Gameday: NC State vs. Florida State

NC State (15-12, 4-9) returns to the hardwood tonight against Florida State (16-12, 5-8). Tip-off is set for 7:00 pm and the game will be televised nationally on ESPNU.

Location: Raleigh, N.C.

Tip-Off: 7:00 p.m.

Television: ESPNU

Radio: Airtime begins @ 6:30 p.m. on the Wolfpack Radio Network

NC State Information


    Florida State Information


    NC State Projected Starting Line-up
    G Javy Gonzalez
    G Courtney Fells
    F Gavin Grant
    F Ben McCauley
    C J.J. Hickson

    Florida State Projected Starting Line-up
    G Toney Douglas
    G Jason Rich
    G Ralph Mims
    F Uche Echefu
    C Ryan Reid

    Players to Watch
    NC State
    Javy Gonzalez --
    For NC State to be successful, the Wolfpack will need a strong game from Gonzalez.

    Florida State
    Toney Douglas --
    FSU's top player, Douglas is a dynamic scorer and a thief on the defensive end of the floor. He'll be all over the Wolfpack's point guards tonight.

    NC State Game Notes

    • Six of NC State's 15 wins have been decided by three points or less this season. The 10-point win over Virginia Tech is the only double figure win in ACC play this season.
    • NC State has faced seven ranked opponents (four in the top-10) this season, more than any other ACC team - and is the only ACC team to face both Duke and North Carolina twice.
    • NC State ranks sixth in the ACC in field goal percentage defense (.424), and is 13-1 when outshooting its opponent this year.
    • In ACC games, NC State is second in the conference hitting 38.1 percent from three-point range (after shooting 30.0 percent in non-conference play).
    • Courtney Fells is shooting 47.8 percent (32-67) on three-pointers in ACC play, and is scoring 14.0 points in ACC games.
    • J.J. Hickson set an ACC freshman single-game record with 23 rebounds against Clemson.
    • Hickson leads all ACC freshmen in both scoring (15.2 ppg) and in rebounding (8.7 rpg). He is 12th and second in the ACC in those categories.
    • Hickson also leads the ACC in field goal percentage (.601). The next player is at just 55.3 percent.
    • Over the last seven games, Gavin Grant has averaged 17.3 points. He is averaging 15.2 points in ACC play, including going 14-of-32 from three-point range.
    • Three times this season, Grant's points in the final seconds have won a game for the Pack. A steal and layup with 2.1 seconds left gave NC State the overtime win over No. 21 Miami, and twice this season (Villanova and Davidson) Grant's free throws in the final seconds led NC State to victory.

    NC State will be looking for the season sweep of visiting Florida State this Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. The Pack has lost five straight contests, but currently boasts a 3-3 mark in home ACC games this season. NC State is in the middle of playing four of five games at the RBC Center as well.

    Wednesday's matchup will mark the 42nd meeting between NC State and Florida State. The Wolfpack leads the overall series, which dates back to 1955-56, 25-16. This season also marks the fourth straight year the two teams play only once during the regular season.

    NC State has won 15 of the last 17 games against FSU, the Noles only wins during that span were last year at FSU and in Raleigh in 2005. Prior to last season, the Pack had not dropped a game to FSU since January 23, 1999.

    The two teams are meeting in Raleigh fof the first time since 2006 where the Pack has won seven of the last eight games.

    NC State picked up its lone ACC road win of the season, overcoming a 12-point first half deficit in defeating Florida State, 69-66, on January 26. Courtney Fells banked in a three-pointer to tie the score at 66-66 with 41.7 seconds left, then J.J. Hickson converted both his free throw attempts with 9.6 seconds left and blocked FSU's final shot to give the Pack their sixth win in the last seven trips to FSU.

    State was down by as many as 12 points in the first half, but finished the half on a 17-0 run, holding FSU without a point for the final 5:08. Hickson recorded his second straight double-double (12 pts. and 10 reb.) and Fells scored 16 points.

    During the Pack's current five-game losing streak, the Pack has struggled on the defensive side of the ball in the second half. NC State has given up an average of 44.2 points in the second 20 minutes in those four loses, with the teams shooting 55.0 percent (77-140) from the field, and 50.0 percent (16-32) from three-point range.

    Maryland scored 53 points on 20-of-27 shooting, Boston College scored 41 points hitting 13-of-23 shots, and Clemson hit 51.6 percent (16-31) of its shots enroute to 37 points. North Carolina shot 59.4 percent and scored 50 points, and last time out, Virginia shot only 39.3 percent but scored 40 points.

    NC State has not had much success on the road this season, going 2-8 thus far. The Pack has faced four ranked teams on the road as well, and is 1-6 on the road in ACC affairs this year.

