Wolfpack recruits excelling at McDonald’s game

While North Carolina State busted brackets en route to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16 this month, three members of the Wolfpack’s much-hyped incoming recruiting class weren’t the least bit surprised.

T.J. Warren, No. 29 in the ESPNU 100, had the Wolfpack dancing to the Sweet 16 in his bracket. Rodney Purvis, No. 20 in the ESPNU 100, was a bit bolder, having them in the Final Four. And had No. 44 recruit Tyler Lewis filled out a bracket — or even watched the games, for that matter — he says he “would have had them going far.”

“Every time I’ve watched State this year, they lose,” said Lewis, an Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) senior. “I watched the UNC games. I watched the Duke game when we were up 20 and they came back on us. So now I just track the games on my phone. As long as we’re winning, I’m fine.”

As unlikely as the team’s tournament run was, it wasn’t unprecedented. The Wolfpack have advanced to the Sweet 16 11 times and have won two national titles (1974, 1983).

What has never happened before, though, is NC State boasting three McDonald’s All-Americans in the same recruiting class. Lewis, the Gatorade Virginia Player of the Year, Purvis, a guard at Upper Room Christian (Raleigh, N.C.) and the Gatorade North Carolina Player of the Year, and Warren, a Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) star forward, were all selected to play in Wednesday’s McDonald’s All-American Game (9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN).

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22 Responses to Wolfpack recruits excelling at McDonald’s game

  1. tvopack 03/27/2012 at 11:30 AM #

    Oh man, Lewissssss!!!! You better win all the games at State to make that up.

  2. Wufpacker 03/27/2012 at 12:04 PM #

    Purvis has said many times that Lewis has recruited him as hard or harder than the coaching staff. Here’s hoping that Tyler puts that recruiting acumen to good use this week and gets in Amile’s ear and pesters him until he has no choice but to call Gottfried and commit. It can’t hurt that Amile is on the East roster along with our (other) three newcomers.

  3. eas 03/27/2012 at 12:14 PM #

    It is good Amile is on the East team. Maybe TL will pull him in. We have a better chance of landing him after our sweet 16 run. We all know why he is waiting anyway. He wants to see who jumps to the NBA which would improve his situation on a college roster. If CJL goes pro I personally think we have a better chance landing Amile.

    We are one good big man short of being the elite team we all want. We need a true 6’10 – 7′ center to make it happen. I realize we will have Vandy next year but I wouldn’t put him in that category.

    Things look good. Very good…..

  4. Since74 03/27/2012 at 1:05 PM #

    Lewis won the skills competition last night and Staats Battle is in the final four for coolest name. Wonderful time to be a State Fan.

  5. nouveau wolf 03/27/2012 at 1:23 PM #

    Did I read somewhere that Julius Randle is playing his sr year at Word of God?

    Hmmmmm…

  6. logarithm 03/27/2012 at 2:31 PM #

    Tyler Lewis is extremely superstitious. Since middle school, he’s left the light on in his bedroom during games for luck. Still did it at Oak Hill and will probably do it in Raleigh. He wasn’t disparaging the program, if anybody thought that.

  7. GoldenChain 03/27/2012 at 2:33 PM #

    I would never wish Calvin away to pick up anyone, however, if our destiny is to be Calvinless I hope Amile waits to see that. Better yet, come on board and earn some PT and then be a beast the next season!

  8. rtpack24 03/27/2012 at 7:50 PM #

    Randle to Word of God was a tweeted joke that turned into a hot rumor. He will not be attending WOG.

  9. tann84 03/27/2012 at 8:23 PM #

    Amile isn’t waiting for CJ to leave. It doesn’t make any sense. One of the big things Amile talk about is academics which is a big reason why he is considering Duke. He wouldn’t get any more playing time at Duke next year than he would at NC State. I don’t think he is waiting on CJ to leave, I think he seriously can’t make up his mind. But Purvis is his roommate up there so I like our chances.

  10. mak4dpak 03/27/2012 at 8:32 PM #

    Definitely looks like we could vie for the ACC title next year, and if Amile comes on board, what a class, and perhaps the sky is the limit. Would love to put Duke/UNC beneath us. Go Pack! Hope all watch the McDonalds game Wednesday to see our boys play. They are awesome BB players.

  11. BJD95 03/28/2012 at 6:43 AM #

    JP Giglio lists FSU, State, Maryland, and Miami as teams that could win the league next year. Neither of the blues. That would be wonderful to see.

    Giglio’s pick is FSU, because he assumes Calvin will go pro. If Calvin returns, State would likely be the favorite.

  12. ryebread 03/28/2012 at 10:13 AM #

    I’m watching the McDonald’s game tonight.

    Question: Has any school ever had 4 McDonald’s players in one recruiting class? The most that I’ve been able to find is 3.

