NC State currently leads the nation in field goal percentage at .531.
In 12 of 14 contests this season, State has shot .500 or better, including a season best .614 in its season-opening victory over Miami of Ohio.
In the Wolfpack’s 12 wins, it is averaging 84.1 points per game and shooting .544 (361-663) from the field.
Only once has the Pack shot below .500 and won. In its ACC-opening 78-73 win over Boston College, NC State shot .458.
In its two losses, NC State is averaging 64.0 points per game and shooting .458 (54-of-118) from the field.
NC State vs. Georgia Tech
NC State leads the all-time series with Georgia Tech, 52-37.
This is the fifth time that the Wolfpack and Yellow Jackets have met in NC State’s ACC home debut since Georgia Tech joined the ACC in 1978.
Each school has won two games in the previous four games.
The last time the Pack opened its home ACC schedule with Georgia Tech was Jan. 2, 1999, with State posting a 75-69 victory.
This is the first time NC State has opened its ACC home slate with Georgia Tech since moving to PNC Arena.
Opening ACC Play At Home
Since moving into the PNC Arena on a permanent basis with the 1999-2000 season, NC State has posted a winning record in ACC home openers. The Pack is 8-4 in its conference home debuts at PNC.
NC State opened ACC play with a 78-73 road win at Boston Colllege last Saturday.
The last time the Wolfpack had opened conference play with a road victory was a 71-69 victory over Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Dec. 4, 1997.
Senior Scott Wood knocked down big shots when NC State needed them the most in the Pack’s ACC opening win at Boston College last Saturday.
Wood was 0-for-4 on the day for the first 36:14 of the game and had gone to the bench with four fouls, but exploded for 12 points over the final 3:46 of the contest.
He scored his first six points on consecutive 3-pointers. Then in the final 27 seconds of the game, Wood connected on all six of his free throw attempts, including two with a second remaining to seal the victory.
Protecting The Ball
Through the Pack’s first seven games this season, junior point guard Lorenzo Brown was uncharacteristically turning the ball over.
Brown had 29 turnovers (4.1 per game) during that stretch, including a season-high seven in the loss to Oklahoma State.
Over the last seven games, Brown has lowered his turnovers to 15 (2.1 per game).
A positive side effect of his decreased turnovers has a been an uptick in his assists. In his first seven contests this season, Brown had 41 assists. Since then, Brown has had a +8 improvement to 49 assists. His assist to turnover ratio has also improved from 1.4 to 3.3 since Brown has decreased his turnovers.
When Wood Hits From Three
When senior Scott Wood has success from beyond the 3-point arc, so does NC State.
Since Mark Gottfried took over the program, whenever Wood hits three or more 3-pointers in a contest, the Wolfpack’s record is 19-2. Its record improves to 13-0 when Wood connects on four or more 3-pointers in a contest.
Freshman T.J. Warren and senior Richard Howell are ranked one and two in the ACC statistics in field goal percentage.
Warren, who was 4-of-8 in the Pack’s win over Boston College, is connecting on .681 of his shots from the floor, which is fifth nationally. Howell’s season percentage is .645, which is the 17th best shooting percentage in the nation. Howell had an impressive 8-for-8 performance against Western Michigan, tying him for second best shooting exhibition in PNC Arena history.
The last Wolfpack freshman to lead the ACC in field goal percentage was J.J. Hickson, who shot .591 for the 2007-08 season. The Warren and Howell are the only teammates that rank in the top 20 nationally in shooting percentage.
By the end of the January, the Wolfpack’s four upperclassmen could all be members of the program’s 1,000-point club.
Junior C.J. Leslie earned his place in the fraternity with a made free throw with 58.3 seconds remaining in the first half in NC State’s win over Western Michigan on Dec. 29, becoming the 46th player in NC State’s storied basketball history to score his 1,000th point. He now is 44th on the list with 1,036 points.
Leslie was 5-for-10 from the field in the game and 9-for-11 from the free-throw line, scoring a game-high 19 points as the Wolfpack earned its sixth consecutive win and its eighth straight win at home.
Among the many former Wolfpack stars who have reached the 1,000-point plateau is current teammate Scott Wood, who scored his 1,000th point in last season’s opening-round win over San Diego State in the NCAA Tournament. Wood currently has 1,188 points (37th).
Senior forward Richard Howell is 46 points away from joining them and junior Lorenzo Brown is 66 points earning a spot in the club as well.
The last time NC State had three 1,000-point scorers on the same team was in 2008-09, with Engin Atsur (1,181), Ben McCauley (1,138) and Courtney Fells (1,060).
