McCauley Comes Up Big in Red & White game

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Prior to the start of the ninth annual Red & White game, Coach Sidney Lowe came out onto the court and promised fans "a product that you could be proud of this season."

Senior Ben McCauley certainly delivered on Lowe's promise, wooing the fans with an impressive display of off-handed layups, powerful rebounding, and an overall fast-paced style of play.

Ben McCauley finished with 17 points and seven rebounds in Red team's 47-44 win over White.

"It's good to be back to where I was during my sophomore year," McCauley said. "That's one great thing about this offense in that you need to be in pretty good shape to run up and down the floor. I worked on that during the off season and it's really paying off now."

Throughout the preseason, Lowe has been forcing his players to move quickly across the court and take advantage of fast break opportunities. Although the players moved fairly well tonight, the team seemed to gradually slow down in the second half.

"Running up and down the floor is one of the things coach has really been harping on a lot lately – making sure we get out and push the ball so we can get some transition baskets," McCauley said.

Assistant head coach Monte Towe reiterated Lowe's attitude throughout the game, repeatedly telling the red team to "push it" as they worked the ball down the court.

"I liked how the white team ran better than the red, but when it all comes down, we're still going to need to be able to execute in the half-court set, because good teams aren't going to allow you to continue to get fast breaks," Lowe said. "We're going to have to be patient and set it up."

Sophomore Tracy Smith ended with 5-for-12 shooting and 13 points for the White team, which almost mounted a surprising comeback during the last minute of the game.

"He's going to start a lot if he keeps scoring," sophomore Javier Gonzalez said. "I don't think that today was one of his nicer days and he still did good. If he had been playing like he had been during the last couple of days of practice we would've had a better chance of winning tonight."

For the most part, the Wolfpack's young players were relatively quiet. Freshman forward C. J. Williams and freshman guard/forward Julius Mays combined for a mere five points.

"It's different playing in practice versus playing in front of fans," McCauley said. "They're getting better day in and day out. They're going to do good things for us this year."

As expected the overall atmosphere of the Reynolds Coliseum game was fairly jovial with players from opposing sides congratulating each other on well-placed shots.

One of the highlights of the scrimmage came when junior Dennis Horner capped off a broken down play with a booming dunk causing the crowd to erupt in cheers.

On a less heartening note, redshirt freshman Johnny Thomas, who had five points and six rebounds, struggled with his lingering leg injury throughout the game. After hitting a 3-pointer late in the first half, Johnny was seen grasping the back of his leg, yet continued to persevere through the pain.

Thomas wasn't the only Pack player limping, though. With 5:15 left in the second half, Farnold Degand went down with a minor injury. Degand limped off the court and would stay sidelined for the remainder of the night. Lowe later confirmed that the injury wasn't serious.

Redshirt junior Brandon Costner failed to see any playing time after twisting his ankle during practice last week.

"There are some battle scars out there, but that shows you that everyone is just busting their butts and playing hard," McCauley said.

The Pack opens the season with an exhibition game against Fort Valley State November 6th at 7:00 pm in Reynolds Coliseum.

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