The Wolfpacker

November 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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S BKB PREVIEW 12-13 BY RYAN TICE enior small forward Scott Wood hates to lose. He always has. After an NC State loss at North Carolina on Jan. 27, 2012, the sharpshooter was asked how frustrating it was to have never beaten the rival Tar Heels. "Has you wife ever cheated on you?" Wood asked the inquiring reporter. "That's probably how frustrating it is." Wood's sound bite went viral, but the candid response gave a glimpse into the competitive fire that has always burned for "He said, 'I want to go to State because they haven't been to the NCAA Tourna- ment since 2006,' and I was looking at him like he was crazy." Although the team experienced more downs than ups during Wood's first two years in Raleigh, he still strongly felt that the Wolfpack could eventually make it back to the Big Dance with the group of players assembled. "I told him, 'I'm not trying to tell you COMPETITIVE FIRE to leave, but if you still have aspirations to make the NBA, you have to make the tour- Senior Wing Scott Wood Has A Burning Desire To Get NC State Back To The Top the 6-6, 169-pounder. He takes losses es- pecially hard, including one last year when he tried walking home following a defeat at PNC Arena. "He always thinks he's going to win; he doesn't believe he's going to lose at anything," his father, Scott Wood Sr., said. "He's one of those guys that is trying to win every drill. If he's playing checkers, he's trying to win; if he's playing his sister, he's definitely trying to win. He has always been that way. "After the North Carolina game last year, he actually played four bad games in a row, and we always had a saying back home, 'If you play bad, you walk home,' and that's what he did. "We were waiting for him at the usual place where all the players come out, and he didn't show up. Finally, I called him and asked him where he was, and he said, 'I didn't play good enough, so I need to walk home.'" Wood, a native of Marion, Ind., didn't come all the way to NC State to lose. He says he picked the Wolfpack because he wanted to return the former ACC power- house back to its roots. "I think that's one of the main things that I came for — I felt like we were kind of down and the history wasn't here," he said. "I wanted to reach for that history, and I feel like we're starting to get back to where it was in the 1970s and '80s. I kind of took it upon myself to bring back the history. There's no reason that NC State shouldn't be known as a powerhouse." "He was hearing from Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame, and I said to him, 'That's only 45 minutes from home, why not there?'" the elder Wood remembers asking his son. 30 ■ THE WOLFPACKER nament. You're not going to get drafted if you don't win; you aren't even going to get a free agent look,'" Wood Sr. remembered telling his son after former head coach Sid- ney Lowe resigned. "All he said was, 'We're going to win,' and he didn't even know who the coach was going to be at that point." Thanks to Wood and his teammates, the rebuilding job that Mark Gottfried took over last April was put on the fast track, and the team reached the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2005. Wood is intent on improv- ing on that successful campaign this winter. "Once you get there and realize how much fun it is, you just want to get back there and get a little bit more," Wood said. "It's kind of like going to Cedar Point or Disney World — if you go there once, you've got to go back a second time. "That's how I'm looking at it, we're try- ing to get back to where we were and even go a little further. That's our mindset right now, and hopefully we can do that. "That experience made us hungry for more." Wood notices that the buzz around Ra- leigh, and the national focus on Pack bas- ketball, is greater than ever before in his career. However, he will prepare for the season the same way he always has — working hard while getting up at least 500 shots every day. That philosophy has served him pretty well in the past. Wood set the ACC re- cord with 66 consecutive free throws made last year, and he notched a school-record .907 shooting percentage from the charity stripe. Last year's total of 95 three-pointers ranks second in program history, while his 230 career makes from behind the arc is In his career, Wood has appeared in 103 games with 101 starts, which ranks him as the most experienced starter in the ACC, and puts him on pace to set school records for games played and started. He ranked third on the team last year with an aver- age of 12.4 points per contest, and led the team with 14.5 points per outing during its 24 wins. The wing should be even more danger- ous this winter. Wood and assistant coach Rob Moxley concentrated on shot creation this summer to balance his effectiveness in catch-and-shoot situations. Wood also hopes that may result in more trips to the foul line, where he is nearly automatic. "I don't think I took one shot coming off the down screen this summer," he said. "It was all ball screen work or going right off the dibble. That's pretty much all I did, it's definitely in the repertoire, I just have to pull it out. "I'm getting in the weight room, trying to continue to get stronger and continue to maintain my stamina, so I can go a little longer. My penetration game has been the main thing that I've really been focusing on. I'm trying to make moves off the drib- ble to create my own shot. "I wanted to add another dimension and make it a little harder to guard me." If Wood is able to do that, he will not only depart Raleigh with his name etched across the school's record books, but he will also help return NC State to its previous winning tradition, just like he predicted. ■ Wood ranked third on the team last year with an average of 12.4 points per contest, and he led the team with 14.5 points per outing in the Pack's 24 wins. PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN also second-best. He needs just 93 treys to break Rodney Monroe's program standard, and the team usually goes along with how Wood is scoring — they were 20-5 last year when he posted at least 10 points. "A lot of expectations have been placed on us for the upcoming season, but our team has always known that we could be really good," he said. "We've always known that we have the talent, we just have to check our egos at the door and be an unselfish basketball team that works hard every day."

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