N.C. State opens the regular season at home with a Sun Belt foe at PNC Arena, three things to know:
1. Avoiding a William & Mary repeat
N.C. State opened last season with an 85-68 home loss to William & Mary, its first in an opener since the 1993-94 season. That was a bad sign of things to come for a team that finished the season 16-17. Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried usually isn’t one to stroll down memory lane but the loss to the Tribe was specifically mentioned to his team this week.
“It’s on now, we’re not the type of team that can overlook anybody,” Gottfried said.
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2. Experienced foe
The Eagles return all five starters from a team that went 14-17 overall and 10-10 in Sun Belt games. Sophomore guard Tookie Brown led the Eagles with 17.8 points and 3.4 assists per game. He had 20 points, and made four 3s, in a 99-65 loss at Duke last season.
3. Dennis Smith Jr.’s debut
Freshman point guard Dennis Smith Jr. gets to play in his first real game since his junior year at Trinity Christian in Fayetteville in 2015. A year off with a major knee injury hasn’t slowed the hype for Smith, who led the Wolfpack in scoring in both preseason games.
Georgia Southern at N.C. State
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh
TV: ACC Network Extra