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 Tournament.
Return to Puerto Rico
When NC State travels to Bayamon, P.R., for the sixth-annual Puerto Rico Tipoff, it won't be the Wolfpack's first visit to the U.S. island territory.
Just before Christmas in 1998, then-head coach Herb Sendek took his team to San Juan to play in the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic, winning two of three games at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico.
The Pack opened with a 91-59 win over Middle Tennessee State, forcing 25 turnovers against the Blue Raiders. Freshman Adam Harrington led all scorers with 17 points and junior Kenny Inge had 13 points and 10 rebounds. It lost to eventual champion Ohio State, 81-64, in the semifinals. Harrington again led his team, which shot a season-low 38.5 percent from the field, with 18 points. Michael Redd led the Buckeyes with 23 points.
Facing No. 23 Oklahoma in the third-place consolation game, the Wolfpack broke open its one-point lead midway through the second half and made eight of 10 free throws in the final minute to hold on for a 62-58 victory. Ron Kelley and Tim Wells had 12 points apiece for the Wolfpack, while Harrington added 11.
Off The Mainland
This week's appearance at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off will be the ninth time in NC State history that the Wolfpack has played in a tournament outside of the continental United States. All-time, NC State is 16-7 in those events.
The Wolfpack opened the 1978 season by participating in the inaugural Alaska Shootout. NC State won the event by defeating Texas A&M (81-65), Pepperdine (91-63) and Louisville (72-66).
In 1981, the Pack traveled to Hawai'i for the Rainbow Classic, where it posted victories over Michigan State (67-46) and Wichita State (60- 48) before falling to Rice in the championship game, 47-51.
State returned to Alaska for another appearance in the Shootout, claiming its second title in the event with wins over host Alaska-Anchorage (68-60), Santa Clara (78-75) and Arkansas (65-60).
The Wolfpack also participated in the 1985 Chaminade Classic with wins over the host Silverswords (64-46) and UNLV (80-73).
In 1986, NC State made its third trip to the Alaska Shootout, posting a one-point win over Texas (69-68) and a one-point loss to Iowa (89-90).
NC State captured the 1987 Rainbow Classic with victories over Creighton (86-55), Louisville (80-75) and Arizona State (83-71), followed by a return to the islands in 1991for the Aloha Invitational, splitting its two games at the event.
The last time, the Wolfpack played a tournament outside the U.S., was the 1998 Puerto Rico Holiday Classic.
Brown, Leslie On Wooden Preseason List
Juniors Lorenzo Brown and C.J. Leslie were among the top 50 players named to the John R. Wooden Award preseason list announced by the Los Angeles Downtown Athletic Club.
The duo were two of six ACC players on the Wooden Award preseason list and NC State and Duke were the two league schools with multiple representatives on the list.
Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball media members, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early front-runners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.
In the season-opening 97-59 win over Miami (Ohio), Brown had 15 points, a team-best seven assists and six rebounds. Leslie recorded 11 points, grabbed eight rebounds and three assists and three blocks.
Wood Extends 3-Point Streak
Senior forward Scott Wood extended his ACC-best streak to 28 games. He is also the conference's current active leader in that category with 324, which is second all-time in NC State history.
NC State's much-heralded freshman class of Tyler Lewis, Rodney Purvis and T.J. Warren all played significant minutes in the Wolfpack's season-opening win over Miami of Ohio. By 9:28 of the first half, the McDonald's All- American trio saw their first action together with C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell anchoring the lineup.
In addition to Purvis' 16 points, Warren had eight points and three rebounds and Lewis had six points and six assists.
Purvis In the Record Books
By scoring 16 points in his first game with the Wolfpack, Rodney Purvis tied for the seventh-best scoring debut performance by a freshman. Purvis was six of 10 from the floor, including three of five from 3-point range. He scored 14 of his points in the second half. His performance earned him the initial ACC Rookie of the Week honors for the 2012-13 season.
NC State versus The Big Ten
The Wolfpack is 36-21 all time against foes from the Big Ten. Thursday's game with Penn State will be NC State's first meeting with a foe from the conference outside of the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge since facing Wisconsin in the Sweet Sixteen of the 2005 NCAA Tournament, losing to the Badgers, 65-56, in Syracuse, N.Y.
On Nov. 27, the Pack travels to Ann Arbor, Mich., to take on fifth-ranked Michigan for the 14th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge (see Third ACC/Big Ten Challenge Meeting For NC State- Michigan).
Purvis ACC's Top Scoring Freshman
It may be a game into his career and the first statistical update issued by the ACC, but freshman Rodney Purvis' 16 points in the Pack's season opener was the top scoring performance by any freshman in the league.
He is 11th in the league in scoring, tied with teammate Richard Howell and Virginia Tech's Robert Brown.
Howell Among ACC Leaders
Senior Richard Howell is ranked the top 15 for scoring (16.0 - t-11th), rebounding (10.0 - 7th), field goal percentage (.875 - 4th), free throw percentage (.800, 15th), blocked shots (2, t-6th), assist/turnover ratio (999.0, t-1st) and defensive rebounds (10, 2nd).