In each of its first two ACC games, N.C. State has allowed an opposing shooting guard to score at least 20 points.
That's a trend Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried wants to end for Saturday's trip to Wake Forest but the Demon Deacons have two of the best wing scorers in the ACC in Travis McKie (18.0 points per game) and C.J. Harris (17.7). The two rank second and third, respectively, in the league in scoring.
"We have to be better than we've been on the perimeter, or those guys will have big nights," Gottfried said Friday.
Maryland's Terrell Stoglin scored 25 and Georgia Tech's Glen Rice had 22 against the Wolfpack, primarily while being defended by senior C.J. Williams.
Gottfried said he has been Williams' No. 1 fan this season but he has challenged his senior guard.
"It's time to cut to the chase, he has to be better defensively on the perimeter, period," Gottfried said. "For our team to take a step to become better, we have to have a perimeter shut-down guy and we think it's him."
As a team, State has had trouble defending the 3-point line. State ranks No. 312, out of 338 Division I teams, in 3-point field goal defense with opponents making 38.1 percent (114 of 299) of their shots behind the arc. Georgia Tech made 60 percent (9 of 15) of its 3s in Wednesday's 82-71 win over State.
"One area we have to be greatly improved is our perimeter defense, especially from behind the line," Gottfried said.
Harris has made 51.9 percent of his 3-point shots this season for the Deacs, who rank fourth as a team in the ACC in 3-point shooting (36.2 percent).