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November 21, 2008North Carolina State scored six points off the fastbreak, while giving up zero, in the season-opening win at New Orleans.
NC State pulled out the 65-59 victory against the Privateers on Nov. 15 behind a strong inside game, but the Wolfpack knew it wasn't getting enough from their transition offense, a point of emphasis this season. Having starting point guard Farnold Degand go down with a leg injury didn't help.
"We would like to get a few more going there," NC State coach Sidney Lowe said. "I give them [New Orleans] some credit that they got back on defense. They were smaller and a little quicker, or quick. They got back."
Lowe announced Friday that Degand could be out up to two weeks, and will miss Saturday's home contest against High Point at 7 p.m. at Reynolds Coliseum. However, Lowe still wants to see sophomore point guard Javier Gonzalez to create transition baskets, something that has been reinforced during practice this week.
"The fact that we are looking to do it, and our guys are getting it and pushing it and looking ahead and trying to run," Lowe said. "We have to continue to do that. We have to continue to work on it and stay with it. The last few practices that is exactly what we concentrated on, getting out and running."
Lowe said they used the last week to practice on changing their defenses and working with the post players on passing out of double teams. The Wolfpack also worked at creating fastbreak opportunities.
"We played a lot in practice," Lowe said. "I think that is important for us to do, not just to reiterate what we are trying to do in terms of pushing the ball, but also for conditioning. If you want to play that way, you have to practice that way."
High Point lost its season opener 84-55 to Duquesne from the Atlantic 10, but bounced back to defeat Atlanta Christian 91-51 on Thursday.
Lowe wants to push the tempo and expects High Point to do the same Saturday night.
"They are going to run the ball up and down the floor, going to push it, get easy baskets on us," Lowe said.
High Point is led by 6-2 junior guard Eugene Harris, who shot 43.1 percent from three-point range last year. He went 7 for 13 from beyond the arc against Winthrop and 6 for 11 against Towson last year, and 7 for 14 vs. Virginia Military Institute his freshman season. Harris set a single-season school record with 90 three-pointers last year.
"They're strong in their guard play," Lowe said. "They have a very good, very good player in Eugene Harris. He can score the ball, really plays well. Another guard, [David] Singleton, very good player. They're strong in their guards, not that their bigs aren't solid, but most of their scoring comes from those guards.
"They really can put the ball on the hole, they can put it on the floor, they can shoot it. They can pass it. They're solid players. Harris is a junior, so he's got some experience with him, and he's been around for a while."
Inside, the Panthers feature 6-11 shot-blocker Cruz Daniels, a junior, who averaged 2.6 rejections per game last year. He is High Point's all-time blocked-shot leader with 145.
High Point preview
NC State 2008-09 roster
High Point roster
High Point schedule/results
NC State (1-0) at High Point (1-1)
Game time: Saturday, Nov. 22, 7 p.m. - RBC Center, Raleigh
PG - 10 Javier Gonzalez (5-11, Soph., 1.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.0 apg)
SG - 21 C.J. Williams (6-5, Fr., 0.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 1.0 apg)
SF - 4 Courtney Fells (6-6, Sr., 9.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.0 apg)
PF - 33 Brandon Costner (6-9, R-Jr., 19.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.0 bpg)
C - 34 Ben McCauley (6-9, Sr., 17.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.0 spg)
PG - 11 David Singleton (6-3, Fr., 4.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.0 spg)
SG - 4 Eugene Harris (6-2, Jr., 16.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.5 spg)
G - 23 Alquan Mendenhall (5-11, R-Fr., 6.0 ppg, 0.5 rpg, 0.5 apg)
PF - 34 Steadman Short (6-9, Fr., 6.5 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 0.5 bpg)
C - 50 Cruz Daniels (6-11, Jr., 7.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.0 bpg)
Scouting High Point
Location: High Point, N.C.
2007-08 record: 17-14 overall, 8-6 in Big South (third place)
2008 postseason: None
Coach: Bart Lundy, 10th year overall (203-106), 6th year at High Point (88-67)
The all-time series with NC State: NC State leads 5-0
Last meeting with NC State: NC State defeated High Point 110-50 on Jan. 23, 1948.
High Point: The Panthers have five players from North Carolina, including walk-ons. Sophomore forward Earnest Bridges is from Wake Forest-Rolesville High and freshman Dvis Fisher attended Cardinal Gibbons High in Raleigh, where he was teammates with NC State freshman walk-on Spencer Greenway Daniels led the Big South in blocks with 2.0 per game his freshman year year, and blocked six shots against Atlanta Christian on Thursday. He has blocked six shots four different times in his college career High Point lost Arizona Reid to graduation, the Big South Player of the Year, who averaged 23.9 points and 11.0 rebounds per game last year. Also, point guard Mike Jefferson graduated after leading the conference in assists High Point lost 88-70 to Florida last year, and also played Charlotte, Utah and Dayton. The Panthers also play at South Florida and at Minnesota this season.
NC State: NC State has won its last 20 games against in-state non-conference opponents at home, and won 28 of 29, last losing to Charlotte during the 2000-01 season NC State is playing the first of two regular season games at Reynolds Coliseum, the first time the Wolfpack have played two games there since the move to the RBC Center. NC State is 6-0 at Reynolds since moving to the RBC Center, and will play Winston-Salem State on Dec. 13 at their old home NC State will not be leaving the state until January, playing nine of the next 10 games at home. NCSU plays at Florida on Jan. 3 and then at Clemson on Jan. 10 for their first out of state games Williams missed the second half of the New Orleans game because of a wrist injury and is looking to score his first Wolfpack points. Fellow freshman Julius Mays played four minutes at point guard, filling in for the injured Degand, but also failed to score vs. the Privateers.
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