NC STATE WOLFPACK vs. GEORGIA STATE PANTHERS
Location: RBC Center, Raleigh, NC
TV: None (Pack Pass, Gopack.com)
Basketball season is finally upon us. The Wolfpack play host to the Georgia State Panthers tonight at 7:00pm at the RBC Center, in their 100th season. Tonights game is the first game of the Glenn Wilkes Classic, which will continue with three games in three days in Daytona Beach next week.
The Pack open the year riding a 15 game winning streak of season openers, and have done so by a respectable 21 point margin of victory. This, however, will be the first time that the Wolfpack has faced the Georgia State Panthers. They narrowly defeated Shorter College in their only exhibition game, 72-68. While you may not be very familiar with Georgia State, you certainly should be familiar with their point guard Marques Johnson. Johnson played with the Wolfpack during the '07-'08 season before deciding to transfer to Georgia State. This will be his first game with the Panthers, and strangely it will be against his former ball club. Johnson played 21 games with the Wolfpack, in which he averaged 2 points and 1.2 assists per game.
The Wolfpack will take the floor tonight coming off an impressive performance against an over matched opponent in St. Paul's College in last Thursday's exhibition. NC State dominated in all aspects of the game, with a solid inside performance from Tracy Smith and the long range sharp shooting of freshman Scott Wood. The Wolfpack ran up an impressive 84 points. On defense, they worked hard, racking up the deflections and playing textbook help-and-recover defense all night long. Tonight, the Pack will face a bigger, faster and more experienced opponent in Georgia State.
The Panthers are led by 6'1 senior guard, Joe Dukes, who also has his own ACC connections, transferring to Georgia State from Wake Forest. They are an experienced group, who will rely on the backcourt trio of Dukes, senior guard Trae Goldston and Johnson for a majority of their scoring. It will be up to the Wolfpack guards to make sure that doesn't happen. Javi Gonzalez, Farnold Degand, CJ Williams and Julius Mays will all need to step up and shut down the dribble penetration if they want to run away with the victory.
A lot of new faces will see their first regular season game action tonight as the Pack will introduce a few freshman that are looking to make immediate impacts. Scott Wood, DeShawn Painter, Jordan Vandenberg and Josh Davis are on tap to see the floor and get their first taste of playing in front of the home crowd at the RBC Center.
It's hard to say what you can expect form this young Wolfpack team, but if the exhibition game was any indication, you can certainly expect them to play hard, play smart and play uptempo. Three things the Wolfpack faithful are certainly looking forward to.