With the NC State football team out of town for all but one weekend in October, Wolfpack fans eager to get a jumpstart on the men’s basketball season can get their fix this Friday at 7 p.m. at the annual “Primetime with the Pack: Operation Our State” at the PNC Arena.
The preseason introductory event will feature player skills competitions, intrasquad scrimmage of the 2013-14 men’s team, autograph session and special military tribute.
Head coach Mark Gottfried, in his third year at the helm, has established a winning tradition in his short time in the program, leading the Pack to a 48-24 record and becoming the first coach in school history to lead the squad to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in his first two seasons.
While he must replace the core of last year’s team – five of the top seven contributors have completed their eligibility or left the program – Gottfried has the same autumn optimism of all his coaching colleagues.
“This group will have some unique challenges because of how young and inexperienced we are,” Gottfried says. “Getting to the NCAA tournament is still our goal, but we have a long way to go to get there, obviously.”
Admission and parking are free for all spectators. Fans should be aware that traffic and parking will be a challenge, since the annual NC State Fair will be underway at the fairgrounds adjacent to the PNC Arena. Parking lots will be available beginning at 4:30 p.m. The doors open at 6 p.m.
Students who want to participate in the campout Thursday night can arrive at 9:45 p.m.
Preseason Expo Games
The Wolfpack has two preseason exhibition games slated beginning with a 7 p.m. Oct. 30 contest against UNC Pembroke at Reynolds Coliseum. Admission is free with the donation of a new, unwrapped toy to be given to the local chapter of Toys for Tots.
The second exhibition game is slated for Nov. 2 at the PNC Arena against Morehouse. Since the contest will be held on the same day as football’s homecoming game against North Carolina at Carter-Finley Stadium, the tip-off time for the second contest will be announced after television determines a kickoff time for the football game. Admission to the second game will be free for anyone who makes a donation to the V Foundation, the cancer-research charity begun by the late Jim Valvano.
The Pack opens the regular season on Nov. 8 by hosting Appalachian State at 7 p.m. at the PNC Arena.