No. 19 NC State Faces Challenge Versus 14th-ranked Miami On Saturday
Feb. 1, 2013
No. 14/15 Miami (16-3, 7-0 ACC) vs. No. 19 NC State (16-5, 5-3 ACC)
4 p.m. | Raleigh, N.C.
PNC Arena (19,700)
SERIES RECORD: NC State leads 9-4
LAST MEETING: NC State 77, Miami 73 (2/29/12)
TELEVISION: CBS (WRAL-TV, Check your local listings for the CBS affiliate in your market)
Play by play: Spero Dedes Color: Bill Raftery
RADIO: NC State Radio Network Listen
Play-by-play: Gary Hahn Color: Tony Haynes
RALEIGH, N.C. - Unbeaten so far this season at home, N.C. State's No. 19 men's basketball team will face yet another big challenge on Saturday when it hosts No. 14 Miami at a sold-out PNC Arena.
The Wolfpack (16-5 overall, 5-3 ACC) has won all 12 of its home games this season, the most without a loss since the 2003-04 team won 14 straight at home to open the season.
The Hurricanes (16-3, 7-0) are the only ACC team remaining without a conference loss. That record includes four road wins against league opponents.
"I've said this for a long time, I think Miami has somewhat flown under the radar nationally, as one of the best teams in the country," said NC State coach Mark Gottfried. "I think what stands out is their age and experience and the fact that they don't rely on any young players or inexperienced players.
"I think it is a veteran team that seems to be playing this year with a tremendous amount of purpose and maybe a little chip on their shoulders from not making the NCAA Tournament last year."
The Wolfpack is heading into the nationally televised 4 p.m. contest with some uncertainty with junior point guard Lorenzo Brown recovering from an injury he suffered in the team's 58-55 loss at Virginia Tuesday night. Brown played only 10 minutes in the game, with freshmen Rodney Purvis and Tyler Lewis filling in at the point.
Brown has been receiving treatment since the team returned from Charlottesville, Va. Gottfried said Brown, the ACC's leader in assists and second in steals, missed practiced on Thursday, but X-rays taken Thursday morning were negative.
"We'll see how he feels [Saturday]," Gottfried said. "The probability in my mind for him to be able to cut and move and spring and jump is pretty slim. We have to prepare as if he is not going to play and then we will see."
Gottfried wants to make sure there is no risk of further injury before Brown returns to action.
"Lorenzo obvious wants to play," Gottfried said. "I'm certainly not going to endanger him by playing him if he can't go. I wouldn't do that to him or our team. We have to be smart about it."
Purvis and Lewis filled in capably against the Cavaliers and have the coach's confidence heading into Saturday's contest.
"I thought they did well the other night, on the road and in a tough environment, being asked to play in a much different role than either of them have all year long," Gottfried said. "They both did well. They'll be ready to step in."
The Hurricanes, under second-year coach Jim Larranaga, have a veteran lineup with three strong post players and a veteran backcourt with senior Durand Scott and sophomore Shane Larkin.
Scott leads the team at 13.8 points per game, followed closely by senior forward Kenny Kadji with 13.3 points and 7.6 rebounds. Senior center Reggie Johnson, who returned from a thumb fracture in his team's win over Duke, leads the team at 9.2 rebounds per contest.
"The thing that stands out with Miami is that they play like a veteran team," Gottfried said. "They understand exactly offensively what they are trying to do and how they want to score and who needs to do what. They have size inside, three legitimate big, strong, capable post players.
"This is a team that is built for a lot of success."
NC State leads the all-time series against Miami with a 9-4 advantage. The Pack is a perfect 6-0 in home games against the Hurricanes, including all five games at PNC Arena. Last year, the Pack took a pair of wins over Larranaga's squad.
The game will be broadcast on CBS, the first time since Jan. 3, 2009, when State visited Florida, the Wolfpack has been featured in a regular-season contest on the network home of the NCAA Tournament.
The game will be broadcast to approximately 60 percent of the country, including all of North Carolina and Florida and most of the Southeast.
The Wolfpack has back-to-back road games following this contest, at Duke (Feb. 7) and at Clemson (Jan. 10), before returning home to face Virginia Tech on Feb. 16 at 2 p.m.