The Wolfpack returns four starters from a team
that posted a 24-13 overall record and a 9-7
ACC mark in 2011-12, Gottfried’s inaugural
season at the Wolfpack helm. Gottfried led his
team to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament
in Atlanta and to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA
Perfect In PNC Openers
Since moving from historic Reynolds Coliseum
to its new home for the 1999-2000 season, NC
State has never lost a home opener at PNC
Arena, going a perfect 13-0 to start the season.
When it comes to opening the year at home,
the Pack’s all-time ledger is 81-8. In 103 years
of basketball, NC State owns an 89-14 all-time
record in season openers.
Since 1994, the Wolfpack is an impressive
18-0 in its first game of the season. NC State’s
longest opening-game winning streak occurred
from 1949-1975, going 27-0 over that span.
Gottfried In Season Openers
NC State’s Mark Gottfried is 11-4 as a head
coach in season-opening games. In his inaugural
game with the Wolfpack, Gottfried posted an
84-75 victory over UNC Asheville.
As head coach at Murray State, Gottfried
was 3-0 and during his tenure at Alabama, he
sported a 7-4 mark in games to open the year.
Margin of Victory in Home Openers
NC State opened its 1973-74 NCAA championship
season with a 130-53 win over Appalachian
State. The 77-point margin of victory is the
largest in program history and the biggest in a
Four times, the Pack has opened the year with
wins of 50 points or more.
Preseason ACC Favorites
For the first time since the David Thompson
era, NC State was picked to win the ACC in a
preseason poll of media at the league’s annual
Operation Basketball in Charlotte.
The Pack earned 26
of the 53 first-place
votes cast in the poll,
followed by Duke,
North Carolina and
defending ACC champions
The only other times
the Pack was picked
to finish first in the
poll was in 1973-74,
when Norm Sloan’s
team was coming
off a perfect 27-0
season, one of only two undefeated seasons in
ACC history. Junior David Thompson and senior
Tommy Burleson helped the Wolfpack follow
through on that prediction, not only winning its
second consecutive ACC title but also ending
UCLA’s college basketball dynasty, beating
the seven-time champion Bruins in the NCAA
semifinals at the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum.
The Pack won the school’s first team NCAA title
by beating Al McGuire’s Marquette squad in the
championship game to finish the season 30-1.
The Pack was also picked to finish first going
into 1974-75, Thompson’s senior season. That
year, as Thompson earned his third consecutive
ACC Player of the Year Award and his second
straight National Player of the Year Award, the
Wolfpack finished 22-6, tied for second in the
ACC standings and losing to North Carolina in
the ACC Tournament championship game. It did
not receive one of the ACC’s two bids into the
expanded 32-team NCAA Tournament field.
Over the years, the Pack has been better at
exceeding expectations in the preseason poll.
State has finished at least two spots better than
its predicted finish on 11 occasions, including
last season, when it was picked eighth and
It has also finished two or more spots below its
predicted finish on nine occasions, including
2008, when the Wolfpack was picked third but
finished tied for 11th, and 2011, when it was
picked fourth, but finished tied for 10th.
Junior forward C.J. Leslie, chosen as the
ACC’s preseason player of the year, is the
only returning conference player that ranked
in the top 10 in scoring, rebounds and field
goal percentage last year.
Leslie’s 14.7 points per game last season,
ranked ninth among ACC players, while his
7.3 rebounds per game were eighth and his
.525 field goal percentage was third in the
He Giveth, He Taketh
Last season, junior point guard Lorenzo
Brown ranked second in ACC with 6.3 assists
per game. His assist average was the highest
for a Wolfpack player since Chris Corchiani
average 9.6 for the 1990-91 season. Brown
also led the ACC in steals last season with 1.8
Brown was the first NC State player since
Corchiani in 1990 led the conference with 3.2
steals a game.
Wood Tabbed Nation’s Top Shooter
ESPN.com analyst Seth Greenberg, the
former head coach at Virginia Tech who now
works as a broadcaster for the network, rated
NC State senior guard Scott Wood the nation’s
top shooter in his recent rankings.
“Wood has the size to get shots off and, just
as important, he has a quick release,” Greenberg
wrote. “Wood is effective getting out in
transition, giving himself space and opportunities
to shoot in rhythm. Coach Mark Gottfried
runs a number of different sets for him; Wood
does a great job coming off the down screen
in NC State’s triangle action as well as the
double-down in the team’s UCLA offense.
Plus, he is patient as a baseline runner in
rover action, stays low and does a great job of
reading fades and curls off screens.”
Wood was the only ACC player listed in
Greenberg’s top five shooters.
