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History and Records

Banners in the Rafters: 1954 ACC Champions



After arriving at NC State in 1946, Everett Case wasted no time, scooping up five quick Southern Conference Championships. He was one of the proponets of the formation of the ACC and his extreme success in the Southern Conference helped open people’s eyes that a better brand of basketball was needed. The Pack won the first ACC Championship in 1954 (which was actually the 1st of a three-peat), with Case at the helm.  Case’s ’54 squad was led by 1st Team All-ACC Senior Mel Thompson. He had a productive Senior campaign averaging 18.6 points per contest, which ranked him 4th in the ACC. The Pack also had a studded Sophomore class that was headlined by Guard Vic Molodet and Center Ronnie Shavlik. Molodet was a 5’11″ guard out of Chicago who entertained the crowds with his ballhandling and flashy style of play. His Sophomore campaign was so impressive that he earned 2nd Team All-ACC honors. Ronnie Shavlik was a 6’8″ Center out of Denver and also made noise within the ACC as a Sophomore, ranking 2nd in the ACC in rebounding, pulling down 13.4 boards a game.

The ACC was in its elementary stages and in 1954 they had yet to establish a system where every team played an equal amount of ACC games. The ACC schedule for each team was sporadic to say the least. One team played a mere 5 ACC games and another played 12. The Pack played 8 ACC games going 5-3, ranking them 4th in the league. After going 21-7 during the regular season the Pack didn’t finish the regular season ranked, even though they were in and out of the rankings through out the year. They entered the inaugural ACC Tournament as the #4 seed. The Pack might have held a slight advantage with the tournament being held in the sacred Reynolds Colliseum. I think all of us would covet the cost of admission to the 1st ACC tourney. You could buy tickets for the entire tournament for only $10. It must have been a beautiful thing to see the Wolfpack take down each member of the Tobacco Road crew.
39,200 people attended the 1954 ACC tournament. The Pack began their destruction of the Tobacco Road crew by handling #5 seed UNC 52-51 in the Quarterfinals. The Duke Blue Devils were the next victims, falling to the boys in Red & White 79-75 in the Semifinals. The State fans probably had their nerves shot by the end of the tournament, as none of the wins came in an easy manner. NC State went on to claim the ACC Title by defeating the Wake Forest Demon Deacons 82-80 in Overtime. Mel Thompson and Ronnie Shavlik were selected to the All-Tournament First Team and Herb Appelbaum was selected to the Second Team.

The ACC Tournament held a lot more weight back then, because the winner was the only team to represent the ACC in the NCAA Tournament. The Pack went on to win two out of their three games, as they represented the ACC in the NCAA Tournament. The Pack was victorious in the opening round of the tourney, defeating George Washington 75-73. After loosing to La Salle in the Second Round 81-88, they went on to defeat Cornell 65-54 in the 3rd place Regional game. The Pack could hold their head high knowing that they lost to the team that went on to win the National Championship in La Salle.

State finished the season with a record of 26-7 and finished the season 10th in the AP poll and 14th in the Coaches Poll. Everett Case’s incredible run in the inaugural ACC tourney earned him the Coach of the Year award in the ACC, and this would become one of many in his 18 year career at NC State.

History and Records

Jerseys in the Rafters: Lou Pucillo: #78



We’ve heard the story time and time again of Michael Jordan being cut from his JV team back in high school. It’s a story that is retold so often because, in hindsight, the fact seems ironic and absolutely ridiculous. While former NC State guard Lou Pucillo didn’t go on to become the greatest basketball player in the history of the game, his story is very similar to Jordan’s, and quite possibly even more absurd.

What are the odds that a player that didn’t make his high school team until his senior season, playing minimal minutes that season, would end up earning ACC Player of the Year honors, along with All-American honors? Welcome to the crazy story of Lou Pucillo.

Lou Pucillo grew up in South Philadelphia and attended Southeast Catholic. The undersized guard didn’t make his high school team until his senior season, and even then, he barely saw the floor. It is a dream of many kids to grow up and play basketball at the next level, but at this point in Pucillo’s life, his credentials pointed toward only a dream, and not actuality. Pucillo was unwilling to quit dreaming, and went on to Temple Prep School, where he averaged roughly 25 points a game, gaining the attention of the NC State coaching staff.

When Everett Case brought Pucillo into the fold, he was the smallest player ever recruited by Case, standing 5’9″, and weighing in at 157 pounds. When a guard is undersized, it is vitally important that they have a great set of ball handling skills and speed, which Pucillo possessed. Sportswriter’s dubbed Pucillo the “Bob Cousy of the collegians.” Pucillo dribbled his way into the NC State record books, earning First Team All-ACC honors twice (1 of 10 players in school history to accomplish this), and First Team All-ACC Tournamnet twice as well.

