Winston-Salem, NC (Sports Network) - The 18th-ranked NC State Wolfpack look to
continue their climb towards the top of the polls as they visit the Lawrence
Joel Coliseum for an Atlantic Coast Conference bout with the Wake Forest Demon
NC State has won five straight against Wake Forest, by an average margin of
21.4 points per game. The recent dominance by the visitors has given them a
136-99 all-time series lead.
There is a strong chance Mark Gottfried's squad builds upon its edge in the
rivalry as it enters with an impressive 15-3 overall record, including a 4-1
mark in ACC action. After suffering a heartbreaking 51-50 loss to Maryland on
Wednesday, NC State bounced back on Sunday with a hard-fought, 66-62 win
versus Clemson. The Wolfpack weathered a Tigers' rally after the break as
freshman T.J. Warren scored 21 points, while Richard Howell scored the
go-ahead basket with 1:56 left. Five players average double figures for the
Wolfpack, and Rodney Purvis adds 9.5 points per game to the mix. C.J. Leslie
leads NC State in scoring at 15.4 points per game. Howell averages a double-
double and leads the ACC in rebounding at 10.6 boards per contest.
Although NC State has the 13th highest scoring offense in the nation at 78.9
points per game, it has produced just 56 ppg over its last two outings. The
Wolfpack, a 51.1 percent shooting team on the season, made just 31.1 percent
of their shots in the game at Maryland before netting just 45.1 percent of
their field goals against the Tigers. Veteran leadership is what seems to be
setting NC State apart this season. Lorenzo Brown is the ACC's active leader
with 472 career assists and Scott Wood has drained 277 3-pointers in his
career, which is also the best tally in the league. The Wolfpack are 22-3 over
the last two seasons when Wood hits three or more 3-pointers, 13-0 when he
hits four or more.
Jeff Bzdelik's Wake Forest unit is nowhere near as efficient as the visitors,
scoring 67.4 points per game, while yielding 67.8 ppg. The Demon Deacons
dropped to 2-3 in the ACC standings on Saturday after they were clipped
66-65 on the road by Virginia Tech. Although they are returning home where
they are 7-2, a lack of scoring depth is going to hinder the hosts chances.
While Travis McKie contributes team-bests of 15.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per
contest and C.J. Harris chips in 14.9 ppg, there is not much help elsewhere.
Freshmen Devin Thomas and Codi Miller-McIntyre are decent contributors, but
their help has barely kept the Demon Deacons above the .500 mark. McKie
notched a double-double of 20 points and 10 boards at Virginia Tech and Harris
tallied 10 points, but the team could not answer in the closing seconds after
Robert Brown's layup gave the Hokies a one-point lead.
The Sports Network