy Smith added 13 points and six rebounds off the bench.
Pack Versus Ranked Teams This Season
No. 21 Miami marks the fifth ranked opponent for NC State this season, but only the first of which will be played at home. So far this season, the Pack is 1-3 against ranked foes.
The Pack defeated No. 20 Villanova in the championship game of the Old Spice Classic over Thanksgiving weekend in Orlando, marking the Pack's earliest win over a ranked foe since a November 11, 1997, season-opening win against No. 19 Georgia. The Pack then traveled to No. 10 Michigan State the next game, and fell 81-58 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. NC State then opened its ACC schedule with a 93-62 defeat at No. 1 North Carolina, and a 70-54 loss at No. 24 Clemson on Tuesday night.
This season marked the first time since 1986 that NC State has had to face two ranked opponents in the month of November.
In Sidney Lowe's first season with the Pack, NC State posted a 3-6 mark against top-25 foes, and a 1-3 record against top-10 opponents.
Nothing But ACC
Last Saturday's game at North Carolina marked the first of 16 straight regular season games that the Wolfpack will play against ACC competition. The Pack concluded its non-conference part of the schedule against North Carolina Central on January 9, with a record of 11-3.
The Pack is also one of only two ACC teams that had to play their first two conference games on the road (Florida State), marking the first time since 1995-96 NC State opened ACC play with two road games.
Fells Soaring in ACC Play
Even though NC State has opened its ACC schedule with two straight losses, the play of shooting guard Courtney Fells has been a major brightspot for NC State. Despite playing with a sprained ankle suffered against North Carolina Central, Fells has led the Pack in scoring in each of the last two games.
Against No. 1 UNC, Fells led the Pack with 16 points, and followed that effort with a game-high 19 points at No. 24 Clemson, including hitting five-of-eight three pointers.
In ACC only stats, Fells currently ranks sixth in points per game (17.5) and fourth in three-point field goal percentage (7-15, .467).
Smith Gets Chance to Shine at Clemson
The NC State coaches have been telling freshman forward Tracy Smith to continue to work hard in practice, and his chance at major playing time will come. That chance arrived at No. 24 Clemson on Tuesday, as Smith set new career-highs in almost every category.
Coming off the bench, Smith played 20 minutes and scored 13 points (on 6-of-11 shooting) and pulled down six rebounds as well.
Entering the contest at Clemson, Smith had scored only 10 points total on the season, appearing in eight previous games averaging just 4.6 minutes each outing.
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Smith finished his high school career at Mount Zion Academy in Durham, N.C. where he was considered the No. 1 recruit in North Carolina by many publications.