Pucillo’s senior campaign was one that was clad with accolades. After leading the Wolfpack to their 4th ACC championship, he became one of 5 players in school history to win the ACC Player of the Year award (14.6 ppg). He also became one of only 8 players in NC State history to earn the MVP award for the ACC Tournament. As a cherry on top, Pucillo earned 2nd Team All-American honors in his senior season.

After graduating from NC State, the dream of the NBA never came to fruition, but he did play professionally for the Wichita Vickers in National Industrial League and later played for Sunbury in the Eastern Professional League. When he decided to hang up the jersey and move on, he found himself back in Raleigh, coaching the Freshman team at NC State for three seasons, before stepping out and forming his own private business in the Raleigh area.

It’s rare that the kid that grows up playing basketball on the playground because he didn’t make the school team, see’s his dreams come true. Yet every once in awhile a guy like Lou Pucillo comes along and defies all the odds.

(Pucillo’s #78 jersey is honored, but not retired. The only retired jersey is David Thompson’s #44.)

Photo Credit

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History and Records

Jerseys In The Rafters: John Richter: #24



Legendary Wolfpack coach Everett Case reeled in a legendary recruiting class in 1956 when he brought in two players from Philadelphia, who would eventually go on to earn All-American honors, win an ACC title and have their jerseys permanently honored in the rafters. Lou Pucillo and John Richter would go on to be one of the most dynamic duo’s in NC State history. There was nearly 12 inches separating Pucillo and Richter in height (Richter was 6’8″). Pucillo possessed the ball handling skills and he made a habit of feeding the ball to John Richter in the post.

Richter knew how to use his height to his advantage, not only becoming one of the best rebounders in NC State history, but in ACC history as well. He led NC State in rebounding all three varsity seasons, averaging double-digit rebounds in all three seasons (’57 – 12.7, ’58 – 10.9, ’59 – 14.2). Richter’s 936 career rebounds rank 6th all-time in NC State history. The big guy’s career average of 12.7 rebounds per game ranks 3rd in school history and 9th in ACC history.

John was also the 1st Wolfpack player to ever lead the ACC in scoring, when he posted a season average of 17.0 points per game in the 1958-59 season. His career scoring average of 15.0 points per game ranks 11th in school history. Richter not only possessed the ability to score, but he also was efficient in doing so, leading the ACC in Field Goal Percentage in 1957, connecting on 51.9% that season.

He led the team in scoring and field goal percentage twice.

Richter’s monstrous senior campaign didn’t go unnoticed. After averaging a double-double in his last season (17.0 points and 14.2 rebounds), and winning an ACC title, the voters smiled on the big man from Philly. Richter earned 1st Team All-ACC, 1st Team All-ACC Tournament, and 1st Team All-American honors in his final season. This padded his accolade resume that already contained two 2nd Team All-ACC selections (’57 and ’58) and a Dixie Classic MVP award in 1958.

John Richter, one of the best post players to ever play at NC State, went on to be a 1st round draft pick by the Boston Celtics in the 1959 NBA draft.

(Richter’s #24 jersey is honored, but not retired. The only retired jersey is David Thompson’s #44.)

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History and Records

David Thompson is one of only 9 players in history to win Naismith Award and make Hall of Fame



Did you know that has a whole section dedicated to the history of NC State athletics? If you haven’t checked it out, go ahead and do that when you get some free time we like to think it’s pretty interesting stuff.

Over the next few months, we are going to be hitting you with nuggets of NC State history that you may not know about.  Here is one that we just came across…

Did you know that NC State’s David Thompson is one of only 9 Naismith Award winners to make the Basketball Hall of Fame?

That list is like the who’s who of basketball greats.

David Thompson was awarded the Naismith at the end of his 1974-75 season with NC State. He helped lead the Wolfpack to their first national championship in 1974. Thompson was known as “Skywalker” for his incredible vertical leap. Thompson was the first overall draft pick to the Atlanta Hawks in 1975 but elected to play for the Denver Nuggets in the ABA. He continued to play with the Nuggets after the ABA-NBA merger before being traded to the Seattle Supersonics. Thompson was twice named to the All-NBA team and was selected to four All-Star games. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996. (NCAA)

But just think about that. Of all the college basketball greats who won the ‘player of the year’ award, only 9 of those guys went on to make the Hall of Fame. It goes to show you that NCAA basketball and NBA basketball are really two different games, and if you’re great at one level, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be great at the other. Congrats to DT for being one of the few that was.

