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Syracuse vs NC State: Scouting the Wolfpack

“I tend to think of myself as a one man wolfpack...”

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange (13-9, 5-4) travel down to Raleigh to take on the NC State Wolfpack (14-8, 3-6) on Wednesday. Syracuse is coming off back-to-back home wins against Wake Forest and Florida State while NC State is coming off a road loss at Louisville before it took down Duke in Cameron last week.

Despite what its record might suggest, NC State if a formidable opponent and boasts one of, if not the best guard in the ACC in Dennis Smith Jr. He’s good for 19 points, 6.5 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 2.2 steals per contest (read: pretty damn good). Smith is electric off the bounce and can jump out of gym (not literally) and shoots it at a respectable clip from downtown. He creates for his teammates equally as well as he create his own shot. Needless to say, he’ll be the focal point of Syracuse’s zone.

NC State isn’t just a one man wolfpack, however. Mark Gottfried has five guys averaging double figures, viz., Smith, Terry Henderson, Abdul Malik-Abu, Maverick Rowan and Torin Dorn.

Henderson is lethal from range so finding him in the zone will be key. Abu is NC State’s best rebounder so Syracuse will have to mitigate him off the offensive glass. Rowan is a big guard who shoots over 40 percent from distance. His game is akin to former Orange guard Trevor Cooney.

Also of note, Omer Yurtseven is now eligible for NC State. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Syracuse recruited Yurtseven — he didn’t choose Syracuse for reasons still unbeknownst to us. Anyway, the Turkish big man has put up 6.6 points and 5.5 boards per in just over 20 minutes. Look for Tyler Lydon — the sine qua non of Syracuse basketball — to take the seven-footer out to the three point line when he’s in the game.

The game tips at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night from PNC Arena and will air on ESPN2. See highlights when the two teams matched up in 2011 before becoming conference foes below and be sure to leave your thoughts in the comment section.