"Somebody asked me if I hit all my shots what's going to happen and I probably won't be here too long," Wood said. "I'm not going to make any guarantees but hopefully I knock down more than I miss."
The Wolfpack, debuting its five freshman for the first time, easily dispatched the visiting Tigers 84-42 on Thursday night as it prepares for the start of the regular season next week. Wood didn't score in the second half, as he was limited because of back spasms that the freshman attributed to too many dead lifts in the weight room.
"With these arms I gotta be in there a little bit more than everyone else," Wood joked.
But Wood wasn't the most dominate player of the evening, as Tracy Smith took advantage of playing a team who's tallest player was 6-4 by scoring a game-high 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting. The big man made it look easy, but Lowe attributed a lot of that success to his teammates getting him the ball in good position.
"What was impressive was his teammates continuing to throw it in there," Lowe said. "That's the impressive part and that's what so great about this team. They knew that Tracy had a situation there and they continued to throw it in there."
Lowe played every player on his roster by the time the final buzzer sound, and all 13 of them got on the board including walk-ons like Enrico Kufuor and Kaycee Obi-Gwacham. Wood and Smith were the only players in double figures but Javier Gonzalez filled up the box score by scoring five points, grabbing five rebounds, dishing out six assists and nabbing four steals.
"The guys were very unselfish," Lowe said. "I think we had 24 assists on 33 baskets and that's just showing that the guys are trying to get the ball to the right guy."
The Pack shot out of the gate, drawing on the crowds energy to jump out to an 18-2 lead that basically put the game away in the first four minutes of action. Smith and Wood were the catalysts to the run, with Wood scoring 12 and Smith adding 11 points by dominating the woefully undersized Tiger line-up. Horner was the lone Pack player to struggle, going just 2-for-10 from the field and 0-for-6 from 3-point land.
Lowe used the second half to give playing time to the non-starters. Farnold Degand came off the bench and logged all of his minutes at the two spot, where he dished out four assists and had just one turnover. Freshman DeShawn Painter showed off his raw athletic ability, grabbing six rebounds and scoring 8 points in 20 minutes of action. Jordan Vandenberg, the 7-1 center from Australia, showed some skill defensively and threw down a dunk over one St. Paul's player on his way to a six-point, five rebound performance.
"We want to get him in there and get him action, get him playing," Lowe said of Vandenberg. "He's gonna make some mistakes but he's gonna do a lot of nice things as well."
The biggest concern for the Pack was the offensive rebounding, where the tiny St. Paul's players hauled in 19 offensive boards. Lowe said that meant a lot more time with rebounding drills in the coming practices.
"Rebounding will be a lot of action tomorrow," Lowe said.