Primetime with the Pack: New players, new expectations

jgiglio@newsobserver.comOctober 18, 2013 

— N.C. State kicked off “Primetime with the Pack” on Friday night with an introduction of every player on the roster.

Given the number of new faces in the program, that was a smart place to start.

Third-year coach Mark Gottfried promised the crowd at PNC Arena the group might be unknown now but it will work hard to change that.

“You’ve got a young team, an inexperienced team, but a you’ve got a team that’s going to play hard for you every night,” Gottfried said.

Sophomore point guard Tyler Lewis led the White team to a 39-38 win over the Red with 16 points and five assists. Lewis scored the final seven points for the White team.

The Wolfpack has to replace five of its top six scorers from last year’s 24-11 team. The familiar names of C.J. Leslie, Lorenzo Brown, Scott Wood and Richard Howell are gone, and with them, 78.9 percent of the offense.

Sophomore forward T.J. Warren is the only returning player who started more than two games last season and averaged more than 13 minutes a game.

The roster turnover, with four freshmen and two transfers coming in, was met with a collective shrug from the ACC media, which picked the Wolfpack to finish 10th on Wednesday at the annual media gathering in Charlotte.

“They’re excited to prove people wrong,” Gottfried said.

Friday’s event included the usual hijinks of not-quite-midnight madness, but N.C. State also used the night to honor the military. During the player introductions, the players wore Army fatigues.

Soldiers from Fort Bragg participated in the 3-point shooting contest, which for the first time was won by someone other than Scott Wood (walk-on Patrick Wallace took those honors). There was also a chin-up challenge with the Marine Corps.

Gottfried also paid off a promise from his first season when he was supposed to parachute out of an airplane. Footage was shown of Gottfried’s jump and he entered the arena in a Hummer and wore full fatigues for the game.

Warren led the Red team with 13 points and junior guard Des Lee added nine points, including a 3-pointer with 22.6 seconds left to tie the score at 37.

Lewis made two free throws with 19 seconds left to push the White team back in front. Lee had another 3-pointer go in and out with 8.4 seconds left.

Freshman forward Kyle Washington (seven rebounds) impressed early with two blocked shots on the same possession, which led to a transition basket for the White team.

Lewis had four assists on the White team’s first six field goals, including a no-look over-the-shoulder feed to senior forward Jordan Vandenberg (12 points, seven rebounds) for a dunk.

Warren asserted himself with four straight baskets and eight of the Red team’s first 10 points.

Warren, who averaged 12.1 points as a freshman last season, is expected to be the focus of the offense this season.

Lewis and freshman point guard Cat Barber (eight points) had a game going within the game. Lewis hit two straight runners to give the White team a 23-21 lead.

Lewis’ 3-pointer over at 4:22 tied the game at 28. Barber, a McDonald’s All-American from Hampton, Va., answered with a 3 in front of Lewis.

Lewis got the last word with a three-point play, after a foul by Barber, and his free throws with 19 seconds left came after a foul by Barber.

Giglio: 919-829-8938

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service