North Carolina State has gotten it done at both ends of the floor in two dominant victories to start the season, and the Wolfpack look to continue that trend when they host Bryant on Tuesday. The Wolfpack are aiming to win their first three games by 20 or more points for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
In each of its first two games, N.C. State has tallied more forced turnovers than field goals allowed. VMI had 21 turnovers and made 18 field goals in the Wolfpack’s 102-67 season-opening rout, and Charleston Southern committed 24 turnovers against 21 field goals in N.C. State’s 78-56 win Sunday. “I told our team there will be nights, because we’re a transition team, sometimes people expect us to score in the 100s, even our guys,” N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts told reporters. “But to win at a championship level, you have to win every type of game, whether in 50s, 60s, 70s or 100s for us.” The Bulldogs are facing a second straight Power Five team to open the season after losing 79-54 at Georgia on Friday.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ACC Network Extra
ABOUT BRYANT (0-1): The Bulldogs are led by a group of young players, as sophomore Adam Grant led the way with 24 points against Georgia, and freshman Ryan Layman added 12 points and seven rebounds in his debut. They don’t have a lot of size inside, though, as none of the nine players who saw action against Georgia is taller than 6-8. That could be an issue against N.C. State’s 7-foot center Omer Yurtseven.
ABOUT N.C. STATE (2-0): Despite losing its top three scorers from a year ago, the Wolfpack have been crisp at the offensive end, averaging 90 points per game and shooting 49.6 percent. The entire starting lineup is averaging double-digit scoring with Allerik Freeman, a graduate transfer from Baylor, leading the way with 17.5 points to go along with seven boards per contest. Sophomore point guard Markell Johnson is fueling the Wolfpack at both ends, averaging 13 points, nine assists, and four steals.
1. N.C. State is still without two key players in freshman guard Braxton Beverly, who has not been cleared by the NCAA, and senior forward Abdul-Malik Abu, the team’s top returning scorer (11.8) and rebounder (7.0).
2. Bryant F Bosko Kostur, who averaged 9.6 points a year ago, was held scoreless on 0-for-8 shooting against Georgia.
3. N.C. State is 9-1 versus Northeast Conference teams, while Bryant is 1-9 against the ACC.
PREDICTION: N.C. State 88, Bryant 61