NC State Wolfpack visits rival Tar Heels on Sunday

Raleigh, NC – The NC State men’s basketball team is back in action Saturday as it travels to play UNC-Chapel Hill at the Dean E. Smith Center on Sunday afternoon. The contest is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET.

UNC basketball coach Roy Williams & NCSU coach Mark Gottfried.

UNC basketball coach Roy Williams & NCSU coach Mark Gottfried.
photo by Gene Galin

The game will be televised on ESPN with Dave O’Brien and Jay Bilas handling the call.

Fans can also listen to the game on the Wolfpack Sports Network with Gary Hahn and Tony Haynes calling the action.

Pack Tracks

– NC State won its ACC home-opener, 104-78, over #21/23 Virginia Tech on Wednesday night. The Pack placed four players in double-figures in the win. Three players – Dennis Smith, Jr. (27), Terry Henderson (22) and Abdul-Malik Abu (20) all scored 20+ points in the win.

NC State Wolfpack guard Dennis Smith, Jr.

NC State freshman guard Dennis Smith, Jr.
photo by Gene Galin

– Smith, Jr., recorded the second triple in NC State history on Wednesday. The freshman finished the game with 27 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds. It was the first triple-double for NC State in an ACC game. Smith is the first freshmen in ACC history to record a triple-double in ACC play.

– Smith Jr., has been playing at a high level for the Pack over the past six games. The ACC’s Preseason Rookie of the Year is averaging 21.5 ppg., on 57.3% shooting (43-75), including 55.2% (16-29) from three-point range. He also has passed out 53 assists in the five games (8.8 apg.) and has 17 steals (2.8 spg.) He has led NC State in scoring in five of the last six games and has led the team in assists and steals in seven straight games entering Saturday night’s contest.

– NC State is aiming for its second-consecutive win over a ranked opponent when it plays at UNC-CH on Saturday evening. The last time the Pack won back-to-back games over ranked opponents was the 2006-07 season. NC State won at 16th-ranked Virginia Tech, 70-59, on Jan. 31, 2007 and defeated 3rd-ranked UNC-Chapel Hill, 83-79, on Feb. 3, 2007.

Noting NC State

– NC State has held six of its last seven opponents to less than 1.00 point per possession. The Pack held McNeese State to 0.77 points per possession, tying the low-mark of the season (Appalachian State – 0.77). The Pack has held an opponent to less than 1.00 points per possession eight times this season. In the first eight games, five teams shot 45% or better, including four teams that shot over 50% against the Pack defense. In the last seven games, only two teams have shot over 40% against the Pack.

– After being outrebounded in five of the first seven games of the season, the Pack has outrebounded its opponents in six of its last eight games. NC State out-rebounded its last two non-conference opponents by 43. The Pack had a season-best +28 rebounding advantage over McNeese State (55-27) on Dec. 22. NC State has outscored its opponents in second chance points in six of the last nine games. The Wolfpack limited Fairfield to a season-low two second chance points on Dec. 18.

– The Pack has had more assists than turnovers in 12 of its 15 games this season. The only games where the Pack had more turnovers than assists was at Illinois on Nov. 29,  vs. Tennessee State on Dec. 10 and at Miami on Dec. 31.

Full Squad = Major Bench Production

After playing the first nine games of the season with at least one scholarship player missing, and sometimes two or three players  missing, the Pack has had its full complement of players for the last four games. Five of the last six games have produced NC State’s highest bench point production nights of the year as the Pack has scored at least 26 points off the bench five of the last six games. The Pack had three players score in double figures off-the-bench in the win over Appalachian State on 12/15 after having only three individual double-digit scoring performances off-the-bench in the first nine games. The Pack scored 46 bench points against Appalachian State, double its previous-best season performance to that point. In the first nine games of the season, NC State’s bench scored 95 points (10.6 per game) total. The team has scored 174 points (29) off-the-bench in the last six games. The Pack has had a player score in double-figures off-the-bench in six of the last seven games.

Balanced Scoring Attack

NC State has had five or more players reach double figures in scoring in five games this season. Last season in 33 games, NC State only had three games where five players reached double figures in scoring. The Pack had five players reach double-figures in wins over Georgia Southern (Nov. 11), St. Francis Brooklyn (Nov. 13) and Fairfield (Dec. 18) and had six players in double figures in the win over Appalachian State (Dec. 15) and Rider (Dec. 28). In the Jan. 4 win over Virginia Tech, NC State had three players (Dennis Smith, Jr., Terry Henderson & Abdul-Malik Abu score 20+ points). The Pack has had four different players lead the team in scoring this season: Terry Henderson vs. Georgia Southern, Creighton, Boston University, Tennessee State and Fairfield, Torin Dorn vs. St. Francis and Illinois, Abdul-Malik Abu vs. Montana and Dennis Smith, Jr., vs. Saint Joseph’s, Loyola (Chicago), Appalachian State, McNeese State, Rider, Miami and Virginia Tech. Through 15 games this season, the Pack has five players averaging in double figures.

