Fans are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys to the game for Toys For Tots
|NC State (0-0) vs. UNC Pembroke (0-0)|
|Date||Wednesday, Oct. 30|
|Radio||Wolfpack Sports Network (Gary Hahn, Tony Haynes)|
|Game Notes||NC State | UNCP (None)|
|12-13 Statistics||NC State | UNCP|
|Social Media||@PackMensBball | Facebook|
|Promotion||Bring new toy for Toys For Tots|
Raleigh, NC October 29, 2013 – Basketball season gets underway at NC State as head coach Mark Gottfried takes his young team into an exhibition against UNC Pembroke at Reynolds Coliseum Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m.
Admission to the first of NC State’s two exhibition contests is free. Fans are encouraged to bring a new and unwrapped toy to the game for Toys For Tots. Each entry point at Reynolds will have a Toys For Tots volunteer and a bin to collect the donations.
Gottfried’s third NC State team returns one starter, sophomore forward T.J. Warren. The 6-8 Durham, N.C., native has shed 20 pounds in the offseason and is primed for a breakout season as the team’s main offensive option. Warren averaged 12.1 points per game as a freshman last season, third among freshmen in the ACC. He posted a .622 field goal percentage, which was the best mark in the conference and the second-best in NC State history (Kevin Thompson, .624).
Also returning are sophomore guard Tyler Lewis and fifth-year senior center Jordan Vandenberg. Lewis averaged 3.5 points and 12.4 minutes per game last season, and had his best moments when former Pack star Lorenzo Brown was injured. Lewis scored 16 points against 14th-ranked Miami and 13 points at No. 4 Duke while filling in for Brown. Vandenberg trimmed approximately 40 pounds off his 7-1 frame in order to best maximize his final college season.
Impact transfers Ralston Turner (LSU) and Desmond Lee (New Mexico Junior College) add shooting and scoring punch. Turner started 58 games during his two seasons in Baton Rouge, and Lee was one of the top-rated JuCo guards in the country last season.
NC State’s 2013-14 roster also features young post players Kyle Washington, BeeJay Anya and Lennard Freeman. Washington is a 6-9 lefty out of Brewster Academy, the same New Hampshire school Warren attended. Anya, a strong 6-9 player with a massive 7-9 wingspan, comes to NC State after an impressive career at DeMatha Catholic. Freeman is a 6-8 power forward who came to NCSU from Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, the same school Lewis attended.
THE STARTING 5 – The Game’s Top 5 Storylines
1. A Brand New Team
Much has been said and written about the youth and inexperience of the 2013-14 Wolfpack. The roster returns just one starter from last year’s 24-11 team, and the current roster returns just 20 career starts at NC State. NCSU has just one senior, 7-1 center Jordan Vandenberg, and nine freshmen and sophomores (six freshmen and three sophomores). Of the 15 teams in the ACC, only Miami has less experience returning this season.
Sophomore forward T.J. Warren is NC State’s top returning player. The 6-8 Warren garnered 2013 ACC All-Freshmen Team honors from both coaches and media last season after averaging 12.1 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Warren posted 24 outings with at least 10 points and his .622 field goal percentage led the ACC and was second all-time in NC State history. He was at his best last season against Florida State in February, totaling 31 points and 13 rebounds in an 84-66 Wolfpack victory. He also scored 19 points in NC State’s win over North Carolina.
3. Weight Watchers
Several NC State players changed their bodies this offseason in hopes of improving their game. T.J. Warren lost 20 pounds and is faster and has more stamina. He says he is playing the best basketball of his life. Conversely, Tyler Lewis was charged with adding bulk to his 5-11 frame. He gained 15 pounds of muscle. Jordan Vandenberg also trimmed down, cutting 40 pounds to prime himself for a successful senior season.
4. Administrative Connection
There aren’t many connections between NC State and UNC Pembroke. One connection comes off the court, as UNCP’s athletics director, Dick Christy, is a former NC State administrator. Christy spent 13 years on staff in Raleigh before taking over the department at UNCP this past spring.
5. Back-to-Back NCAAs
Mark Gottfried coached NC State into the NCAA Tournament in each of his first two seasons, becoming the first Pack coach and just the third in ACC history to achieve that feat. It also marked the first time NC State has been to the tourney twice in a row since 2005 and 2006.
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