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November 8, 2013

New-look Wolfpack hosts Appalachian State

NC State sophomore point guard Tyler Lewis is excited about the start of the basketball season, and to get the chance to play against Appalachian State at 7 p.m. tonight at PNC Arena.

Lewis' ties to Appalachian State are through his father and former traveling team coach Rick Lewis, who graduated from the school known as "being up in the mountains" in Boone, N.C.

"I really don't want to lose because my dad went there," Lewis said. "That is alma mater, so I'm going to do everything that is possible and play as hard as possible to not lose to them.

"I remember when we were little, we'd go up to Boone, N.C., a lot. I know he'll be wearing red Friday though."

Lewis also knows several of the Mountaineers' players, whether playing high school ball against them, traveling team basketball or in the Dave Telep Carolina Challenge.

Lewis and Appalachian State junior point guard Michael Neal have a long history of competing against each other. Neal played at Northern Guilford High in Greensboro, N.C., and then finished out at Oak Ridge (N.C.) Military Academy.

"He is someone who is really fast and crafty with the ball, and I've known him since I was 11 years old," Lewis said. "I played against him in AAU and had some battles with him. I know it's going to be a fun game out there, and he will play really hard. I will also be playing hard."

Lewis and star sophomore power forward T.J. Warren are the lone returning familiar faces to NC State fans. Warren is sliding over to power forward in light of 7-foot-1 fifth-year senior center Jordan Vandenberg's ankle injury, which will knock him out for several early-season games.

"We just need to show our identity and show the fans who we are as a team, and what we will be this year," Lewis said. "I want to show them that we will play hard every day, day-in and day-out.

"I think this will be a fun team to watch. We'll always give 100 percent effort. We won't back down from anybody."

Lewis and fellow point guard Anthony Barber, a freshman from Hampton (Va.) High, will be pushing the tempo against Appalachian State.

"Tempo is going to be really big, especially without Jordan," Lewis said. "We know we have to get out in transition and score."

Lewis knows opposing teams won't be able to handle the slimmer 6-8, 215-pound Warren in the open court.

"He's a crazy matchup problem and I don't see a power forward able to stop him," Lewis said. "The way he shoots the ball from the perimeter and attacks the glass, he scores in a variety of ways."

Appalachian State preview

NC State 2013-14 roster

NC State schedule/results

NC State season stats

Appalachian State roster

Appalachian State schedule/results

Appalachian State season stats

Game facts

Appalachian State (0-0) at NC State (0-0)

Game time: Friday, Nov. 8, 7 p.m. — PNC Arena in Raleigh

Television: ESPN3

Probable starters

NC State
PG — 12 Tyler Lewis (5-11, 170, Soph. 3.6 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 1.5 apg)
SG — 5 Desmond Lee (6-4, 200, Jr.)
SF — 22 Ralston Turner (6-5, 205, R-Jr.)
PF — 24 T.J. Warren (6-8, 215, Soph., 12.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 0.7 apg, 1.1 spg)
C — 32 Kyle Washington (6-9, 225, Fr.)

Appalachian State
PG — 23 Michael Neal (6-2, 185, Jr., 8.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.1 spg)
SG — 2 Tabarris Hamilton (6-3, 180, Jr., 9.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.1 apg)
SF — 1 Tevin Baskin (6-6, 210, Sr., 10.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 0.3 apg, 1.0 bpg)
PF — 15 Tommy Spagnolo (6-7, 2103, Sr., 0.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 0.3 apg)
C — 4 Michael Obacha (6-8, 215, Soph., 5.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 0.4 apg

Appalachian State

Location: Boone, N.C.

Nickname: Mountaineers

2012-13 record: 15-16, 10-8 SoCon

2013 postseason: None

Coach: Jason Capel, 4th season (44-49)

Series: NC State leads 10-1


Appalachian State: The Mountaineers are missing a key returning starter in small forward Jay Canty of Ragsdale, N.C. The junior is academically ineligible for the first semester. Canty averaged 14.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game last year, his first season at Appalachian State after transferring in from Xavier … Canty is one of four former Oak Ridge (N.C.) Military Academy players. Canty, junior point guard Michael Neal, sophomore center Mike Obacha and junior power forward Jacob Lawson all played together in high school. Lawson is sitting out this season after transferring from Purdue … Neal had a season-high 19 points against North Carolina Greensboro last year, and reached double digits in nine games … Junior shooting guard Tab Hamilton is Appalachian State's top three-point shooter. He made at least three three-pointers in seven games and shot 36.7 percent from beyond the arc … Baskin originally attended Quinnipiac and then junior college before arriving at Appalachian State. The athletic Baskin reached double figures in 16 games, and two double-doubles for points and rebounds … Freshman center Mike Kobani of High Point (N.C.) Christian, who was in the Rivals150 when he was younger, could provide low scoring off the bench … Appalachian State coaches are quite familiar with the state of North Carolina and the Triangle. Head coach Jason Capel played at North Carolina, and assistant coach Justin Gainey played for NC State. Assistant coach Bobby Kummer played for Charlotte and was part of the 49ers staff with NCSU assistant coaches Bobby Lutz and Rob Moxley, when Lutz was the head coach in the Queen City. Assistant coach Kellen Sampson is the son of former Washington State, Oklahoma and Indiana head coach Kelvin Sampson, who was from Robeson County in N.C., and attended what is now UNC Pembroke.

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