Raleigh, NC – The NC State men’s basketball team (15-5, 5-4 ACC) returns home after two road games last week to host Notre Dame (9-11, 1-8 ACC) Tuesday evening at PNC Arena.
Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m., and the game will be televised on the ACC Network. NC State fans can also listen to Gary Hahn and Tony Haynes call the action on the Wolfpack Sports Network.
– NC State dropped its first game of the 2023 calendar year as the Pack fell at North Carolina, 80-69, on Saturday evening. DJ Burns and Jarkel Joiner led the Pack with 18 points. Casey Morsell and Terquavion Smith each added 12 as the quartet combined to score 60 of NC State’s 69 points.
– With 9:45 remaining in the game, sophomore guard Terquavion Smith was fouled on a lay-up attempt and did not return to the game with elbow and neck injuries. He was taken to UNC Medical Center and all x-rays were negative. His playing status is day-to-day. Smith’s 12–point performance snapped a five-game streak of scoring 20 or more points. Despite having his day cut short, Smith continues to lead the ACC in scoring with an average of 18.7 points per game. He has been named to the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 Watch List, the Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List and was recently named a Midseason Third-Team All-American by The Sporting News.
– Graduate forward D.J. Burns tied his season-high with 18 points against the Tar Heels. It’s the third time in the last eight games that Burns has scored 18 points. In the first 10 games of the season, Burns averaged 7.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 0.4 blocks while playing 16.6 minutes per game. After Dusan Mahorcic was injured in the Coppin State game on Dec. 6, Burns has seen his role increase. Over the last 10 games since Mahorcic went out, Burns is averaging 13.2 points per game, 5.5 rebounds (including 2.3 offensive rebounds) per game, 2.0 assists and 1.3 blocks while playing 25.8 minutes per game. Burns is shooting 58 percent from the field (58-of-100) over the last 10 games.
– A win on Tuesday would be the Pack’s fourth consecutive ACC home win this season. The last time NC State won four consecutive ACC games in the same season was the 2013-14 season when the Pack won four consecutive home games from Jan. 20-to-Feb. 11, 2014.
– A win on Tuesday would also give the Pack its best record through 21 games since the 2018-19 team was 16-5.
– Graduate guard Jarkel Joiner is averaging 18 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game over the last five games. He is shooting 92.6 percent from the foul line (25-of-27) during this stretch.
– Ross Stepping Up: Sophomore forward Ernest Ross has scored 32 points in the last three games after only scoring 37 points in the first 17 games of the season. Ross set career-highs in points (17) and rebounds (9) in the win over Miami on Jan. 14. In the win over Georgia Tech last Tuesday, Ross set career-highs in assists (3) and steals (2). Against North Carolina on Saturday, Ross had seven points, four rebounds and one assist, steal and block. Overall in the last three games, Ross is averaging 10.3 points on 76.5 percent shooting (13-of-17), 5.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
– Pack needs to get back to winning the battle on the boards. The Pack has been a strong rebounding team this season, outrebounding its opponent in 14 of 20 games, but enters Tuesday after two tough outings on the boards. Last Tuesday, the Pack finished the game winning the rebounding battle against Georgia Tech, but NC State did allow the Yellow Jackets to grab 18 offensive rebounds, which were the most for an NC State opponent this season. On Saturday, North Carolina outrebounded NC State by 15. Prior to the game against the Tar Heels, the most NC State had been outrebounded this season was by five. The Pack is 14-1 this season when it outrebounds or ties its opponent in rebounding and just 1-4 if it is outrebounded. NC State ranks fourth in the ACC in rebounding margin at +2.8. The Pack’s opponent on Tuesday night, Notre Dame, ranks 15th in the ACC in rebounding margin at -4.25.
– Tuesday is a battle between the two teams in the ACC that shoot the most three-pointers. Notre Dame has shot 496 in 20 games this season, and the Pack has shot 493 in 20 games.
– Notre Dame enters the game Tuesday leading the ACC in three-pointers made per game with an average of 9.25 an outing. The Pack spent most of November, December and early January leading the ACC in three-pointers made per game, but NC State has made just 22 three-pointers in the last four games to fall to fourth in the ACC. NC State made double-digit three-pointers in eight of the first 16 games this season. The Pack has shot under 30 percent from long-range in four of its last six outings.
– NC State leads the ACC in turnover margin (+3.8), steals (8.6 per game) and forcing turnovers (14.3 per game). The Pack is 9-0 this season when it forces its opponent into 15 or more turnovers and 10-0 when it has at least 18 points off of opponent turnovers.
NC State – Notre Dame Series
– Tuesday will be the 19th all-time meeting between the two programs.
– Notre Dame leads the all-time series, 10-8, and has won three of the five meetings played at PNC Arena between the two programs.
– Last Season: Notre Dame swept the season series with NC State, defeating the Pack, 73-65, at Notre Dame on Jan. 26, and won in PNC Arena, 69-57, on Feb. 5. Smith was held to just four points in NC State’s loss at Notre Dame. In 52 career games, it’s the third-lowest scoring output of Smith’s career. Smith led all scorers with 19 points in the game 10 days later at PNC Arena.