Smith Sets PNC Arena Assists Record

Freshman Dennis Smith, Jr., set a PNC Arena record on Wednesday, Dec. 28 when he passed out 16 assists in the Pack’s 99-71 win over Rider. The 16 assists broke the previous record of 13 which was held by NC State’s Lorenzo Brown (vs. Duke on 1/12/13) and UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kendall Marshall (vs. NC State on 2/21/12).  The 16 assists are the most in a single-game by an NCAA DI player this season.

More on Smith’s Triple-Double

– Dennis Smith Jr.’s triple-double was the second in school history. (Julius Hodge – 11pts/12reb/10ast – vs. North Carolina A&T on 12/14/02).

– His triple-double is the 17th in NCAA DI this season and the 3rd by an ACC player. He is the only ACC player this year to record his triple-double against an ACC foe.

– Smith is the 7th freshmen in ACC history to record a triple-double. He is the only one of the seven freshmen to register his triple-double against an ACC opponent.

– In addition to the triple-double, Smith also had a career-high five steals in the win over the Hokies.

Getting Their First Run with the Pack

Counting Terry Henderson (who only played the first six minutes of the season last year before being injured and lost for the year), 71.2% of the minutes (2153 of 3025 minutes) played for NC State this season have been by players that did not play for the Wolfpack last season. Not counting Henderson, the Pack has had seven players make their NC State debut this season, including five freshmen. The five freshmen have played 1192 minutes this season, 39.4% of the total minutes played on the year. The freshmen class accounts for the highest percentage of minutes played this season for NC State.

Shooting Star

NC State Wolfpack guard Torin Dorn

NC State Wolfpack freshman guard Torin Dorn.
photo by Gene Galin

Sophomore guard Torin Dorn shot 50.5% from the field as a freshman at UNC-Charlotte in 2014-15 en route to being named the Conference USA Freshman of the Year.

Through 15 games this season, Dorn is 76-of-139 (54.7%) from the field to rank 4th in the ACC in field goal percentage. Dorn is the highest ranked guard on the field goal percentage list in the ACC. He is 56-of-97 (57.7%) on two-pointers and 18-of-38 (47.4%) on three-pointers. Dorn did not miss a two-point field goal attempt in the Nov. 13 game against St. Francis. He was 8-of-8 in the game on two-pointers. He also hit his first four field goals against Montana before missing a layup late in the first half to snap his streak of 13 consecutive 2-point field goals made.

One of Top-Scoring Trios in ACC

Freshman Dennis Smith, Jr., sophomore Torin Dorn and senior Terry Henderson combine to form one of the top-scoring trios in the ACC. The trio combines to average 49.5 points per game. Overall, Dorn, Henderson and Smith have combined to score 743 points this season, which is 58.6% of the points scored by NC State this year.


Top Scoring Trios in ACC                                                                                                                                             

School Trio                                     PPG            Team Points

Pittsburgh – Michael Young (22.7), Jamel Artis (21.4), Cameron Johnson (12.7)       56.8

Duke – Luke Kennard (21.0), Grayson Allen (15.9), Amile Jefferson (13.8)              50.7

NC State – Dennis Smith, Jr. (19.6), Terry Henderson (16.2), Torin Dorn (13.7)                 49.5       


Freshmen Running the Show

Freshman point guards Dennis Smith, Jr., and Markell Johnson run the show for the Wolfpack this season. The two players combined have 133 assists and 60 turnovers in 793 minutes of action this season. The two combine to average just 1 turnover every 13.2 minutes. Johnson (35 assists/13 turnovers) has a 2.69 assist-to-turnover ratio, while Smith (98 assists/47 turnovers) has a 2.08 assist-to-turnover ratio. Through 15 games, NC State is averaging 84.5 points per game and shooting 49.8% from the field. The points per game rank fourth in the ACC, while the field goal percentage ranks second. The two freshmen also rank 1st (Smith – 32) and 2nd (Johnson – 14) on the team in steals.


ACC Freshman of the Week

Dennis Smith, Jr., was named the ACC Freshman of the Week on Dec. 19, after averaged 19.5 points, 7.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals in two Wolfpack wins the previous week.

He scored a game-high 22 points on 5-for-8 field goal shooting and 11-for-12 shooting from the foul line to lead NC State to a 97-64 win over Appalachian State. He added a game-high six assists and had all three of the Wolfpack’s steals.

Smith scored 17 points, passed out a season-high nine assists, grabbed five rebounds and added two steals and a blocked shot in a 99-78 win over Fairfield. The Fayetteville, N.C., native was 6-for-10 from the field in the game, including 5-for-7 from 3-point range. The five 3-pointers made were a season-high. For the week, Smith was 11-for-18 (.611) from the field, including 6-for-9 (.667) from 3-point range.

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