Game time: 2 p.m., Saturday.
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh.
Spread: Wake Forest opened as a 1-point favorite.
Series: N.C. State leads, 141-103, N.C. State won two of the three meetings last season.
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1) Learn from your mistakes
Mistakes are a good way to learn. Freshman forward Omer Yurtseven figured out pretty quickly that you can’t go soft to the rim. Freshman guard Dennis Smith Jr. made two key mistakes at the end of Tuesday’s 79-74 win over Pittsburgh.
He fouled with a five-point lead with 6.9 seconds left and then had a turnover on the inbounds pass after Pitt’s Jamel Artis made both of his free throws to make it a one possession game.
N.C. State avoided disaster but Smith knew he made a mistake. He apologized to N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried before practice on Friday.
“(Smith) beat me to it, to be honest,” Gottfried said. “He knew. Hopefully that’s a situation where you can make some errors and it doesn’t cost your team a game then you come back and be in that situation again and won’t do the same things.”
2) Foul trouble
Abdul-Malik Abu blinked on Tuesday and he had two fouls. The junior big man had three by the 8:33 mark in the first half. Yurtseven has also been prone to foul trouble this season.
The Demon Deacons are familiar with such issues. Collins fouled against Florida State with 9:06 left in the game. The Deacs were up 63-59 at the time. They lost 88-72. Sophomore guard Bryant Crawford has also had issues with foul trouble. His matchup with Smith will be one to watch. N.C. State was sunk when Smith picked up two early fouls at North Carolina on Jan. 8.
Collins, who had 27 points and seven rebounds in Wednesday’s 96-79 win over Miami has impressed Gottfried this season.
“Collins has really become a really good player in our league,” Gottfried said. “He has really developed well.”
3) Road worriers
Make Wake Forest think about its pathetic history on the road both in recent ACC play and specifically at PNC Arena. The Deacs are winless in ACC play under third-year coach Danny Manning (0-20) and have lost 25 straight. Since the start of the 2009-10 season, the Deacs are 4-58 in ACC road games. Their last win was at Virginia Tech on Jan. 22, 2014.
Wake hasn’t won in Raleigh since 2005 and has lost 11 straight at PNC.
▪ Scouting Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons trounced Miami, 96-79 on Wednesday in Winston-Salem. A pair of transfers, sophomore guard Keyshawn Woods (Charlotte) and senior wing Austin Arians (Wisconsin-Milwaukee) have given the Deacs some punch on the perimeter this season. Sophomore point guard Bryant Crawford continues to be one of the most productive and underrated players in the league.
Projected starting lineups
Wake Forest (11-7, 2-4 ACC)
G Bryant Crawford 14.7 ppg, 5.9 apg
G Keyshawn Woods 13.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg
G Austin Arians 8.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg
F Dinos Mitoglou 10.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg
F John Collins 16.4 ppg, 8.8 rpg
NC State (13-6, 2-4 ACC)
G Dennis Smith Jr. 19.1 ppg, 6.2 apg
G Terry Henderson 15.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg
G Maverick Rowan 11.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg
F Abdul-Malik Abu 10.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg
F Omer Yurtseven 7.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg