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May 8, 2013

NC State to host Northwestern in Challenge



The NC State men's basketball team will host Northwestern and its new coach Chris Collins on Dec. 4 at PNC Arena in Raleigh. The game time and TV network will be announced in the future.

NC State went 24-11 overall and 11-7 in the ACC, finishing fifth in the league last year. The Wolfpack return potential star rising sophomore small forward T.J. Warren, but will have four new starters around him.

NCSU has three former McDonald's All-American's - Warren and point guards Tyler Lewis, a sophomore, and freshman Anthony Barber - and five top 100 prep recruits, plus LSU transfer Ralston Turner, a redshirt junior, and No. 29-ranked junior college transfer Desmond Lee to fill out the rotation.

NC State has gone 5-8 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, including 4-2 at home.

"Obviously, we are very excited to play in the challenge, it is one of the marquee early season events each and every year," NC State coach Mark Gottfried said. "With a new coach, Northwestern will be very different from last year's team. We will be very different ourselves, a young and inexperienced squad. This contest will be another difficult challenge on our non-conference schedule."

Northwestern finished 13-19 overall and 4-14 in the Big Ten during an injury-riddled campaign. The Wildcats elected to fire coach Bill Carmody after 13 years, and hired Collins, a former Duke assistant coach.
Collins was a former McDonald's All-American coming out of Northbrook (Ill.) Glenbrook North High in 1992, and left the region to attend Duke. Collins is the son of former NBA player and NBA head coach Doug Collins, who coached the Philadelphia 76ers this past season.

Chris Collins spent two years at Seton Hall before making the move to being a Duke assistant coach from 2000-2013.

Northwestern is a little over 10 miles from Glenbrook North High in the north Chicago suburbs. He'll try to do something no coach has ever achieved at Northwestern - take the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament.

The Wildcats lost seniors Reggie Hearn, Jared Swopshire and Alex Marcotullio.

Junior point guard Dave Sobolewski is the top returning scorer for Northwestern that played the entire season, averaging 9.8 points and 4.0 assists per game, while shooting 34.3 percent from three-point land.

Northwestern also welcomes back the return of fifth-year senior shooting guard Drew Crawford, who played 10 games last year before suffering a season-ending torn right labrum. Crawford pondered about transferring to a new college after earning his degree, but elected to remain at Northwestern.

Crawford averaged 16.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, while shooting 41.2 percent from three-point land in 2011-2012, and earned third-team All-Big Ten. He also was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year after averaging 10.0 points per contest in 2009-2010. Crawford scored a career-high 35 points after going 8 of 13 from three-point land his freshman year in a 90-65 win over North Carolina A&T Dec. 13, 2009, and had 34 points in a 87-79 loss at Creighton Dec. 22, 2011.

Sophomore center Alex Olah started all but two contests, and averaged 6.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game last year. Recruiting classmates Kale Abrahamson (17 starts), a small forward, and shooting guard Tre Demps (nine starts), played in all 32 games.

Former starter JerShon Cobb, a shooting guard, also returns after missing last year due to academics. He averaged 7.1 points per game and shot 31.1 percent from three-point land his sophomore season in 2011-2012.

Northwestern has gone 6-8 in the Challenge, including 2-5 on the road. The Wildcats defeated the Wolfpack 65-53 in Raleigh as part of the Challenge Dec. 1, 2009.

2013 Big Ten/ACC Challenge schedule


Tuesday, Dec. 3

Indiana at Syracuse
Michigan at Duke
Notre Dame at Iowa
Florida State at Minnesota
Penn State at Pittsburgh
Illinois at Georgia Tech

Wednesday, Dec. 4

Northwestern at NC State
North Carolina at Michigan State
Maryland at Ohio State
Miami at Nebraska
Wisconsin at Virginia
Boston College at Purdue


N.C. State NEWS

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