The North Carolina State Wolfpack appear to be figuring themselves out with the team improving to 7-2 on the season.
The Wolfpack added another dominating performance to the year when they blew out the Norfolk State Spartans 84-62.
Lorenzo Brown set the tone early with his high pressure defense that turned into instant points on the scoreboard, shooting 7 for 8 from the floor finishing with 16 points, seven assists, four steals and three rebounds. The Wolfpack havn’t lost when Brown’s scored in double-digits as the junior guard continues to be the team’s on court leader. Despite the intimidating presence provided by C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell on the inside, Brown is the player that gets North Carolina State going on both ends of the floor. The 6-foot-5 point guard does it through his hard noised defense as the ACC’s leader in steals or by distributing the ball getting his teammates involved with an average of six assists per game.
If Brown is the team’s leader then Howell is the team’s heart.
Howell finished with a career high 19 rebounds against the Spartans go along with 12 points, five assists and five blocks. It was the senior’s fifth double-double of the season and by far his most dominating performance of the season as he’s been the Wolfpack’s best player through the first nine games.
T.J. Warren continued to show why he’s the ACC’s leading scorer as a freshman delivering 21 points and five rebounds while shooting 9 for 11 from the field for North Carolina State. The 6-foot-8 forward has helped solidify one of the conference’s best front courts subbing in when Leslie or Howell need a rest. The scoring performance against the Spartans makes him the Wolfpack’s leading scorer averaging 14.5 points per game.
North Carolina State will look to continue to gel as a team when they face the 7-3 Stanford Cardinals on Dec. 18. The team will attempt to avenge a 76-72 loss to the Cardinals on Stanford’s home court last season with the Wolfpack playing host this year.
Brown fouled out of the game last year after recording 12 points, six rebounds and three assists. The front court duo of Howell and Leslie will look to be more productive this season after combining to finish with 22 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks, one steal and one assists. Howell and Leslie enter the game against Stanford combining to average 27 points, 17.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.8 blocks per game.
A win against the Cardinals and the Wolfpack could head into conference play with plenty of momentum with their eyes set on a Jan. 12 date with the Duke Blue Devils.