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October 12, 2011
The new court that will also be painted onto the RBC Center floor was in full display.
The noticeable changes are the charge/block circle under the rim, "ACC" written below the foul line, a shaded court color between the three-point line and the red paint and block 'S' symbols in that shaded space on both sides of the rim and each end of the court.
"I like the way the floor looks with the little red because that is how it looks in a game," NCSU senior wing C.J. Williams said. "It looks like a more game-like atmosphere.
"I just like how the [shaded brown] looks and it helps a little bit when you are coming off a screen, you can look down for a quick second and you exactly where you are. Sometimes you can come off a screen and think you are behind the three-point line, but you aren't."
There are also two new banners for the national championships at NC State hanging in the gym. Those are just a few of the prominent changes that has helped to give the Dail Center a facelift. New graphics also are on display in the lobby, among other changes.
"I like the two banners with the two championships and have the graphic of winning the championship and have David Thompson, who is probably the greatest player to play here," Williams said. "He is the greatest college basketball player, and that shows the tradition and what we want to build to.
"There are a lot of pictures up. Upstairs in the coaches office, every guy who had their jersey honored, there is a picture of them or a graphic of them. It shows our tradition."
The player's lounge also got some new bells and whistles.
"I love what they have done with the Dail Center," Williams said. "I'm in here all the time, even if it's just to hang out
"We got a pool table in there and some flat screen TVs. Guys spend a lot of time in there now."
Williams also heard there might be some minor changes to the locker rooms at the RBC Center for the players. Williams knows the Dail Center will make a strong impression on visiting recruits.
"I would commit right away," Williams said. "Everybody should commit right away."
Howell Has Messiest Locker
Each year, in preparation for our annual basketball preview magazine, The Wolfpacker asks each player on the team several offbeat questions that will be poster on their bios in the mag.
One of the questions we asked this year was who had the messiest locker, and there was near unanimous consent: junior forward Richard Howell. Ironically Howell's roommate on the road, walk-on Jay Lewis, said that Howell is a bit of a neat-freak when they travel.
Nearly every player endorsed the potential for wearing a black alternate uniform, some of them enthusiastically. The one exception was junior wing Scott Wood, who remarked that he doesn't care if the colors were purple or pink.
Not many players on the team would elect to jump out of plane like head coach Mark Gottfried volunteered to do for the South Alabama football game, which was military appreciation day.
One final nugget, Howell, noticeably slimmer this fall, has a new favorite breakfast meal. Gone are the eggs, bacons and sausages that he used to like. Now, per Gottfried's wishes, Howell's new reluctant favorite breakfast meal: "Probably a Nutri-Gain bar," Howell joked.
Black uniforms in future?
Lewis and junior guard Lorenzo Brown not only would like to wear black uniforms, they both believe there is a good chance that could happen this season.
When asked about the new jerseys, here's what Brown had to say: "I didn't really think they were too different from the ones last year, except for the NC part being gone. I like them but I can't wait to wear the black jerseys. I like wearing black jerseys, you look more aggressive in them. It's more of a 'mean' color so I like that. The football team looked good [in them] and they won, too."
Meet Calvin Leslie
Before this year, that would have been sophomore forward C.J. Leslie's father. Now that could also refer to Leslie himself. Gottfried went through great lengths to reference Leslie as "Calvin" during his press conference.
"Only coach calls me Calvin," Leslie said. "I guess it's part of the clean slate. It doesn't matter. But right now, Coach Gottfried is the only one to call me Calvin. I don't really care if others [say it]. It doesn't faze me. It's my name, so it's my name."
In case anyone is wondering, C.J. Williams is still called "C.J." Former coach Sidney Lowe nicknamed Leslie after Kevin Garnett last year in order to differentiate the two C.J.'s.
Oops of the day
The gym grew quiet after a loud thud from one of the camera areas. Everyone looked over and one player mumbled, "Yep, had to be Richard Howell." The odds appeared to be good that something from the camera area became the first injury of the basketball season.
Best vertical on the team and distance runner
The players said freshman shooting guard Jaqawn Raymond had the best vertical jump, and Williams is the distance running king for the Wolfpack.
Former players working out
Former NC State players Ben McCauley, Brandon Costner and Johnny Thomas, were working out at the Dail Center prior to media day. McCauley was sporting some long, shoulder-length hair that had several media members doing double-takes.
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