    NC State is giving up an average of 79.4 points on the road including allowing opponents to shoot 48.6 percent, compared to just 62.4 points in games played at home where opponents have shot 39.6 percent.

    The Pack however is 3-0 playing neutral site games this season, winning the Old Spice Classic over Thansgiving weekend.

    Coming into ACC conference play, NC State connected on just 30.0 percent of its three-point shots in its 14 non-conference games, but that trend has changed during the ACC season. NC State is currently second in the ACC shooting 38.4 percent (84-of-219) on three-pointers in league play, and has gone from making 4.6 a game to hitting 6.5 per game in ACC games.

    After leading the ACC in three-point shooting in the first nine conference games, the Pack has struggled during its five game losing streak, connecting on just 34.1 percent (31-91).

    During ACC play, Courtney Fells has connected on 34-of-74 (.459 percent) three-point tries through 13 games, ranking second in the ACC, and Gavin Grant has hit 16-of-35 (.457) long range tries.

    The 11 made three-pointers in the win over Miami were the most for a Wolfpack team under Coach Lowe, and the most the Pack has made in a single game in almost two years.

    On the season, NC State has hit 34.3 percent (148-432) of its three-point attempts, 10th in the ACC. NC State was the last school to reach double figures in made three-pointers in a single game when NC State had 11 against Miami.

    Florida State Game Notes

    All-ACC candidate Toney Douglas, the top perimeter defender and the eighth leading scorer in the ACC this season, is enjoying one of the top all-around seasons of any player in the ACC this season. He is ranked first in steals (80 steals / 2.86 spg), eighth in scoring (442 points, 15.8 ppg), eighth in field goal percentage (.462), tied for 10th in 3-point field goals made (52) and third in minutes played (35.1 mpg). Douglas - the ACC's Chief Thief - earned three steals in the Seminoles' victory over Boston College to bring his ACC-leading total to 80 and making him only the eighth player in Florida State history to earn 80 or more steals in a single game.

    All-ACC candidate Jason Rich, who is ranked 18th in the ACC with a career-high 13.4 points per game, is averaging career-high statistics for scoring, 3-point field goals made (23), free throws made (71), rebounds (4.4) and games with at least 20 points scored (six). He is averaging 15.0 points scored per game in the Seminoles' 13 ACC games.

    Florida State enters Wednesday's game against NC State ranked fourth in the ACC in scoring defense as it is allowing 68.4 points per game. In their last three wins - all against ACC competition - the Seminoles have allowed a total of 173 points for an average of 57.7 points per game. The Seminoles limited both Miami (averaging 75.8 ppg / scored 20.8 less than its season average) and Clemson (averaging 80.2 ppg / scored 25.2 less than its season average) to 55 points and held Boston College to 63 points (averaging 72.7 ppg / scored 9.7 less than its season average) in earning their third, fourth and fifth conference victories of the year. Florida State led the ACC in scoring defense in Leonard Hamilton's first season in Tallahassee (2002-03) and ranked second in scoring defense in the league statistics during his second season in Tallahassee (2003-04).

    Florida State continues to prove itself as one of the most accurate free throw shooting teams in the nation. The Seminoles have made 430 free throws this season and enter Wednesday's game against NC State ranked FIRST IN THE ACC AND FIFTH IN THE NATION IN FREE THROW SHOOTING PERCENTAGE.

    The Seminoles have shot better than 70 percent in each of the last three seasons and led the ACC with a school record .758 mark from the line during the 2006-07 season. Florida State has made more free throws than its opponent 15 times this season and averages 15.4 made free throws.

    Florida State made its final nine free throws of the game in the last 5:01 of its victory over Boston College on Saturday. Junior All-ACC candidate Toney Douglas and senior guard Ralph Mims were both four-of-four from the line during that span; ...Florida State made 11 free throws in 15 free throw attempts in the final 3:43 of its victory over Clemson on Feb. 19. Junior All-ACC candidate Toney Douglas was five-of-six and senior guard Ralph Mims was four-of-four during that span; ...Florida State made nine of its final 11 free throws attempts in the final 5:50 of its victory over Miami on Feb. 6. Junior All-ACC candidate Toney Douglas was five of six from the line during that span.

    If you ask Seminole Head Coach Leonard Hamilton what his favorite statistic is, there is a good chance he might tell you of his affinity for the field goal percentage defense mark by his team. The Seminoles are currently ranked seventh (with a bullet) in the ACC in the field goal percentage statistic. In its last six games, the Seminoles are limiting their opponents to just over 40 percent from the field. The Seminoles' field goal percentage defense in their three wins during the month of February is .353 (60-of-170).

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