NC State Wolfpack returns home to host Campbell

Raleigh, NC – The NC State men’s basketball team plays its first game of the season at PNC Arena on Saturday when it hosts Campbell.

Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. and will be televised on the ACC Network with Jay Alter and Malcolm Huckaby calling the action. NC State fans can also listen to Gary Hahn and Tony Haynes call all the action on the Wolfpack Sports Network.

Pack Tracks

* NC State suffered its first loss of the season Thursday evening, faltering late to fall at Saint Louis, 80-69. The Pack led for almost 30 minutes in the game, but with only seven players playing a majority of the minutes, Saint Louis was able to close on a 32-14 run.

* Thursday’s game against the Billikens was NC State’s first game in two weeks. Since late in the evening on Nov. 29 – when the Pack’s game against William & Mary was canceled – the Pack had five games canceled or postponed in a 17 day span.

n Sophomore forward Manny Bates had a career night against the Billikens. The Fayetteville, N.C. poured in a career-high 20 points on the offensive end, while blocking a career-best eight shots on the defensive end. Bates is now averaging 4.0 blocks per game this season to lead the NCAA.

* After becoming the first freshman to lead the ACC in over a decade last season, Bates – currently with 99 blocks – has a chance to be the fastest ACC player in over 20 years to register 100 career blocks. Since the 1985-86 season, the only ACC players to get to 100 career blocks in fewer games are Wake Forest’s Tim Duncan and Georgia Tech’s Alvin Jones.

* The Pack has a balanced offensive attack in the early part of this season. The team has seven players averaging at least 7.0 points per game and four players averaging in double figures. Last season, NC State was one of only four teams in NCAA DI to have four players average over 12 points per game.

Saturday Storylines

* NC State only had nine players in uniform for Thursday night’s game at Saint Louis and only seven played more than one minute. The Pack was missing five players off of its roster on Thursday and the availability of the five players for Saturday’s game is unknown. In the first three games of the season,  when NC State had its full allotment of players, the Pack played at least 11 players in the first half of all three games.

* Thursday marked the 105th game with Kevin Keatts as head coach of NC State. It was only the second time in those 105 games that the Pack had five players play 30+ minutes in a game that ended in regulation. NC State will now turn around and play a game less than two days later.

* The Pack’s four bench players consisted of all freshmen on Thursday. In the first three games of the season, NC State averaged 34.7 bench points per game. In Thursday’s loss, the bench only scored seven points as only two players played more than one minute off the bench.

* The Pack has won 22 consecutive regular season home games against non-conference opponents. The last home non-conference loss was to UNCG, 81-76, on Dec. 16, 2017.

* NC State has turned defense into offense quite effectively this season. In four games, NC State is averaging 25.5 points per game off opponent turnovers and is outscoring its opponents 102-29 in points off turnovers. In five games this season, Campbell is averaging 23.3 points per game off opponent turnovers and is outscoring its opponents, 116-66, in points off turnovers.

* Through four games, NC State ranks second in the NCAA in turnover margin at +13.5 per game. The Pack ranks fifth in the NCAA in turnovers forced per game at 22.8 per outing while ranking seventh in the NCAA in turnovers per game, averaging to commit only 9.2 an outing. Campbell has won the turnover battle in every game its played this season, ranking 29th in the NCAA in turnover margin at +5.8.

* For the second consecutive game, NC State will face a hot-shooting team. On Thursday night, NC State faced a Saint Louis squad that entered the game ninth in the NCAA in field goal percentage at 54.2% and held them to 31% in the first half and 44% for the game. On Saturday, the Pack faces a Campbell team that enters the game eighth in the NCAA in field goal percentage at 54.6%.

NC State – Campbell Series

* Saturday marks the 12th all-time meeting in the series between the two programs. NC State leads the all-time series, 10-1.

* The last meeting between the two teams was on Nov. 16, 2013 with NC State defeating Campbell, 81-66, behind 23 points from T.J. Warren.

* NC State is 62-1 all-time against current Big South Opponents.

Noting Campbell

* The Camels return three starters from last season’s 15-16 squad.

* Campbell has won 72 games over the last four complete seasons (2016-20) – the most in a 4-year span in the program’s D1 history.

* Campbell won its first four games to start the season for the first time since the 2011-12.