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November 12, 2013

NC State facing early season road test

NC State gets an early season road test at Cincinnati tonight to find out just how good this year's talented but inexperienced squad can be.

NC State, which features three former McDonald's All-American's, and six players who were ranked in the Rivals150 coming out of high school. Another touted recruit, junior college transfer Desmond Lee, helped make a strong first impression with 24 points in NCSU's 98-77 win over Appalachian State last Friday.

Lee and LSU transfer Ralston Turner will have their hands full against Cincinnati scorer deluxe Sean Kilpatrick at 5 p.m. on ESPN. Kilpatrick scored 22 points in a 74-61 win over North Carolina Central last Friday.

"It will be difficult," said Lee about the road trip. "We got young guys and myself coming from junior college. I feel like if we stay together and stick to our principles, and do what we do best, we can pull out the win. That is the God knows truth."

Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin essentially built the Bearcats up from scratch following the fallout of former coach Bob Huggins and interim coach Andy Kennedy during 2005-2006 season. Cronin and UC have gone to three straight NCAA Tournaments. The Bearcats feature a strong collection of athletes and defenders, but are breaking in a new point guard.

"Cincinnati is a great team and has gone to the tournament the last couple of years," Lee said. "They are physical on defense and kind of tend to get up and down. It's a test for us and myself, plus the young guys. [Sophomores] T.J. Warren and Tyler Lewis are used to it."

Warren, Turner and Lewis, have played in front of rowdy road crowds in the past. Fifth Third Arena holds 13,176 fans.

"It's going to be very helpful," Lewis said. "We are going to up there and play our heart out. We feel we are going up there to win. They are always a scrappy team and will probably play fullcourt. I think you learn the most [vs. teams like that]."

Cincinnati preview

NC State 2013-14 roster

NC State schedule/results

NC State season stats

Cincinnati roster

Cincinnati schedule/results

Cincinnati season stats

Game facts

NC State (1-0) at Cincinnati (1-0)

Game time: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 5 p.m. — Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati

Television: ESPN

Probable starters

NC State
PG — 12 Tyler Lewis (5-11, 170, Soph. 15.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 6.0 apg, 1.0 spg)
SG — 5 Desmond Lee (6-4, 200, Jr., 24.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 2.spg)
SF — 22 Ralston Turner (6-5, 205, R-Jr., 7.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.0 apg)
PF — 24 T.J. Warren (6-8, 215, Soph., 27.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, 3.0 spg, 1.0 bpg)
C — 32 Kyle Washington (6-9, 225, Fr., 0.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg)

PG — 14 Ge'Lawn Guyn (6-2, 185, Jr., 6.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 3.0 apg)
SG — 23 Sean Kilpatrick (6-4, 210, R-Sr., 22.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 4.0 apg, 3.0 spg)
SF — 3 Shaquille Thomas (6-7, 205, R-Soph., 2.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg)
PF — 2 Titus Rubles (6-7, 220, Sr., 13.0 rpg, 8.0 rpg, 3.0 spg, 1.0 bpg)
C — 5 Justin Jackson (6-8, 230, Sr., 8.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.0 bpg)


Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Nickname: Bearcats

2012-13 record: 22-12, 8-9 Big East

2013 postseason: Lost 67-63 to Creighton in first game of NCAA Tournament

Coach: Mick Cronin eighth season at Cincinnati (136-100), and 11th season overall (205-124)

Series: NC State leads 6-1

Last meeting: NC State won 85-77 on Dec. 23, 2007, in Raleigh.


Cincinnati: Cincinnati has gone 53-9 in nonconference home games during the Mick Cronin coaching era, including winning 40 out of the last 44 … Cincinnati was picked fourth in the new American Athletic Conference preseason coaches' poll, and senior wing Sean Kilpatrick was named preseason first-team All-American Athletic Conference … Kilpatrick averaged 17.0 points and 5.2 rebounds per game and shot 30.7 percent from three-point range last year. He had 36 points in a 71-69 win over Marquette, and 32 in a 78-70 victory over Iowa State last year. He also went 8 of 12 from three-point range en route to 29 against North Carolina A&T … Senior center Justin Jackson, who NC State recruited out of high school, averaged 3.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game last year. He is joined by senior power forward Ttus Rubles averaged 5.9 points and 5.9 rebounds a game last year … Two juniors give Cincinnati different looks on the wing. Starter Shaquille Thomas is athletic and averaged 3.0 points and 2.2 rebounds per game last year. Long-range shooter Jermaine Saunders had 13 points off the bench against North Carolina Central. He averaged 3.1 points per game last year, and shot 27.1 percent from three-point range … Ge'Lawn Guyn is in his first year starting at point guard, and averaged 2.4 points and shot 28.9 percent from three-point land last year … Backup centers David Nyarsuk and Jamaree Strickland have some prep ties to North Carolina. The 7-1, 250-pound Nyarsuk, a senior, played at Lenoir (N.C.) Patterson School and with the Charlotte Royals traveling team. Strickland, a freshman from Oakland, Calif., attended Queen City Prep in Charlotte … Freshman guard Troy Caupain of Midlothian (Va.) Cosby High played for Team Loaded traveling team, which is the same program that produced NC State sophomore point guard Tyler Lewis, and NCSU prep senior verbal commits Caleb Martin and Cody Martin of Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va. … Freshman power forward Jermaine Lawrence was ranked the No. 26 overall player in the class of 2013. He had six points and two boards in 17 minutes against North Carolina Central … Former NC State forward target Gary Clark of Clayton (N.C.) High verbally committed to the Bearcats.

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