    BJD: Interesting… I think that it’d be good for the ACC to have someone outside of the blues win the regular season, and maybe someone else win the tournament. The last time that really happened was Maryland, and honestly that’s the last time that the ACC was really strong.

  13. rtpack24 03/28/2012 at 10:41 AM #

    I think Duke and Mich. are the only two schools to ever sign 4 McD’s in one season. There might have been one more school that has done it but I can not think of who it is. Either way very short list. K did a in home with AJ and he did not committ so hopefully that bodes well for us.

  14. MISTA WOLF 03/28/2012 at 12:01 PM #

    Carolina did it in 2009: (Strickland, Henson, and the Wear brothers)
    Duke in 1999 and 2002: 1999(Dunleavy, Boozer, Williams, Sanders)
    2002((Redick, Dockery, Thompson, Ewing)
    Kentucky in 2011: (Gilchrist, Teague, Davis, Wiltjer)
    Michigan in 1991: (Webber, King, Howard, Rose)

    Thanks for the question. I was bored on lunch break and Statefans solved it :)

  15. MISTA WOLF 03/28/2012 at 12:02 PM #
  16. ryebread 03/28/2012 at 12:15 PM #

    rtpack24: I checked this has actually happened 4 times.

    The Fab 5 had 4 McDonald’s players (Howard, King, Rose and Webber). I’d argue that’s the best recruiting class in the last 20 years.

    The 1999 Duke team had 4 in Boozer, Dunleavy, Jayson Williams, and Casey Sanders. They definitely lived up to the hype and were K’s best team IMHO.

    Interestingly UNC did it in 2009. They had the Wear twince, Henson and Strickland. That class is a bust though given that three have transfered.

    Kentucky’s class last year had four. I think they’re title bound this year.

    North Carolina, Duke, UCLA and Kentucky have all had three players multiple times. Texas and Ohio State did it once.

    The most we’ve had prior to this year is two in a class and we’ve done that a couple of times. Arguably, based on McDonald’s selected players, this is our best class in 25 years.

  17. ryebread 03/28/2012 at 12:20 PM #

    Mista: That’s some great data from Statsheet. Looking at the list of players since 2000, it’s arguable that NC State has most underachieved relative to talent:

    Since 2000
    Team Total Percent
    Duke 25 9.65%
    North Carolina 24 9.27%
    Kentucky 13 5.02%
    Kansas 12 4.63%
    Texas 12 4.63%
    Ohio State 11 4.25%
    Florida 9 3.47%
    Michigan State 8 3.09%
    UCLA 8 3.09%
    Syracuse 7 2.70%
    Memphis 7 2.70%
    Georgia Tech 6 2.32%
    Connecticut 6 2.32%
    Louisville 6 2.32%
    Villanova 6 2.32%
    NC State 5 1.93%
    Arizona 5 1.93%
    Oklahoma 5 1.93%
    Indiana 5 1.93%

  18. MISTA WOLF 03/28/2012 at 1:10 PM #

    Thanks Rye. Your correct when you say that we have underachieved when recruiting. Of course without even looking at statistics, we know there is a direct correlation (if we were to graph it) when you look at our win/loss relationship with those schools ahead of us that you listed.

  19. MISTA WOLF 03/28/2012 at 1:21 PM #

    the closer the talent gap = better win/loss VERSUS
    bigger gap = crappier win/loss ratio

  20. MISTA WOLF 03/28/2012 at 1:45 PM #

    I seen a mock draft that has C.J. going in the second round. That means come back C.J. To hell with the D league.

  21. ryebread 03/28/2012 at 2:29 PM #

    Mista: I’d argue that we’ve underachieved in two ways:

    1) Recruiting. We’ve clearly trailed the blues. Of course, one could argue that signing with a blue makes one an McDonald’s All American. Some of the stiffs I’ve seen (particularly big men) who signed with Duke or UNC and showed up in this game suggest that this might have been happening. The gap though is still huge.

    2) Talent development/coaching: This was actually the point I was trying to make. Let’s look at our peer group from that 2000+ selection that I highlighted above. Of the teams with 5+ McDonald’s All Americans over the past 12 years, we’ve probably had the least success. Outside of IU, we’re the only team that hasn’t made an Elite 8 run. Most have won titles, or been to a Final Four.

    I personally hope we’re turning the corner in both areas. I’m pretty excited about tonight, particularly if we could potentially reel in Jefferson.

  22. MISTA WOLF 03/28/2012 at 3:37 PM #

    Totally agree rye. Let alone the tradition, those schools also have great coaches and have become NBA factories. That alone recruits for itself. It seems we now have someone that can coach as well and help the talent we have in place maximize on their talents. IU will be in the elite eight very soon. I for one think Tom Crean is one of the best coaches in the college game.I have a crazy gut feeling we will land Amile Jefferson.

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