Notebook: Miami Seeking Payback?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- All opening-round teams in the ACC Tournament were allowed one hour of practice at Charlotte Bobcats Arena. Here are some notes following the Wolfpack's noon workout.

Can Somebody Hit A Free Throw?
During a free-throw shooting drill in which players are lined up to attempt one-and-ones, six consecutive Wolfpack players – J.J. Hickson, Marques Johnson, Tracy Smith, Clayton Beard and Javi Gonzalez – missed the front end.

Neutral Court Shows Favoritism
State is 6-1 in the past two seasons in neutral court sites, making for one of the more interesting stats in the Sidney Lowe era. When asked if he could put a finger on why that is, Gavin Grant said, "No I cannot."

"But we won a [the Old Spice Classic] and last year in the [ACC] Tournament we did pretty good so we're 6-1 since [Lowe has] been here."

And if you include last year's NIT run, Lowe is 8-2 in games with a tournament atmosphere.

Last Year's Run Gives Something To Hope For
Not that the mood of the team seems to be cheery, but State players were quick to move on from the regular season and its eight-game losing streak, in most part because, "Everybody's 0-0, it's a new season," Lowe said. "It's important that some of our guys played in [the ACC Tournament] last year and have that experience and hopefully [they'll] share some of that with the young guys and hopefully we can have some of the success that we did."

It's unlikely members of a 4-12 ACC team would be as likely to look forward to Thursday's game with Miami were it not for last year's run.

"It was probably the most fun I've ever had in my life," said Courtney Fells. "The way the fans supported [us] and just being in the championship was great so we're going to try to use our leadership and get back."

The Draw Proves Favorable To The Pack
Not to look too far ahead, but if there was ever a chance for the Pack to make another run this year, there might not be a better way to start off the ACC Tournament than games with Miami and possibly Virginia Tech.

State defeated both teams at home this season, and has yet to lose to the Hokies since Lowe has been coach (4-0).

"It's not something that we can hang our hats on and think it's going to be easy or anything like that. That was the regular season. It's the same we told our guys before, we had a tough regular season but this is a new season," Lowe said.

"For Miami, this is a new season. I told our players ‘what are you going to do tomorrow' – that's what it's all about. What are you going to do tomorrow? [Miami is] playing well and we need to come out and play well ourselves."

Miami Seeking Payback?
In a wild game played in front of a raucous RBC crowd, J.J. Hickson tipped in a missed Grant drive to tie the game at 77 in overtime – and that's where the fun starts.

With less than five seconds on the clock, Miami center Anthony King absent-mindedly threw an in-bounds pass straight into the chest of Grant. Grant immediately laid the ball in as the Pack pulled off the upset.

"I think he thought I had an orange jersey on," Grant said afterwards. "I don't know what he saw there, but I am glad I saw it. I can't really take credit for it – I was just standing there and the guy threw me the ball."

To lose in such heart-breaking fashion could have the Canes wanting to exact revenge on the Pack.

"I would be wanting N.C. State if I was Miami," Grant said. "I'm pretty sure they're going to come out here and give 110 percent and we just have to do the same."

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