Howell on the Boards
Entering Friday’s game, senior forward
Richard Howell has 675 rebounds. He needs
19 to move into a tie with Pack great David
Thompson in the NC State top 20 with 694.
Last year, Howell grabbed a personal-best
342 boards and averaged 9.2 boards per
contest (third in the ACC). The Pack was 11-5
when Howell posted double digits in rebounds
No Foul, No Harm
A key to NC State’s success this season is
having junior C.J. Leslie and senior Richard
Howell avoid foul trouble and stay on the
Last year, when the duo registered nine total
disqualifications, the Wolfpack went 1-7 in
those games. Leslie fouled out four times last year, while Howell sat five times due to fouls.
Our State, In State
The 2012-13 NC State roster has eight players
from North Carolina on it, the most for a
Wolfpack team in a decade.
The three-player freshman class, all of whom
were McDonald’s All-Americans, are North
Carolina natives. Rodney Purvis hails from
Raleigh, T.J. Warren is from Durham and Tyler
Lewis comes from Statesville.
Sophomore walk-on Staats Battle comes
from Raleigh’s Broughton High School, which
is less than two miles from the NC State
campus. Junior C.J. Leslie is a native of Holly
Springs, just outside of Raleigh, and senior
Jay Lewis is from Greensboro.
Two recent additions to the roster are also native
North Carolinians. Freshman Chase Cannon
is from Morehead City, N.C., and sophomore
Jevoni Robinson is from Charlotte, by
way of Jamaica. Robinson played high school
basketball at Charlotte’s Independence High.
It’s the most in-state players on the roster
since the 2002-03 team had seven North
Carolina natives, plus another N.C. high
school product in the lineup: Cameron Bennerman
(Greensboro), Clifford Crawford
(Winston-Salem), Dovonte Edwards (Chapel
Hill), Marcus Melvin (Fayetteville), Will Roach
(Raleigh), Scooter Sherrill (Mount Ulla) and
Adam Simons (Burlington).
For good measure, Sofia, Bulgaria,-native
Ilian Evtimov, played at Bishop McGuiness
High School in Winston-Salem and listed that
Triad city as his hometown throughout his
All The Hype
Besides being picked to win the ACC crown,
NC State is the No. 6 team in the country in
the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today
The 2007-08 season was the last time the
Pack was ranked entering the year at No. 21
in the AP poll.
State’s highest-ever preseason ranking was
No. 1 going into the 1974-75 season, fresh off
its first national championship.
The No. 6 ranking also represents the third highest mark in the program’s history. At the
start of the national championship season
(1973-74), NC State was No. 2.
The Wolfpack was also ranked No. 5 in
Sports Illustrated’s preseason issue.
With four starters returning, there shouldn’t be
an issue with NC State’s offensive production
this year. The quartet all averaged in double
figures last season, led by junior C.J. Leslie’s
14.7 points per game.
Combined with junior Lorenzo Brown’s 12.7
ppg, seniors Scott Wood’s and Richard Howell’s
12.4 and 10.8 ppg last season, NC State
has 67.4 percent of its scoring production
No, it’s not the newest meal at the golden
arches, but a reference to the Pack’s freshmen
class of McDonald’s All-Americans: Tyler
Lewis, Rodney Purvis and T.J. Warren.
With the additions of the trio, NC State has
had 16 players that have been selected to
participate in the prestigious all-star game.
It marks the third time in program history that
State has had multiple McDonald’s All-American
selections, but it is the first time it has had
three at once.
Sidney Lowe and Dereck Whittenburg were
NC State’s first McDonald’s All-Americans
and multiple selections in 1979. The last
time the Wolfpack had multiple McDonald’s
All-Americans was in 1987 when the duo of
“Fire and Ice,” Chris Corchiani and Rodney
Monroe, were selected.
NC State vs. The MAC
While this is the first meeting between NC
State and Miami of Ohio, the Wolfpack is 4-1
in its previous meetings with teams from the
NC State’s last meeting with a MAC team was
a 66-45 win over Akron in the Glenn Wilkes
Classic in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Zips also
will be a part of the field at next week’s Puerto
Rico Tip-off and are on the same side of the
bracket as UNC Asheville.
The Wolfpack is 3-0 all-time against the Zips.
winning on the road 53-47 on Jan. 1, 1947,
and at home on Nov. 28, 1989, in a 87-67 win
at Reynolds Coliseum.
NC State defeated Kent State, 99-61, in a
home win on Dec. 27, 1974.
It suffered its only loss to a MAC team on
Jan. 29, 1952, in a 72-67 setback to Bowling
Green at Reynolds Coliseum.