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Rivalry aside, NC State just wants the win

Posted January 25, 2013
Updated January 26, 2013

Although a rivalry game often provides a great chance to earn some bragging rights, there is more than that at stake for North Carolina State Saturday when they welcome North Carolina to PNC Arena. 

Wolfpack players aren't focused on NC State's 13-game losing streak against North Carolina or the rivalry between the two Tobacco Road schools. Saturday is simply about getting a win.

"I'm not really focused on what they're best at or what they've done in the past," said NC State forward CJ Leslie. "I'm focused on the team they are right now." North Carolina vs. N.C. State Logo Inside the Rivalry: NCSU vs. UNC Basketball

"Especially after the loss to Wake Forest, it's a big game for us," said Wolfpack guard Lorenzo Brown. "It's all about guys wanting to win just as much as I do," 

After blowing a 16-point lead in a two-point loss to Wake Forest, the team hit practice hard, attacking their areas of weakness - winning on the boards and not allowing as many second chance points. 

"I think the one thing we have to be consistent at is defensive. For us to become a very good team we can't have the lull's and the periods where we're not as good defensively," said NC State head coach Mark Gottfried. "We'll find ways to score the ball, now we have to find ways to keep other teams from scoring." 

North Carolina is averaging 43.1 rebounds per game, 5.4 more than their opponents, and are averaging 10.6 more points than their opponent per game. NC State has focused their work this week on being more aggressive on the boards and limiting the Tar Heels' opportunities to take advantage of lose rebounds. 

"The most important thing is they have to be mentally prepared to play every single night," said Gottfried. "I think we've had good practices… now we have to carry it into the game and be consistent there as well." 

UNC will be without Leslie McDonald for the fifth straight game, but the Tar Heels have not seemed to miss him offensively with Reggie Bullock and James Michael McAdoo stepping into their offensive roles.

"Last year I think with Zeller, Henson and Barnes they were so big across the front line. They're still big, but it's a different type of big," said Gottfried. "Bullock has really stepped up for them, McAdoo is matured. He is now the guy you go to inside. I think we like to go inside anyway, we just have to make sure we go to our strengths and do the things we think we can do well."

"We feel like we can beat everybody, that's just the mentality that you have to have as a basketball player,"Leslie said. "So we're just gonna come out and look forward to having a good game." 

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  • Gunnstigator Jan 26, 9:19 a.m.

    ^^^^
    TBK may be pulling our chains and doesn't believe in witches and vampires, but he DOES believe that refs rob his Pack.

  • heelsforever Jan 26, 7:46 a.m.

    Home team has the upper hand along with talent level. UNC looks better lately because they're... View More

    — Posted by 903 mens national championships

    I think fatigue for State's starters could be a factor. If UNC can hit them in waves with their... View More

    — Posted by 4tarheels

    It really just depends on who the refs are.

    Hess or Valentine: Advantage UNC

    Any other refs:... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again01

    ...The ref thing is getting really old. Come up with some new material, please

    — Posted by 321oohaw

    TBK is just pulling our chains. He's smart enough to not believe in the boogeyman, witches, vampires, etc.

  • Gunnstigator Jan 26, 6:38 a.m.

    If they both pretend they are playing DUKE, it will be a good game.

    — Posted by itsallaboutDUKE

    And they both pretend they were Miami playing duke it would be a blow out.

    — Posted by TarheelStateNative

    +1

  • Gunnstigator Jan 26, 6:32 a.m.

    Home team has the upper hand along with talent level. UNC looks better lately because they're... View More

    — Posted by 903 mens national championships

    I think fatigue for State's starters could be a factor. If UNC can hit them in waves with their... View More

    — Posted by 4tarheels

    It really just depends on who the refs are.

    Hess or Valentine: Advantage UNC

    Any other refs:... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again01

    TBK, unless the refs are shooting baskets for Carolina (and getting them in the hoop) they won't hand Carolina a win. Hess hasn't been at the PNC since that fateful day last season. If State wins, and I think they will, it will be because they're the better team.

  • TarheelStateNative Jan 26, 12:53 a.m.

    If they both pretend they are playing DUKE, it will be a good game.

    — Posted by itsallaboutDUKE

    And they both pretend they were Miami playing duke it would be a blow out.

  • itsallaboutDUKE Jan 25, 11:28 p.m.

    If they both pretend they are playing DUKE, it will be a good game.

  • TsKaMF Jan 25, 11:19 p.m.

    Home team has the upper hand along with talent level. UNC looks better lately because they're... View More

    — Posted by 903 mens national championships

    I think fatigue for State's starters could be a factor. If UNC can hit them in waves with their... View More

    — Posted by 4tarheels

    It really just depends on who the refs are.

    Hess or Valentine: Advantage UNC

    Any other refs:... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again01

    ...The ref thing is getting really old. Come up with some new material, please

    — Posted by 321oohaw

    Here's some new/ factual material.

    Regardless of who you pull for, ANY objective spectator can clearly see that Hess has an anti NCSU bias & Valentine is blatanly incompetent.

  • NoDumpingThePuck Jan 25, 11:02 p.m.

    Home team has the upper hand along with talent level. UNC looks better lately because they're... View More

    — Posted by 903 mens national championships

    I think fatigue for State's starters could be a factor. If UNC can hit them in waves with their... View More

    — Posted by 4tarheels

    It really just depends on who the refs are.

    Hess or Valentine: Advantage UNC

    Any other refs:... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again01

    TBK, are you serious? Well, I guess if it makes you feel better about the outcome, so be it. I smell fish!

  • FatherofFour Jan 25, 11:02 p.m.

    So let me get this straight, the fact that Carolina has won THIRTEEN! straight, just beat State... View More

    — Posted by Banned by Sissies

    Nc State or Duke for that matter is like Obama when comes to local media.

    Tv or radio.

    — Posted by TarheelStateNative

    You guys do realize that WRAL's station is right across the street from NCSU's campus, right? Even so, I disagree that they get all of the favorable coverage. UNC gets its fair share and even more than it's fair share when it comes to national media (i.e. ESPN).

  • TarheelStateNative Jan 25, 10:50 p.m.

    So let me get this straight, the fact that Carolina has won THIRTEEN! straight, just beat State... View More

    — Posted by Banned by Sissies

    Nc State or Duke for that matter is like Obama when comes to local media.

    Tv or radio.

More...

 

 

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