The NC State Wolfpack will look to return to the win column as they face inter-state foe Davidson Thursday in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). Tipoff is slated for 7 PM from The Super Pit in Denton, Texas, and can be seen nationally on ESPN.
NC State enters the contest at 13-10 overall after falling to Syracuse for the third time this season, 89-68 in the 2021 ACC Tournament. Before the defeat, the Wolfpack had won five straight contests
Forward Cole Hellems leads the offensive charge at 12.8 points per game, followed by fellow forward DJ Funderburk at 12.2 points per game while also collecting 5.4 rebounds per outing. Fellow post player Manny Bates mans the boards grabbing 5.8 rebounds per game, while guarding the rim with 2.8 blocks per game and chipping in 9.5 points a game.
Davidson heads to Texas with a 13-8 record after dropping a 64-52 decision to VCU in the A-10 Tournament. The Wildcats are 3-3 in their last six games with two of those losses coming from the hands of league champion St. Bonaventure.
The Wildcats have four players that average double-figure scoring. Leading the way is Kellan Grady at 17 points per game followed by Hyunjung Lee at 13.5 points per game with Carter Collins and Luka Brajkovic adding 11.2 and 10.7 respectively. Brajkovic leads Davidson in rebounds averaging just over six per game.
- The Pack is making its 13th NIT appearance. NC State has an all-time record of 18-13 in the NIT. It made its last appearance in the NIT in 2019. The Pack won its first and second round contests before falling to Lipscomb, 94-93, in the quarterfinals.
- Thursday marks the 84th all-time meeting between the two programs.
- NC State leads the all-time series, 69-14, but a majority of those games were played prior to 1953. In the Pack’s ACC era (1953-present), NC State leads the series, 16-2.
- Davidson won the most recent match-up between the programs, defeating NC State, 72-67, on Dec. 6, 2008. Steph Curry scored 44 points for the Wildcats.
- The Pack’s freshmen trio of Cam Hayes, Shakeel Moore and Dereon Seabron are taking advantage of their increased opportunities. The trio led the Pack in the win over the Fighting Irish on March 3. They combined for 45 points on 18-of-29 (62.1%) shooting, 19 rebounds, eight assists and four steals. Seabron was named ACC Freshman of the Week for his efforts as he posted season-highs in points (17) and rebounds (13) for his first career double-double. Hayes added a season-high 20 points.
- Over the last two games, Dereon Seabron is averaging 14 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per game.
- Force at least 15 turnovers. When NC State forces an opponent into 15 or more turnovers this season the Pack is 10-1. When its opponent has less than 15 turnovers, NC State is 3-9. In the Pack’s 13 wins this season, opponents are averaging 17.5 turnovers per game. In its 10 losses, NC State’s opponents average just 12.4 turnovers. Davidson ranks 19th in the NCAA in turnovers per game, averaging to commit just 10.8 per game.
- When the Pack’s defense is stealing the ball and converting it into points NC State is tough to beat. The Pack is 10-0 when it scores 19 or more points off opponent turnovers this season, but just 3-10 when it scores 18 points or less off opponent turnovers.
- Shooting percentage tells the story. In the Pack’s 13 wins this season, NC State is combining to shoot 50.3% from the field and hold its opponents to 41.1% shooting. In its 10 losses, the numbers are nearly reversed. The Pack is shooting 42.2% when it loses and its opponents are shooting 50.7%.
- Davidson is shooting 47.3% from the field this season, 39th in the NCAA and is averaging to hit 10 three-pointers per game this season which 15th in the NCAA. In its last outing, NC State gave up a season-high 14 three-pointers to Syracuse and allowed the Orange to shoot 56.7% from the field, In the five game win streak prior to the Syracuse game, NC State’s defense was limiting opponents to just a 39.5% field goal percentage, including 30.5% shooting from three-point range.