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December 31, 2012
North Carolina State might not be a "sophisticated team offensively to guard," but that hasn't stopped it from leading the nation in shooting.
Facing a slumping UNC Greensboro team on Monday in Raleigh could help the 23rd-ranked Wolfpack continue their hot shooting and win seven straight for the first time in five seasons.
Taking the floor for the first time since a 92-73 win over St. Bonaventure on Dec. 22, North Carolina State (10-2) committed a season-low eight turnovers and hit 54.5 percent from the field in Saturday's 84-68 victory over Western Michigan.
The Wolfpack, who begin their ACC schedule Saturday at Boston College, have reached 80 points in each of their last five games and are shooting 53.5 percent for the season.
"The stuff they run is very basic, the high-post offense, and they just put their players in a position on the floor to be successful," said Western Michigan coach Steve Hawkins. "It's not like there's a lot of sophisticated misdirection or anything like that. So you can guard their basic stuff pretty easily, but then your work really begins because they get the ball into their best players' hands and they really go to work. They're all capable of doing damage when they need to."
The frontcourt trio of C.J. Leslie, senior Richard Howell and freshman T.J. Warren have combined for 52.7 percent of the Wolfpack's 497 points during the winning streak and 62.6 percent of their 211 rebounds.
Warren (68.9) and Howell (67.4) are both among the five best in the nation in terms of field-goal percentage, while Leslie is averaging a team-best 15.3 points after netting all 19 of his points in the final 23 minutes on Saturday.
He became the 46th player in program history to reach 1,000 points.
"He played pretty good," said coach Mark Gottfried, whose team last won seven in a row from Dec. 15, 2007-Jan. 9, 2008. "I don't want him to flip the switch. I want him to play that way all the time."
If Leslie and North Carolina State can play a full 40 minutes, it could be a rough New Year's Eve for the Spartans (2-8), whose opponents are averaging 85.3 points on 53.4 percent shooting during their three-game skid.
UNC Greensboro is coming off an 84-70 loss to Wake Forest on Dec. 22 that dropped it to 1-47 all-time against the ACC, including an 0-2 mark this season.
If the Spartans are going to improve their 0-4 road record and snap the Wolfpack's eight-game home winning streak, they'll likely need a big game from Southern Conference scoring leader Trevis Simpson, who is averaging 20.3 points after hitting 10 of 18 shots and scoring 25 against the Demon Deacons.
The Wolfpack are holding teams to 39.8 percent shooting during their winning streak.
North Carolina State is 7-0 in this series following its 89-67 home win on Dec. 31, 2009.
UNC Greensboro preview
NC State 2011-12 roster
NC State schedule/results
NC State season stats
UNC Greensboro roster
UNC Greensboro schedule/results
UNC Greensboro season stats
UNC Greensboro (2-8) at No. 23 NC State (10-2)
Game time: Monday, Dec. 31, 5 p.m. — PNC Arena in Raleigh
PG — 2 Lorenzo Brown (6-5, 186, Jr., 12.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 6.1 apg, 2.3 spg)
SG — 0 Rodney Purvis (6-3, 195, Fr., 9.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.9 apg)
SF — 15 Scott Wood (6-6, 169, Sr., 11.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.1 bpg)
PF — 5 C.J. Leslie (6-9, 200, Jr., 15.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.2 spg, 1.1 bpg)
C — 1 Richard Howell (6-8, 257, Sr., 13.5 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.0 spg, 1.0 bpg)
PG — 1 Drew Parker (6-1, 178, Jr., 5.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.7 apg)
SG — 11 Korey Van Dussen (6-1, 175, Sr., 7.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.1 spg)
SF — 15 Travis Simpson (6-4, 185, Jr., 20.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.5 apg)
PF — 0 David Williams (6-6, 205, Jr., 4.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.3 spg)
C — 24 Kelvin McNeil (6-8, 230, Sr., 6.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 0.7 apg)
Location: Greensboro, N.C.
2011-12 record: 13-19 overall, 10-8 SoCon
2012 postseason: None
Coach: Wes Miller, second year at UNCG and overall (13-18)
Series: NC State leads 7-0
Last meeting: NC State won 89-67 on Dec. 31, 2010, in Greensboro, N.C.
UNC Greensboro: Head coach Wes Miller took over the program Dec. 13, 2011, and went 11-11 overall and 10-8 in the Southern Conference from that point on for the 13-19 Spartans. The former UNC player got a five-year contract following the season Former Tar Heels players Jackie Manuel and J.B. Tanner, plus former Indiana power forward Mike Roberts and ex-Maryland point guard Duane Simpkins are part of the staff or support staff Junior wing Trevis Simpson scored 25 points, and senior wing sixth man Derrell Armstrong had 23 points and four three-pointers, for the Spartans in a 96-87 loss to Virginia Tech on Nov. 19. Armstrong had 25 points and shot 5 of 8 from three-point land in an 87-80 loss to Rutgers on Nov. 25 The 6-4, 185-pound Simpson averaged 18.3 points per game last year, and has upped it to 20.3 this season. He had a season-high 26 points against Winston-Salem State Nov. 12 and has scored at least 14 in every game. Simpson is shooting 35.7 percent from three-point land and has made at least three three-pointers in five games. He had 25 points on 10 of 18 shooting against Wake Forest on Dec. 22 Armstrong is right behind Simpson at 15.4 points per game and is shooting 38.1 percent from beyond the arc. The former juco transfer averaged 12.5 points and 4.4 rebounds last year, and tallied a career-high 30 points against College of Charleston. He had 16 points against Wake Forest Senior guard Korey Van Dussen and junior point guard Drew Parker start in the backcourt. Van Dussen is averaging 7.5 points and 3.1 assists per game, and he's shooting 33.3 percent from beyond the arc. The three-year starter had 18 points and shot 4 of 4 from three-point land at East Carolina on Nov. 16. Parker is averaging 5.6 points and 3.7 assists per game, and he scored a season-high 15 points against The Citadel on Dec. 1. Parker started as a sophomore and cracked double figures in four games Former Indiana commit David Williams, a junior power forward, and Kelvin McNeil, a fifth-year senior center, start in the post. The 6-8, 230-pound McNeil attended Delaware for four years, graduated and transferred to UNCG, and didn't have to sit out a year. He is averaging 6.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, and has a pair of double-doubles. The 6-6, 205-pound Williams is averaging 4.9 points and 4.2 rebounds per contest, and has scored eight points in a pair of games this season. He scored in double figures in five games last year and had a career-high 16 points against Florida State Nov. 14, 2010 Freshman power forward Kayel Locke has scored at least 10 points in five games, including 22 points and nine rebounds against North Carolina A&T on Nov. 28. The 6-5, 240-pounder is averaging 11 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, and is shooting 44.9 percent from the field.
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