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History and Records

ANALYSIS: NC State’s Greatest Running Backs of All-Time



With the 2018 football season right around the corner, it’s time for me to help you catch up on your NC State history before the Wolfpack hits the field. In this piece I will be breaking down the best running backs in school history. Future breakdowns by position will be coming in the near future.

Wide Receivers

The below rankings are my own. In looking at all of the data supplied below (collegiate achievements only), these were my conclusions.

1) Ted Brown – 1975-78 – It’s stressful creating Top-5 lists, but it’s a relief when the #1 spot is a no-brainer. Ted Brown is the best running back in NC State history. It’s not even close. He graduated in 1978 as the all-time rusher in ACC history, and he still sits on the throne. He was the all-time leader in rushing touchdowns in conference history until 2005. Brown is the only player ever in the ACC to earn 1st Team All-Conference 4 times. He is the career leader in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, and total touchdowns at NC State.

2) Dick Christy – 1955-57 – In 1957, Christy was the ACC Player of the Year (1 of 2 running backs in school history to do so), and earned 1st Team All-American (1 of 2 running backs in school history to do so)  and 1st Team All-ACC Honors. He also earned 2nd Team All-ACC in 1955. Christy scored all 29 of NC State’s points in the last game of the 1957 season against South Carolina, defeating the Gamecokcs to earn the first ACC Championship in school history. He left NC State holding 14 NC State records and 4 ACC records.

3) Willie Burden – 1971-73 – Burden won the ACC Player of the Year award in 1973 (1 of 2 running backs in school history to do so) after a monster season. He became the first running back in NC State history to rush for over 1,000 yards, leading the ACC in rushing (1,014) in 1973. Burden is one of only five players in NC State history to lead the ACC in rushing in a single season.  What makes this feat more impressive is that he did this while sharing the backfield with the “Stallions”, which consisted of fullback Stan Fritts, and running backs Roland Hooks and Charley Young. For context, Fritts and Hooks both almost rushed for 700 yards in 1973.  Burden was nearly impossible to bring down in ’73, averaging 6.8 yards per carry (2nd highest season average in NC State history). NC State won the ACC Championship in 1973, and Burden was a huge reason why. Burden was a 1st Team All-ACC selection in 1972 & 73.

4) Joe McIntosh – 1981-84 – McIntosh ranks 2nd all-time at NC State in career rushing yards (3,642). He’s the only other player besides Ted Brown to rush for over 1,000 twice (1981 – 1,190 & 1983 – 1,081). McIntosh earned 1st Team All-ACC honors twice, and was the ACC Freshman of the Year in 1981 after leading the ACC in rushing (1,190).

5) Stan Fritts 1972-74 – While not a halfback, Fritts was a fullback, and by definition, a fullback is a running back. Fritts always shared the backfield. In 1972 and 1973, he shared it with Willie Burden and Charley Young. In 1974, it was Roland Hooks. Despite that, Fritts ranks 8th all-time in career rushing yards (2,542), and 2nd all-time in career rushing touchdowns (41). Fritts had monster season in 1974, leading the ACC in rushing (1,169), and earning 2nd Team All-American honors (AP). He also earned 1st Team All-ACC honors in 1972 and 1974.

Honorable Mention

Matthew Dayes – 2013-16 – While Dayes never received the accolades he deserved, there is no denying his body of work. He ranks 4th all-time in career rushing yards (2,856). Dayes deserves to be in the conversation about the Top-5 running backs in NC State history, and one of the main reasons was his ability to get in the end zone. His 34 career rushing touchdowns and 40 total touchdowns both rank 3rd in school history. Dayes rushed for over 100 yards 13 times, which ranks 4th.

Anthony Barbour – 1988-92 – In 1992, Barbour rushed for 1,204 yards, which is the most rushing yards in a single season at NC State by anyone not named Ted Brown. Barbour is the only player in school history to average over 6 yards per carry in consecutive seasons (1991 – 6.2 & 1992 – 6.1), and his career average of 5.43 ranks 2nd in school history. He earned 1st Team All-ACC honors in 1992. In my opinion, Barbour is probably deserving of being ranked as 1 of the Top-5 running backs in NC State history. The only reason he isn’t is that he didn’t get the carries needed. He only played in 11 total games in his first two seasons. Barbour ranks 6th all-time in carer rushing yards, but only had 474 career rushing attempts. That’s 175 less than Ray Robinson who ranks 5th all-time in career rushing yards.

Tremayne Stephens – 1994-97 – In my opinion, Stephens is extremely underrated. Stephens ranks 3rd all-time in career rushing yards (3,553) and 5th in yards per carry (5.225). He led the ACC in rushing in 1997, racking up 1,142 yards (1 of only 5 players in school history to lead the ACC in rushing). Stephens earned 1st Team All-ACC honors in 1997 and 2nd Team in 1994.

