Previewing N.C. State

North Carolina and N.C. State meet again on Saturday, as both teams are tied for third place in the ACC standings. Tip-off at Smith Center is set for 4 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN.

North Carolina (18-8, 8-5) vs. N.C. State (19-7, 8-5)
Chapel Hill, N.C. -- Smith Center
Saturday, 4 p.m.
ESPN (Dave O'Brien, Doris Burke)


"I have felt like our rebounding hasn't been nearly as good as it should be. Hopefully that's something we can continue to get better at. I think it affects a lot of things we do, so we have to be a good rebounding team." – N.C. State head coach Mark Gottfried

"The problem over there was our offense. We were so bad offensively that we took bad shots and turnovers and that led to run outs for them. Yes, we didn't do a good job in our transition defense, but if you take terrible shots and turn the dadgum thing over, there's no team that's going to play transition defense very well." – UNC head coach Roy Williams on his team's loss in Raleigh last month


Since the Last Meeting: N.C. State enters Saturday's contest with a 19-7 (8-5 ACC) record. The Wolfpack has won three consecutive games (Clemson, Virginia Tech and Florida State) after losing three straight (Virginia, Miami and Duke) following its win over North Carolina. Mark Gottfried's squad is 5-5 over its last 10 games.

Calvin Being Calvin: C.J. Leslie, the ACC's Preseason Player of the Year, has been consistent throughout his junior season, averaging the same number of points (15.7) in nonconference and conference play. In ACC games, the Holly Springs, N.C. product leads N.C. State in points and blocks (14) and ranks second in field goal percentage (50.7) and rebounds (7.8). On the negative side, Leslie paces his team with 43 turnovers – good for 3.3 per conference game.

Monster on the Boards: Richard Howell leads the ACC and ranks sixth nationally with 10.9 rebounds per game. Even more impressive is that the senior forward has increased his productivity in conference play (12.2). The 6-foot-8, 257-pounder is second on the team in scoring (13.0) and ranks fifth nationally in double-doubles (15).

Warren Starting: Gottfried announced on Friday that freshman forward T.J. Warren will start in place of rookie guard Rodney Purvis for the second-straight game on Saturday. The 6-foot-8, 233-pounder will start for the fourth time in seven games after posting career highs of 31 points and 13 rebounds against Florida State on Tuesday. The Durham, N.C. native is averaging 10.8 points an 4.2 rebounds in ACC play.

Moving Up the Defensive Charts: N.C. State has played better defense of late, moving up to sixth in ACC play in field goal percentage defense (43.2) and fourth 3-point field goal percentage defense (31.0). The Wolfpack has held each of its last three opponents to below 44 percent shooting after allowing four of its previous five opponents to shoot better than 46 percent.

Road Struggles: N.C. State is 2-5 in true road games this season, including a 2-4 mark in the ACC. The Wolfpack's only victories were at Boston College (78-73) and Clemson (58-57).

Last Meeting: N.C. State defeated North Carolina, 91-83, on Jan. 26. The Wolfpack led by 28 with 13:22 to play before the Tar Heels cut their deficit to five points with 28 seconds remaining. P.J. Hairston led UNC with 19 points and James Michael McAdoo added 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Series History: UNC leads the all-time series with N.C. State, 147-76. The Tar Heels have won 19 of the last 21 meetings, including nine straight at home under Roy Williams.

Projected Starters:
2 Lorenzo Brown (6-5, 186, Jr.) - 12.7 ppg, 6.8 apg
15 Scott Wood (6-6, 169, Sr.) - 11.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg
24 T.J. Warren (6-8, 233, Fr.) - 12.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg
5 C.J. Leslie (6-9, 200, Jr.) - 15.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg
1 Richard Howell (6-8, 257, Sr.) - 13.0 ppg, 10.9 rpg

Top Reserves:
0 Rodney Purvis (6-3, 195, Fr.) - 8.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg
12 Tyler Lewis (5-11, 157, Fr.) - 3.7 ppg, 1.4 apg

Roster & Bios

(Photos by USA Today Sports Images)

Inside Carolina Top Stories