The 1982-83 squad also had a trio of 1,000 scorers led by Thurl Bailey (1,495), Dereck Whittenburg (1,272) and Sidney Lowe (1,048).
That squad went on to win the national title.
The Streak Is On
NC State’s current eight-game winning streak is the longest under coach Mark Gottfried.
The last time the Pack had that many consecutive wins was at the start of the 2004-05 season when it finished 21-14 and advanced to the Sweet 16 before falling to Wisconsin, 65-56.
The most recent double-digit winning streak occurred during the 1988-89 campaign, when NC State put together 10 consecutive wins, starting with a 109-81 victory over Alabama State (Dec. 20) and stretching to an 82-64 victory over Wake Forest (Jan. 18). North Carolina handed the Pack its first setback in a month, handing State an 84-81 loss in Chapel Hill.
The longest winning streak in NC State history is 36 games which spanned the 1973-74 and 1974-75 seasons.
Richard Howell has had double-digit points and rebounds in eight of the Wolfpack’s 14 contests this year.
He now has 21 career double-doubles, which is the most for any Wolfpack player since forward Kenny Inge recorded 23 double-doubles from 1998-2001.
Inge had 11 double-doubles as a freshman in 1997-98, while center J.J. Hickson had 10 in 2007-08, his only season with the Wolfpack. Howell and Hickson both attended Wheeler High School in Marietta, Ga.
Howell is averaging 13.2 points and 9.7 rebounds this season, and is looking to become the first Wolfpack player since Kenny Carr, who averaged 10.3 boards per game in 1975-76, to average double-digit rebounds. Last season, Howell averaged 9.2 rebounds per game, the most of any Wolfpack player since Todd Fuller averaged 9.9 as a senior in 1995-96.
Three former Wolfpack All-Americans – Ronnie Shavlik, John Richter and Tommy Burleson – averaged double-doubles in each of their three varsity seasons. All three are ranked in the top five of career rebounders. Shavlik owns the school record with 1,598 career boards, followed by Burleson with 1,066 and Richter with 936.
In its history, six NC State players have averaged double-doubles in their careers: Ronnie Shavlik (18.5 ppg, 16.8 rpg), Tommy Burleson (19.0 ppg, 12.7 rpg), John Richter (15.0 ppg, 12.6 rpg), Mel Thompson (16.2 ppg, 10.9 rpg), Bobby Speight (14.0 ppg, 10.4 rpg) and Pete Coker (14.1 ppg, 10.0 rpg).
Sharing The Wealth
The Pack has evenly shared the scoring load this season with five players averaging double figures, while freshman Rodney Purvis is close behind.
The Pack is led by junior C.J. Leslie with an average of 15.4 points per contest. Freshman T.J. Warren is second on the team in scoring with an average of 13.4 ppg.
Senior Richard Howell is contributing 13.2 ppg, while junior Lorenzo Brown is averaging 12.5 ppg.
Senior Scott Wood is averaging 11.6 ppg, while Purvis averages 9.8 ppg.
NC State is one of two ACC schools with five players averaging in double figures. The other is Duke. Nationally, the Pack is one of five teams with a quintet averaging double figures. Those schools include Detroit, Indiana and Oregon State.
Five different player have led the Wolfpack scoring efforts in multiple games this season with Leslie posting a team-high five times as the Pack’s top scorer.
The Pack has outscored its opposition, 580-429, in the paint this season. That’s 41.4 points per game for NC State coming off of shots around the rim, while its opponents are scoring 30.6 points a contest in the lane, giving the Pack a 10.5-point advantage.
That equates to .510 of the Wolfpack’s scoring production coming from in the post, compared to .439 of the scoring output for its opponents’ post players.
Lending A Helping Hand
Three times this season, junior Lorenzo Brown has recorded double digits in assists, versus Michigan, Massachussetts and St. Bonaventure.
Against the Bonnies on Dec. 23, Brown had a season-high 11 assists.
All of last season, Brown had two peformances with 10 or more assists, including a career-best 13 in the Pack’s loss to Syracuse. Against the Orange, he also registered his first career double-double, adding 10 points.
Against UMass this year, Brown posted his second career double-double by scoring 11 points to go
with his assist tally.
Brown, who leads the ACC in assists per game at 6.3, is the conference’s active leader for double-digit assist games with three. Brown’s assists per game are the most by a Wolfpack player since
Chris Corchiani averaged 9.6 per game during the
On The Break
One of the points of emphasis in NC State’s
offensive style is to score points in transition.
This season, the Pack has outscored its opponents, 244-93, on fastbreak points.
Through 14 games, NC State is averaging 17.4 points per game on the fastbreak, compared to 6.6 points per contest for its competition.