Wolfpack visits Pittsburgh for midweek battle with the Panthers

Raleigh, NC – The NC State men’s basketball team aims to even its ACC record Wednesday evening when it takes on Pittsburgh at the Petersen Events Center.

The game is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. and will be a RSN telecast with Wes Durham and Jason Capel on the call. A complete list of nationwide affiliates showing the game can be found here: http://www.theacc.com/sports/2018/1/16/mbask-rsn-180124b.aspx

Wolfpack fans can also listen on Wolfpack Sports Network with Gary Hahn and Tony Haynes calling the action.
2018 NC State basketball players
Pack Tracks
– NC State suffered its first ACC home loss on Sunday as 25th-ranked Miami defeated the Pack, 86-81. The Pack shot 54.4% for the game, its highest shooting percentage in an ACC game this season, but Miami shot 57.6%, including 10-of-19 from three-point range to win. Omer Yurtseven led the Pack with 28 points, one shy of his career-high, while Markell Johnson passed out a career-high 14 assists. The 14 assists are the third-most by an individual in PNC Arena history.
Omer Yurtseven was named ACC Co-Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 25 points a game on 65.6% shooting against Wake Forest and Miami. Yurtseven had 22 points, eight rebounds and 1 block in the win over Wake Forest on Thursday. On Sunday, he had 28 points on 12-of-16 shooting and added six rebounds and two blocked shots.
– Over the last five games, Yurtseven is averaging 20.2 points per game on 61.1% (44-of-72) shooting. During the last five games, Yurtseven has led the Pack in scoring and rebounding four times.
– The Pack has used seven different starting lineups in 20 games this season. Torin Dorn is the only player to start every game for NC State this year.

Yurtseven Finding Comfort Level in Sophomore Season
NC State sophomore center Omer Yurtseven came to college last season as a consensus five-star player, but the Istanbul, Turkey native had an up-and-down season as a freshman. After a 12-point, 16-rebound performance against Pittsburgh on Jan., 17, the seven-footer never scored more than 10 points or had more than five rebounds in a game the rest of his rookie season. Now, as a sophomore a confident Yurtseven is becoming the No. 1 priority on opposing team’s scouting reports.
– On the season, ranks second on the team in scoring (13.6), rebounding (6.7) and field goal percentage (61.5%) and first in blocks (36).
– In seven ACC games, leading the team in scoring (16.7), rebounding (6.8), blocks (14) and field goal percentage (56.5%).
– The sophomore has been more involved in offensive end of floor this season. As a freshman, Yurtseven averaged 5.3 field goal attempts per game. This season he is averaging 9.4 field goal attempts per game.
– Yurtseven has 92 field goal attempts in seven ACC games this season. He only had 83 field goal attempts in 17 ACC games as a freshman.
– In four ACC home games, Yurtseven is averaging 23.8 points on 64.1% shooting (41-of-64), including 50% (7-of-14) from three-point range. Also averaging 6.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks.
– Yurtseven had a career-high 29 points on 12-of-18 shooting, including 5-of-6 from three-point range in win over #19 Clemson on 1/11.
– One of 20 student-athletes to the preseason watch list for this year’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award.

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 half its 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 20 games, the Pack has forced 312 turnovers. The 15.6 turnovers forced per game ranks 49th in NCAA Dl and are the most forced turnovers by a team from the ACC.
– NC State recorded 14 steals in the win over Bryant on Nov. 14. 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 159 steals in 20 games this season, a mark that ranks second in the ACC and 49th overall in NCAA DI.
Lennard Freeman
Healthy Freeman Having Best Offensive Season of Career
NC State senior Lennard Freeman had offseason leg surgery prior to the 2015-16 season and after playing through pain, elected to have offseason leg surgery again prior to the 2016-17 season and sat out the year to recover.
– 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 10.5points per game through 19 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 67.5 percent from the field this season. Freeman would lead the ACC in FG percentage, but falls short of the minimum number of field goal makes to rank among ACC leaders.
– In 103 career games coming into this season, Freeman had only scored in double figures six times, he’s scored in double figures in 10 of 20 games this season.
– The game against Presbyterian on Nov. 16 was the 107th career game 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.

Winning the Turnover Battle
– The Pack is +67 in turnover margin. Pack has forced 302 turnovers and only turned it over themselves 230 times. +67 turnover margin is the second-best in the ACC. Major turnaround from last year. Last season, NC State finished the season -67 in turnover margin.

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 2.79 assist-to-turnover ratio. The freshman guard has had only two games this season with more turnovers than assists and has had one turnover or fewer in nine of the 18 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 68 assists in the last 12 games (5.7 per game)
– For the season, Beverly is shooting 36.5 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 six of 18 games this season. In those six  games he is a combined 0-for-19 from three-point range. In the 12 games he’s made a three-pointer, he is averaging to hit 2.6 per game and is shooting 47.0% (31-for-66) from long-range.

Clutch Free Throw Shooting for Freshman Beverly
Freshman guard Braxton Beverly has been Mr. Clutch at the foul line late in close games this season. The Hazard, Ky., native is 24-of-27 (88.9%) from the foul line with less than four minutes left in the second half.
– In the win over No. 2 Arizona, Beverly went 7-for-9 from the foul line in the closing minutes. He knocked down two free throws with 3:21 left to give the Pack an 80-75 lead, made two more with 2:02 left to go up 84-76 and knocked down two more free throws with 1:48 to play to give NC State an 86-76 lead.
– In the win over Penn State, Beverly made two free throws with :52 seconds left to give the Pack a 79-74 lead. He made two more with :30 seconds left to give NC State an 82-76 lead.
– In the win over Clemson, Beverly made two free throws with :09 seconds remaining to give NC State a 78-73 lead. The Pack won the game 78-77 when Clemson missed a free throw with :01 second left.
– For the season, Beverly is shooting 89.5% (34-of-38) from the foul line and has hit 18 straight free throws.

70 is the Magic Number
When the Pack scores 70 or more points this season, NC State is 13-2. When the Pack scores 69 or fewer points, NC State is 0-5.

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 54.1 percent from the field this season (99-for-183) and has shot 50 percent or better in 13 of 20 games.
– Freeman is shooting 67.5 percent from the field this season (79-for-117) and has shot 50 percent or better in every game, but three this season.
– Yurtseven is shooting 61.5 percent from the field this season (115-for-187) and has shot 50 percent or better in 16 of 20 games, including 15 of the last 17 games.