NC State Wolfpack heads to Notre Dame for Wednesday night game

Raleigh, NC – The NC State men’s basketball team (10-4, 0-1) continues ACC play Wednesday evening as it travels to Indiana to face Notre Dame (11-3, 1-0).

The game is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. and will be shown on the ACC Network. Tim Brando and Cory Alexander will have the call. Television affiliates carrying the game in North Carolina include: WBTV-CBS (Charlotte), WMYV-MyTV (Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point), WITN-NBC (Greenville-New Bern-Washington), WRAL-NBC (Raleigh-Durham) and WILM-Ind. (Wilmington). A complete list of nationwide affiliates showing the game can be found here: http://theacc.com/sports/2017/12/9/acc-network-mbb-180103a.aspx

Wolfpack fans can also listen on Wolfpack Sports Network with Tony Haynes and Chucky Brown calling the action.

Notre Dame leads the all-time series with the Pack, 6-4, but all four of NC State’s wins in the series have come in the state of Indiana. The Pack is 3-2 all-time at Notre Dame and also has defeated the Fighting Irish in a neutral site game in Indianapolis.

Pack Tracks

NC State opened ACC play on Saturday, falling at Clemson, 78-62. The Pack led for a majority of the first 15 minutes of the game, but the Tigers ended the first half on a 13-2 run to take a nine-point lead into halftime and NC State could never get closer than six points in the second half. Braxton Beverly led the Pack with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting, while Omer Yurtseven added 12 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. Yurtseven also tied his career-high with five blocks. 

Welcome to the ACC, Coach Keatts: In his first season as head coach of the Pack, Kevin Keatts is getting a quick look at how tough the ACC gauntlet can be. His NC State team is opening the ACC schedule with two road games, the first Pack team since 2007-08 to start ACC play with consecutive road games and the Pack’s ACC home-opener on Saturday is against preseason favorite Duke. In addition, four of the Pack’s first five ACC games are against teams that start the New Year ranked in the top-15 in the RPI. (vs. Duke (1), home/away Clemson (14) and at Virginia (15)). 

NC State has scored in 100+ three times this season, the most since doing it four times in the 1995-96 season. The Pack has defeated Jacksonville, 116-64, VMI, 102-67, & South Carolina State, 103-71.

Freshman Braxton Beverly Shining in Freshman Season

– Freshman guard Braxton Beverly has seen his production go up as the Hazard, Ky. native has gotten more comfortable playing at the college level this season. Beverly wasn’t cleared to play for NC State this season until Tuesday, Nov. 14 after initially being declared ineligible by the NCAA.

– Beverly currently ranks second in the ACC with a 3.06 assist-to-turnover ratio. The freshman guard has had only one game this season with more turnovers than assists and has had one turnover or fewer in eight of the 12 games he’s played in this season.

– After only having 10 assists in the first six games of the season (1.7 per game), Beverly has 42 assists in the last six games (7.0 per game)

– For the season, Beverly is shooting 37.5 percent from three-point range, but he has been feast or famine from three-point range this season. He has not connected on a three-pointer in five of 12 games this season. In those five games he is a combined 0-for-14 from three-point range. Beverly has made multiple three-pointers in the other six games he has played on this season. In the seven games he’s made a three-pointer, he is averaging to hit 3.1 per game and is shooting 47.8% (22-for-46) from long-range. 

Shooting Success for Pack Trio

– NC State’s Torin Dorn, Lennard Freeman and Omer Yurtseven have all been efficient scorers for the Pack this season.
– Dorn is shooting 55.0 percent from the field this season (71-for-129) and has shot 50 percent or better in 9 of 14 games, including five of the last six games.
– Freeman is shooting 72.6 percent from the field this season (61-for-84) and has shot 50 percent or better in every game, but one this season. He has shot 16-for-21 (76.2%) in the last four games.

– Yurtseven is shooting 64.5 percent from the field this season (69-for-107) and has shot 50 percent or better in 12 of 14 games, including 11 consecutive games entering Wednesday’s contest at Notre Dame.

Constant Defensive Pressure leading to Opponent Turnovers

NC State head coach Kevin Keatts came to Raleigh promising that his program would pressure the opponents full court and create turnovers.

– The Pack has forced eight of its 14 opponents this season into 16+-turnovers. Four times, the Pack has forced opponents into 20 or more turnovers in a single game. The last NC State team to force opponents into 20 or more turnovers four times in a season was the 2009-10 team. The last seven NC State teams (2010-11 team through 2016-17 team) only twice forced opponents into 20 turnovers (2010-11 team forced East Carolina into 20 turnovers on 11/18/10 and 2016-17 team forced Virginia Tech into 20 turnovers on 1/4/17). In Keatts first four games at NC State, his teams forced opponents into 21 (VMI), 24 (Charleston Southern), 27 (Bryant) and 22 (Presbyterian) turnovers.
– The 27 turnovers NC State forced Bryant into on Nov. 14 are the most turnovers the Pack has forced an opponent to commit since Mount St. Mary’s had 27 on Nov. 22, 2002.

– In the first four games this season, the Pack forced its opponents into more turnovers than made field goals.

– In 14 games, the Pack has forced 229 turnovers. The 16.4 turnovers forced per game ranks tied for 42nd in NCAA Dl and are the second most forced turnovers by a team from the ACC.

– NC State recorded 14 steals in Tuesday’s win over Bryant. It’s the most steals in a game for NC State since the Pack had 16 steals in a win over Boston College on Jan. 19, 2012. It was a 192 game span between 14+-steal games for the Pack. NC State has 115 steals in 14 games this season, a mark that ranks third in the ACC and 37th overall in NCAA DI. 

