Jan. 6, 2014
NC State is quickly becoming familiar with the new teams in the ACC. After hosting new member Pittsburgh last Saturday, the Wolfpack will play at Notre Dame Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 9 p.m.
This is the eighth meeting between the two schools, and the first since a 61-48 neutral-court Wolfpack victory in 2005. Prior to that contest in the Wooden Classic, the two teams hadn't played since NC State's title season of 1983.
T.J. Warren continues to hold the top spot in the league in scoring at 23.9 points per game. Warren scored 23 points in NC State's ACC opener vs. Pittsburgh, a game that saw the Pack lead 34-26 at halftime before Pitt mounted a comeback. A win Tuesday night would give the Wolfpack its third straight road win. NC State has claimed wins at Tennessee and UNC Greensboro over the last three weeks.
NC State will be playing a very confident Notre Dame team that is coming off a win over Duke. The Irish are led by 6-11 senior Garrick Sherman and senior guard Eric Atkins.
Following Tuesday night's game at Notre Dame, the Pack will host Virginia Saturday, Jan. 11 at 5 p.m. The contest vs. UVa will be broadcast on ESPN2.
1. ACC ROAD OPENER
A win over Notre Dame would lift NC State to a 3-0 record in ACC road openers under Mark Gottfried. In the Wolfpack coach's first season, NC State rolled past Wake Forest 76-40 in the first ACC road game of the season. Last year, the Pack went to Boston College and won 78-73. In all, NC State has won its first ACC road game in three of the last four seasons.
2. TAKING ON THE IRISH
Tuesday night's contest is NC State's first visit to Notre Dame since 1982. The Wolfpack won that game 62-42 behind 55 percent shooting and ball control that featured just four Wolfpack turnovers. Sidney Lowe led NCSU in that game with 13 points. The Irish exacted revenge the next season with a 43-42 win at Reynolds Coliseum, but the Wolfpack bounced back to go 13-2 down the stretch to claim the 1983 national championship. The last meeting between the two schools came at the Wooden Classic in Indianapolis in 2005.
3. THE ACC'S BEST SCORER
The ACC's leading scorer is 6-8 sophomore wingman T.J. Warren, who ranks sixth in the nation averaging 23.9 points per game. The 6-8 sophomore continues to show he is one of the more efficient scorers in all of college basketball, ranking second in the ACC with a .529 field goal percentage (minimum 5 FG made per game). He shot an ACC-best .622 from the floor last season, the second-highest single-season shooting percentage in NC State history (.624, Kevin Thompson, 1991-92). The sophomore is the only player in the ACC with multiple 30-point performances, hitting the mark against Florida Gulf Coast (30), Eastern Kentucky (30) and ECU (32). Warren has scored 21 points or more in 12 of NC State's 14 games this season and has reached double figures in 17 of his last 18 games.
4. PUT THE BALL IN THE BASKET
The Wolfpack has been effective shooting the basketball most of the season, standing fourth in the ACC with a .477 field goal percentage. NC State has posted seven outings with .500 shooting or better, including its .582 offensive display against East Carolina on Dec. 21. The Wolfpack shot .619 in the season opener vs. Appalachian State and was at exactly .500 shooting in wins over Eastern Kentucky, Long Beach State and Detroit. Dating back to the beginning of the 2012-13 season, NC State is 21-5 when shooting at least .500 from the floor.
5. NC STATE INSIDE THE ARC
No team in America scores a higher percentage of its points on made 2-point field goals than NC State. The Wolfpack is first in the nation with 64.7 percent 2-point scoring distribution. Further, NC State is 36th in the nation and fourth in the ACC with a .554 shooting percentage on its attempts from inside the arc.