NC State Wolfpack welcomes Duke to PNC Arena Saturday

Raleigh, NC – The NC State men’s basketball team (8-8, 4-7 ACC) hosts in-state rival Duke (7-8, 5-6 ACC) Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. inside PNC Arena.

The game will be televised on ESPN with Doug Sherman and Cory Alexander on the call. NC State fans can also listen to Gary Hahn and Tony Haynes call the action on the Wolfpack Sports Network.

Pack Tracks

– The Pack is back in action Saturday when it hosts Duke inside PNC Arena. Saturday’s matchup is the 251st in the series history dating back to the 1911-12 season.

– Junior guard Thomas Allen led the Pack with a season-high 17 points. The Raleigh native hit 4-of-8 three-pointers. Senior forward D.J. Funderburk added 14 points and six rebounds while Jericole Hellems reached double figures for the seventh-straight game with 11 points.

– Hellems has stepped up for the Pack since Devon Daniels tore his ACL in the second half of the win over Wake Forest on Jan. 27. In the first game without Daniels, Hellems registered his first career double-double with career-highs in points (24) and rebounds (10) against Syracuse on Jan. 31. In the four games since Daniels was injured, Hellems is averaging 17.3 points on 50% shooting (26-of-52) and 6.0 rebounds per game.

– The Pack will play the rest of the season without senior guard Devon Daniels. Daniels was the team leader in points (16.5), assists (3.1) and steals (1.7) when he went down with a torn ACL. He was also tied for the team-lead with 19 three-pointers this season. His field goal percentage of 48.1 ranks ninth in the ACC and he ranked third in the team in rebounding at 5.1 per game.

– Sophomore forward Manny Bates is shooting 66.1% from the field in ACC-only games. The field goal percentage is the second-best mark in the league (minimum 4 made FGs/game). He is averaging just under 10 points/game, nearly doubling his scoring output from his freshman season. The Fayetteville native is currently leading the ACC in blocks (2.93 per game) for the second consecutive season.

Saturday Storylines

– Force at least 15 turnovers. When NC State forces an opponent into 15 or more turnovers this season the Pack is 8-1. When its opponent has less than 15 turnovers, NC State is 0-7. In the Pack’s eight wins this season, opponents are averaging 20 turnovers per game. In its eight losses, NC State’s opponents average just 12.4 turnovers.

– When the Pack’s defense is stealing the ball and converting it into points NC State is tough to beat. The Pack is 7-0 when it scores 19 or more points off opponent turnovers this season, but just 1-8 when it scores 18 points or less off opponent turnovers.

– Shooting percentage tells the story. In the Pack’s eight wins this season, NC State is combining to shoot 50.8% from the field and hold its opponents to 42.1% shooting. In its eight losses, the numbers are nearly reversed. The Pack is shooting 42.6% when it loses and its opponents are shooting 50.2%.

– In the four games since Devon Daniels was injured, sophomore forward Manny Bates is averaging 12 points on 66.7% shooting (20-of-30) and 8.0 rebounds per game.

– Bates Breaking Out: Last season in 29 games, Bates had a total of 99 field goal attempts. This season in 15 games, Bates already has 98 field goal attempts. He averaged 5.1 points per game as a freshman, but is averaging just a shade under double figures (9.8) this season. The Fayetteville native has also greatly improved at the free throw line. He is shooting 69.7% at the foul line this year after shooting 48.6% last season. He has also increased his rebounding average to 6.1 this season after averaging 4.0 last season. Bates is on pace to become NC State’s all-time leading shot blocker and have the best field goal percentage in program history. For his career, Bates is shooting 64.5% (127-of-197). The top field goal percentage in program history (minimum 200 made field goals) is Kevin Thompson at 58.8%.

– After averaging 37.3 points in the paint in the first three games without Devon Daniels, the Pack scored a season-low 20 points in the paint in Tuesday’s loss to Syracuse. With the loss of Daniels, NC State’s top-three scorers remaining are all forwards. After being outscored in points in the paint in five of its first six ACC games, the Pack had outscored each of its opponents since Daniels was injured in points in the paint before Tuesday.

– In two games against Duke last season, D.J. Funderburk averaged 16 points and eight rebounds per game.

– In the four games since Devon Daniels was injured, forwards Manny Bates, D.J. Funderburk and Jericole Hellems have combined to score 154 points and are shooting 58-of-104 (55.8%) from the field.

NC State – Duke Series

– Saturday marks the 251st all-time meeting between the two programs.

– Duke leads the all-time series, 148-102. Last season, the two teams split the season series with both programs winning on their home court.

– NC State and North Carolina are the only NCAA programs with over 100 victories against Duke.

– The Pack has a 7-8 record against the Blue Devils in games played at PNC Arena. NC State has won the four of the last five games against Duke held inside PNC Arena, including both games with Kevin Keatts as head coach.