NC State Wolfpack heads North to face Syracuse

Raleigh, NC – The NC State men’s basketball team travels to Syracuse, N.Y. to face the Syracuse Orange Wednesday evening at 9 p.m. inside the Carrier Dome.

The Pack are currently towards the end of a stretch of games where it plays five out of seven games on the road. The Pack plays at Syracuse Wednesday and at Wake Forest on Saturday before closing the season with three of its last four games at home.

Wednesday’s game against Syracuse will be televised on the ACC Network with Tom Werme and Dan Bonner calling the action. The game will be shown in the Raleigh area on WRDC (My Network TV). Other stations in North Carolina showing the game are: WMYT-TV (Charlotte), WMYV-MyTV (Greensboro- Winston-Salem -High Point), WITN-D2 (Greenville-New Bern-Washington), WILM-IND (Wilmington). A complete list of network affiliates can be found here:

NC State fans can also listen to Gary Hahn and Tony Haynes on the call on the Wolfpack Sports Network.

Pack Tracks

– NC State could not complete a season sweep of UNC-Chapel Hill on Saturday afternoon as the Pack fell to the Tar Heels, 96-89. The Pack had six players reach double figures, led by Torin Dorn with 21, and NC State forced 19 turnovers and had 12 steals in the game – both stats are the most for the Pack in an ACC game this season – but the Tar Heels scored 61 points on 78.1% shooting in the second half to win.

– The NCAA revealed the current Top-16 Seeds in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, Feb. 11. NC State has 4 wins over Top-16 teams (Duke – 7, Clemson – 9, UNC-CH – 12, Arizona – 15). The Pack is tied with UNC-CH for the most wins over teams in the selection committee’s Top-16.

– Markell Johnson had his double-digit assist streak snapped as he finished with nine against the Tar Heels. He had double figure assists in five straight games becoming the first player in NC State history to achieve this feat prior to UNC-CH. In 18 games this season, the sophomore has 141 assists and is averaging 7.8 per game. In eight ACC games, Johnson is averaging 9.4 assists per game (75).

– The Pack has had double-digit offensive rebounds in every ACC game, but two this season and ranks third in the ACC in offensive rebounds per game (13.08)

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. 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 (13.8) and leads in rebounding (6.9), field goal percentage (59.9%) and blocks (43). In 12 ACC games, leading the team in scoring (15.8), rebounding (7.0), blocks (23) and field goal percentage (55.8%).

– In six ACC home games, Yurtseven is averaging 19.2 points on 59.2% shooting (50-of-84), including 46.7% (7-of-15) from three-point range. Also averaging 7.0 rebounds and 2.2 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.

– Named Co-ACC Player of the Week on Jan. 22 after averaging 25 points on 65.7 percent shooting in a win over Wake Forest (Jan. 18) and a loss to No. 25 Miami (Jan. 21)

– One of 20 student-athletes to the preseason watch list for this year’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award.

Another Sophomore making an impact for the Pack

Omer Yurtseven’s fellow sophomore teammate Markell Johnson has also seen his impact on this year’s Pack team increase as well.

– Johnson leads the Pack in assists (141 / 7.83 per game) and steals (35 / 1.94 per game) this season. He’s currently on pace to finish with the highest assist per game average at NC State since Chris Corchiani averaged 9.6 assists per game in the 1990-91 season. His steals per game average would be the best mark at NC State since Clifford Crawford average 2.13 (66 in 31 games) in the 2002-03 season.

– Johnson has not played in the required 75% of games to rank in ACC stats yet (he missed 7 games for a violation of the Student-Athlete Code of Conduct), but his current stats would lead the ACC in assists and steals if he were eligible. His 3.14 assist-to-turnover ratio in ACC play would lead the league, as well.

– Has had three or more steals in seven of 18 games and seven or more assists in 12 of 19 games.

– Johnson had a career-high 20 points in the win at No. 10 UNC-Chapel Hill on 1/27. He added 11 assists for his second career double-double. He scored or assisted on 15 straight NC State points from the 2:58 mark of regulation through the 2:25 mark of overtime. He clinched the win with two free throws with :04 seconds remaining in overtime.

– Johnson has had double-digit assists in five straight games from 1/21 to 2/7. He’s the first player in NC State history to have five straight games of double-digit assists.

– In the last six games with Johnson back in the starting lineup, NC State has assisted on 135 of its 205 field goals (65.9%). In the seven games Johnson missed, NC State had 108 assists on 199 made field goals (54.3%).

Constant Defensive Pressure leading to Opponent Turnovers

– The Pack has forced 12 of 25 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. 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 25 games, the Pack has forced 385 turnovers. The 15.4 turnovers forced per game ranks 36th in NCAA Dl and are the most forced turnovers by a team from the ACC.

– The Pack has a +3.30 turnover margin this season which ranks second in the ACC.

– In ACC play, the Pack is 6-1 when it has less turnovers than its opponents and 0-5 when it has more turnovers than its opponents.

Pack Already Have Most Steals Since 2012-13 Team

– With 197 steals in 25 games, the Pack has already surpassed last season’s total steals total of 162, as well as the 2015-16 (149), 2014-15 (138) and 2013-14 (173) NC State teams. The Pack is currently on pace to finish in the top-10 in season steals in program history.

– NC State leads the ACC and 40th overall in NCAA DI with 197 steals.

– 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.

Nine Games Against Top-24 RPI Teams

–  Through games of Feb. 12, NC State has played nine games against teams currently ranked in the top-24 in the RPI. That is the most in the country. Saturday’s game against No. 10 RPI UNC-Chapel Hill will be the ninth game this season against a top-21 RPI opponent. 36% of the NC State’s games this season have been against top-24 RPI opponents. The Pack is 4-5 in those game.

Bench Production

–  NC State’s bench is averaging to score 22.9 points per game this season. The Pack’s bench has outscored the opponents bench, 572-407 this year.

–  NC State’s bench has outscored the opponents bench in 17 of 25 games this season.

–  The Pack’s bench has outscored the opponents bench in eight of 12 games in ACC play and has tied the opponents bench in scoring in two other games. Only Clemson (19-13) on 1/11 and Miami (33-30) on 1/21 have outscored NC State’s bench in conference play.

–  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.

–  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.

–  In the win at No. 10 UNC-Chapel Hill, Allerik Freeman came off-the-bench and scored a career-high 29 points, tying an ACC record for most threes with a miss, connecting on 7-of-7 from three-point range.

Winning the Turnover Battle

– The Pack is +80 in turnover margin. Pack has forced 385 turnovers and only turned it over themselves 305 times. +80 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.

70 is the Magic Number

When the Pack scores 70 or more points this season, NC State is 16-4. When the Pack scores 69 or fewer points, NC State is 0-5.

Winning the Rebounding Battle

– NC State enters Wednesday’s contests vs. Syracuse having outrebounded eight of its 12 ACC opponents this season.
– Last season, the Pack was outrebounded in ACC play in 10 of 18 games.
– The Pack ranks third in the ACC, averaging 13.08 offensive rebounds per game (327 in 25 games). The Pack has had double-digit offensive rebounds in every ACC game except for two this season (9 vs. Miami on 1/21 and 7 vs. UNC on 2/10). NC State is only 2 offensive rebounds shy of the total the team had last season (329 in 32 games)