Gottfried's goal is Wolfpack playing in April

jgiglio@newsobserver.comOctober 13, 2012 

— Mark Gottfried spent his first 18 months on the job trying to mute expectations for N.C. State's basketball program.

The brakes the second-year coach usually pumps fell right off the bandwagon Friday night at "Primetime with the Pack."

Gottfried made a grand entrance into the Wolfpack's not-quite Midnight Madness when he zip-lined down from the second level of the PNC Arena to court with the theme from "Superman" playing in the background.

Gottfried landed safely on the court and addressed the crowd of 10,257.

"Our goal is real simple, we're going to work extremely hard every day because we want to play on Monday night in April," Gottfried said. "That's the goal."

There's only one game scheduled in the NCAA tournament on a Monday night and that's the championship game.

The Wolfpack reached the Sweet 16 last season, Gottfried's first in Raleigh. With four starters back from a 24-win team, and three new McDonald's All-Americans, expectations are clearly through the roof for the Wolfpack this season.

The Red team, led by guard Lorenzo Brown and forward C.J. Leslie, officially won the Red-White scrimmage, 42-35.

Brown, the junior point guard, showed no ill affects from minro offseason knee surgery. He threw three alley-oops, one to Rodney Purvis and another to Leslie, and caught and dunked two of his own. Brown finished with 14 points and six assists. Leslie led all scorers with 16 points.

Leslie played with more aggression, Brown said, a trait he expects to see more out of the star forward this season.

"He's going to be a lot better this year," Brown said. "People better watch out for him."

Senior guard Scott Wood, who won the 3-point contest before the scrimmage, fittingly opened the game with a 3-pointer but the White team couldn't keep up with Brown or Leslie.

Sophomore forward Thomas de Thaey, who will be given an opportunity to play more minutes off the bench, led the White team with 10 points and made two 3-pointers. Freshman forward T.J. Warren also scored 10 points and showed an efficiency in doing so, making four of his five shots.

Purvis, who has already been through in ordeal with the NCAA to be cleared academically, showed some athleticism and an ability to get to the basket. Purvis scored seven points and had two assists.

Freshman point guard Tyler Lewis got a bad draw, playing on the White team, so he had to defend Brown and he didn't have the ability to set up Leslie or Purvis. Lewis finished with six points and three assists.

The scrimmage was cut short 3 and a half minutes short when Wood's grandfather was taken off the court on a stretcher. Wood left the game, and the court, in tears with his father but the grandfather's condition wasn't serious, an N.C. State spokesman said.

Wood's grandfather was sitting courtside during the game and fainted after a dizzy spell. He was taken to the hospital as a precaution, according to a spokesman.

Giglio: 919-829-8938

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