Winning the Turnover Battle

Not only have the Pack been forcing turnovers, but they have been protecting the basketball, too. NC State has had 10 or fewer turnovers in six of its 14 games this season.

– The Pack is +55 in turnover margin. Pack has forced 220 turnovers and only turned it over themselves 160 times. +55 turnover margin is the second-best in the ACC.

– Major turnaround from last year’s team. Last season, NC State finished the season -67 in turnover margin, including -14 mark in non-conference games.

Healthy Freeman Becoming an Offensive Force

NC State senior Lennard Freeman had offseason leg surgery prior to the 2015-16 season and after playing through pain that season, elected to have offseason leg surgery again prior to the 2016-17 season and sat out the year to recover.  Now fully healthy, Freeman has started his senior season with an offensive outburst.

– A career 3.6 points per game average coming into the season, Freeman has reset his career-high three times this season and is averaging 12.1 points per game through 13 games. He opened the year with 15 points against VMI, had 20 against Bryant and then had 23 in the Pack’s win against Presbyterian.

– Freeman is shooting a team-best 72.6 percent from the field this season. Freeman would lead the ACC in field goal percentage, but falls short of the minimum number of field goal makes to rank among ACC leaders. To be listed you have to average 5 made field goals per game, Freeman has made 61 field goals in 14 games (average of 4.4 per game).

– The senior is connecting on 72.4 percent of his foul shots (42-of-58). The Washington D.C. native, entered this season a career 47.9 percent free throw shooter.

– In 103 career games coming into this season, Freeman had only scored in double figures six times, he’s scored in double figures in 8 of 14 games this season.

– Has already scored 157 points this season, the most points he has ever scored in a single season in his career.

– The game against Presbyterian on November 16 was the 107th career game in an NC State uniform for Freeman. It was the first time in those 107 games that Freeman led NC State in scoring. Freeman led the Pack in scoring for the second time in his career with 19 points in a 103-71 win over South Carolina State on Dec. 2.

– Freeman, who entered this season as a player best known for doing the gritty things that don’t show up in the box score, has also set career-highs with three steals and three blocks this season, both set against Presbyterian.

Bench Production

–  NC State’s bench is averaging to score 25.4 points per game this season. The Pack’s bench has outscored the opponents bench, 340-235 this year.

–  NC State’s bench has outscored the opponents bench in 10 of 14 games this season.

–  In the win over No. 2 Arizona at the Battle 4 Atlantis, NC State’s bench outscored Arizona’s, 39-6. Braxton Beverly had 20 points off-the-bench for the Pack in the win, while Omer Yurtseven had 11 points and a team-best nine rebounds.

–  In the game against Northern Iowa, NC State’s bench outscored the Panther’s, 30-2. Yurtseven led the team in points (17) and rebounds (13) in the game against UNI.

–  Against Penn State, NC State’s bench outscored the Nittany Lions, 39-9. The Pack’s bench consisting of Yurtseven, Sam Hunt and Lavar Batts, Jr., combined to shoot 12-for-15 from the field (80 percent), including 9-for-10 from three-point range.

Abu Climbing NC State Career Charts

–  NC State senior forward Abdul-Malik Abu is steadily climbing the NC State career record book. The Boston, Mass., native entered the season with over 1,000 career points and is aiming to become the first player since Todd Fuller from 1993-96 to lead the program in rebounding for three consecutive seasons.

–  Abu currently sits in 45th place on the NC State career scoring chart, 19th on the program’s career rebounding list and fifth on the Pack’s career offensive rebound rankings.

Pack Rewriting NC State/PNC Arena Record Books in Kevin Keatts First Season

–  NC State has already broke three PNC Arena records and one program record in the first few months of the Kevin Keatts era. This season marks the 19th season NC State has called PNC Arena home. The arena opened on October 29, 1999.

–  NC State’s 116 points against Jacksonville on Dec. 22 is the most in PNC Arena history. (Previous mark was 113 set by UNC-Chapel Hill against Mount St. Mary’s on March 21, 2008.) It is the most points in a game for NC State since defeating UNC Asheville, 120-71, on Dec. 20, 1995.

–  NC State’s 19 three-pointers against Jacksonville on Dec. 22 are the most in PNC Arena history and the most in program history. The previous high in PNC Arena was 17 three-pointers by ECU on Nov. 15, 2011 against Northwestern. The previous program high was 18 against Florida State on Feb. 10, 1992.

–  NC State’s 31 assists against South Carolina State on Dec. 2 are the most in PNC Arena history. The previous high was 28 set twice prior to this season. The Pack had 28 assists in the win over Jacksonville on Dec. 22. In two of the first nine games at PNC Arena in the Kevin Keatts era, the Pack had the most and tied-for-second most assists in a game in the 19-year old arena.

–  NC State’s 52-point win over Jacksonville on Dec. 22 (116-64) is the second-largest margin of victory in PNC Arena history (55; NC State 99-44 over Campbell on Nov. 26, 2004 is largest). It’s the largest margin of victory for NC State since Dec. 1, 1998 vs. Army (+61, 94-33).

–  NC State forced Bryant into 27 turnovers on Nov. 14. It ranks as the third-most turnovers in a game in PNC Arena history. It’s the most turnovers the Pack has forced an opponent to commit since Mount St. Mary’s had 27 on Nov. 22, 2002.