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January 24, 2013
The NC State upperclassmen know what is at stake Saturday against North Carolina at PNC Arena.
Seniors Scott Wood and Richard Howell, and juniors Lorenzo Brown, C.J. Leslie and Jordan Vandenberg have never defeated the Tar Heels. The last win over UNC was during former coach Sidney Lowe's first season in 2007.
In light of the importance of Saturday's game, and coupled with losses to Maryland and Wake Forest in recent weeks, the Wolfpack players held a meeting this week to get everyone back on the same page.
"Everybody is back on track and we had a great practice today," Brown said. "We've been inconsistent. We had a lot of nonsense going on between us. We are all grown men, and we sat down and talked it out.
"We are perfectly fine now. It was just little stuff, but I don't want to get into it. It's all in the past now."
Wood said it wasn't one teammate in particular that dominated the speaking, but that they aired out any issues.
"We just needed to sit down and settle some things up," Wood said. "I think it was good for our team to just hear a couple guys talk and listen to them, have it sync in and realize what we needed to get done."
With five of the players been around each other for at least three years, and even some of the players like Howell, Brown and Leslie being traveling teammates in high school, it's a little easier communicating with each other.
"I've had two of the worst seasons that you can have here and then I've had one that is pretty good," Wood said. "I've seen it all, and you can kind of take that experience and just show some people that you don't want a crappy season because it isn't fun."
Getting a coveted win over UNC is always the goal each season, and a good way to unite the squad.
"It would be nice and obviously they've played us well throughout the years," Wood said. "We haven't been able to get a win in a while. Hopefully, we can out there and play well and get a win."
Lorenzo Brown audio interview (4:29)
C.J. Leslie audio interview (2:23)