Wolfpack Tipoff: Game 29, Pittsburgh

Brett Friedlander

NC State (17-11, 8-9 ACC) vs. Pittsburgh (15-14, 6-12)

PNC Arena (19,772)

Noon., ACC Network (PxP: Wes Durham; Analyst: Malcolm Huckaby)

Streaming: ACC Network Extra; Satellite radio: Sirius XM 193; Live stats: GoPack.com

Series history: State leads 17-2 (State leads 7-1 in Raleigh)

Last meeting: State won 79-76 at Peterson Events Center, Feb. 9, 2019

Most recent game: State lost to UNC 85-79; Pitt lost to Syracuse 72-49

BetOnline line: State minus-8 | Over/Under 136

PROJECTED STARTERS

NC State stats | Pitt stats

NC STATE
Stats
PITT
Stats

Markell Johnson

6-1  Senior

13.3 ppg  6.5 apg

Xavier Johnson

6-3  Sophomore

11.7 ppg  5.1 apg

Devon Daniels

6-5  Redshirt Junior

12.7 ppg  5.2 rpg

Trey McGowens  

6-4 Sophomore

11.8 ppg  3.6 apg

C.J. Bryce

6-5  Redshirt Senior

13.3 ppg  6.2 rpg

Justin Champagnie

6-6  Freshman

12.3 ppg  7.4 rpg

D.J. Funderburk

6-10 Junior

12.7 ppg  6.0 rpg

Toney Au'Diese

6-6  Sophomore

9.1 ppg  5.0 rpg

Manny Bates

6-11 Redshirt Freshman

5.0 ppg  2.9 bpg

Terrell Brown

6-10  Junior

5.4 ppg  3.8 rpg

THEY SAID IT

"I play for the guys that's in that locker room. Those are the guys who compete. I play for NC State. If anybody doesn’t like it, that’s their problem. We'll figure that out. We compete for us. Unfortunately we lost the game tonight. It’s not going to define us. We’ve got plenty of basketball to go. I like where my team is right now. We’ll bounce back, we'll move on. But in that situation, with your question, I don’t know how to answer that any other way than that we have a team that’s fighting and we lost the game. That's it." Coach Kevin Keatts

"There has to be self-motivation. That has to be part of it and obviously we didn't have it (against Syracuse on Wednesday). ... We have to be better across the board and we will be." Pitt coach Jeff Capel

"We’ve got three games left. We’re just going to try to go out and win all three." Senior point guard Markell Johnson after Tuesday's loss to UNC

NOTEABLE

State swept both meetings last season and won eight straight against Pitt. But it hasn't been easy. The Wolfpack's margin of victory in its four most recent games against the Panthers have been by six points or fewer. ...

In four career games against Pitt, senior guard Markell Johnson has 30 assists and just 4 turnovers  for a 7.5 assist-to-turnover ratio in 107 minutes of action. ...

At 6.52 assists per game, Johnson leads the ACC. He previously led the ACC in assists his sophomore season and would become the first ACC player since North Carolina’s Kendall Marshall in 2011-12) to lead the league in assists in multiple seasons. The Wolfpack is 9-4 this season when Johnson passes out seven or more assists and 8-7 when he records six or fewer or doesn’t play.. Johnson has 176 assists on the season and is 21 shy of breaking into the program’s single season top-10 list. ...

Forward D.J. Funderburk is averaging 16.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game over the last three games. In ACC games, the 6-10 junior is averaging 13.2 points per game on 55.9% shooting and is leading the team with a 6.8 rebounds per game average. ...

In the last meeting, Pitt scored 28 fastbreak points against the Wolfpack. It’s the most fastbreak points an opposing team has ever scored against State in the Kevin Keatts era ...

Redshirt freshman forward Manny Bates leads the ACC and ranks sixth nationally with an average of 2.92 blocks per game. If the 6-11 center finishes the season in the league leader, it would mark only the second time since 1977 that a State player led the conference in blocks. Beejay Anya, at 2.5 per game, was the first to do it. Bates broke the School record for most blocked shots by a freshman in just 15 games. ...

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