NC State All-American Running Backs 

Ted Brown – Consensus 1st Team – 1978
Stan Fritts – 2nd Team (AP) – 1974
Dick Christy- 1st Team (AP & UPI)

All-ACC NC State Running Backs 

1st Team

Nyheim Hines – 2017
T.A. McLendon – 2002
Tremayne Stephens – 1997
Anthony Barbour – 1992
Joe McIntosh – 1981 & 1983
Ted Brown – 1975-78
Stan Fritts – 1972 & 1974
Willie Burden – 1972-73
Bobby Hall – 1968
Don DeArment – 1966
Shelby Mansfield – 1965
Dick Christy – 1957

2nd Team

Matthew Dayes – 2016
Tremayne Stephens – 1994
Joe Scarpati – 1962-63
Ron Podwika – 1959
Ken Trowbridge – 1958
Dick Hunter – 1957
Dick Christy – 1955

3rd Team

Gary Downs – 1993

NC State Running Backs who won ACC Player of the Year

Willie Burden – 1973
Dick Christy – 1957

NC State Running Backs who won ACC Freahman of the Year

T.A. McLendon – 2002
Ray Robinson – 1998
Joe McIntosh – 1981
Ted Brown – 1975

NC State’s All-Time Rushing Leaders

1. Ted Brown, 1975-78 – 860 carries – 4,602 yards
2. Joe McIntosh, 1981-84 – 729 carries – 3,642 yards
3. Tremayne Stephens, 1994-97 – 680 carries – 3,553 yards
4. Matthew Dayes, 2013-16 – 549 carries – 2,856 yards
5. Ray Robinson, 1998-01 – 649 carries – 2,781 yards
6. Anthony Barbour, 1989-92 – 474 carries – 2,575 yards
7. Shadrach Thornton, 2012-15 – 513 carries – 2,572 yards
8. Stan Fritts, 1972-74 – 534 carries – 2,542 yards
9. Andre Brown, 2005-08 – 523 carries – 2,539 yards
10. Willie Burden, 1971-73 – 491 carries – 2,529 yards

NC State’s All-Time Rushing Touchdown Leaders 

1) Ted Brown – 1975-78 – 49
2) Stan Fritts – 1972-74 – 41
3) Matthew Dayes – 2013-16 – 34
4) T.A. McLendon – 2002-04 – 33
5) Ray Robinson – 1998-01 – 30
6) Jaylen Samuels – 2014-17 – 28
7) Tremayne Stephens – 1994-97 – 23
7) Gary Downs – 1990-93 – 23
9) Willie Burden – 1971-73 – 22
9) Andre Brown – 2005-08 – 22

Most 100-yard Rushing Games in NC State History

1. Ted Brown, 1975-78 – 27
2. Joe McIntosh, 1981-84 – 20
3. Tremayne Stephens, 1994-97 – 19
4. Matthew Dayes, 2013-16 – 13
5. Willie Burden, 1971-73 – 12
6. Ray Robinson, 1998-01 – 10
6. T.A. McLendon, 2002-04 – 10
8. Stan Fritts – 1972-74 – 9
8. Shadrach Thornton – 2012-15 – 9

Highest Average Yards Per Carry in NC State History

1. Roland Hooks, 1972-74 – 251 carries – 1,368 yards – 5.45 average
2. Anthony Barbour, 1989-92 – 474 carries – 2,575 yards – 5.432 average
3. Nyheim Hines, 2014-17 – 258 carries – 1,400 yards – 5.426 average
4. Ted Brown, 1975-78 – 860 carries – 4,602 yards – 5.35 average
5. Charley Young, 1971-73 – 317 carries – 1,657 yards – 5.23 average
6. Tremayne Stephens, 1994-97 – 680 carries, 3,553 yards – 5.223 average
7. Dick Christy, 1955-57 – 348 carries – 1,817 yards – 5.221  average
8. Matthew Dayes, 2013-16 – 549 carries – 2,856 yards – 5.202 – average
9. Willie Burden, 1971-73 – 2,529 yards – 5.15 – average
10. Shadrach Thornton, 2012-15 – 513 carries – 2,572 yards – 5.01 average

Players at NC State who have led the ACC in Rushing

NC State Running Backs who have had their Jersey Retired/Honored

Dick Christy – #40
Ted Brown – #23
(both #’s have been retired)

NC State Running Backs who were 1st Round NFL Picks

Ted Brown – 1979 – #16

NC State Running Backs who went to the NFL Pro Bowl

Alex Webster – 1958, 1961

Former NC State Players with Most Rushing Yards & Rushing Touchdowns in NFL

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