TJ Warren “Has that Knack”

Lots of Wolfpack Football topics to go around lately, but let’s not forget that it’s December, and that NC State does still have a basketball team that it hopes will (eventually) be among the nation’s best before the ’12-’13 season is out.

Great article tonight from the N&O featuring NC State’s TJ Warren and how the super freshman has thus far been exceeding expectations….

Warren, a reserve for the first five games, started for the first time at Michigan and scored a team-high 18 points. He has led the Pack in scoring three times and is their highest scorer at 15.3 points per game.

“He has that knack,” Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried said. “He knows how to get open. And with his size, he’s got real long arms and finds a way to effectively get it done real quick.”

That knack on the court didn’t come easily for Warren. The 6-foot-8 forward has had to adapt to two positions for State.

[snip]

“I feel like I’m adapting very quickly,” Warren said. “I’m feeling more comfortable on the court. I’m playing different positions and learning about different players each game, and I’m adapting to new parts.”

Warren has earned the respect of Howell for his performances early on.

“He helps out a lot because he’s a scorer,” Howell said. “He’s one of the most prolific scorers in the nation, and I don’t feel a lot of people are paying attention to that.”

While his numbers don’t match those of some freshmen scorers nationwide, Warren is making his mark in the ACC as the leader in points scored by a freshman and seventh overall in the conference.

Howell explains why Warren’s efforts have gone unnoticed nationally.

“I think the sole reason for that is because he doesn’t get his points in bunches,” Howell said. “He doesn’t go out there and people say, ‘Oh my God,’ and it’s not some wild-type 20 point performance. He just scores, and that’s something that we definitely need.”

[snip]

Though he probably won’t be touted as an impact player over the likes of Leslie, Brown or any of the starting five, one thing is for sure – look for him to be a spark plug off the bench each time he steps onto the court.

“He never pouts about his role,” Howell said. “We need him to come off the bench and provide us with that type of firepower.”

The truth is that is doesn’t really matter whether TJ has come off the bench as a “sixth starter”, or has been on the floor at tip off.  He’s still been the guy who more often than not has been in the right place to put the ball in the bucket when needed.  He’s a scorer in the truest sense and has a way of being in the right place a the right time.

Regardless of who starts, look for TJ to be on the floor when it really matters – at crunch time at the end of games, and pretty much any other time it really counts.

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Pack Basketball resumes its ’12-’13 campaign Tuesday night when it takes on the Huskies of UConn in the Jimmy V Classic from Madison Square Garden.  Tip off for the game is set for 9pm and will be televised on ESPN.

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If you’re looking for a place to talk even more Wolfpack sports (and all other things NC State and beyond), then be sure to join the cool kids over on the SFN Forums.

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About Wufpacker

A 2nd generation alumnus and raised since birth to be irrationally dedicated to all things NC State. Class of '88 and '92.

12-13 Basketball

6 Responses to TJ Warren “Has that Knack”

  1. Alpha Wolf 12/04/2012 at 5:32 AM #

    I think it is fair to say that it’s a no-brainer that Warren will be a superstar in the conference if he stays a couple more years…though if he keeps up, he may have a tough decision to make about turning pro. He’s the kind of player that the Association craves: a hard-worker with a never-quit attitude.

  2. Dogbreath 12/04/2012 at 6:40 AM #

    I’m afraid that if our guards do not learn to defend the perimeter, out big guys are going to be in foul trouble early and often by having to rotate over to cut off dribble penetration. Our topside defense is about the worst I’ve ever seen.

  3. PoppaJohn 12/04/2012 at 8:33 AM #

    I’m getting tired of hearing me say to my friends, “It’s early, give them time.” I hope that is the problem.

  4. tjfoose1 12/04/2012 at 11:37 AM #

    Have faith, Poppa. We have the coach, and the talent, but not (yet) the established program or culture. It’ll come. Be patient.

    Even the greatest players in the world (The Heat) struggled for a time when thrown together without an established structure and program.

    I think people sometimes forget the Wolfpack is not just working in 3 freshman, but the coach and the program are also ‘new’. Even the veteran leaders on the team are still learning the system, their roles, and how to win consistently and deal with the expectations that come with it.

    There is no structure into which to integrate the freshman. It’s all being developed in parallel. Expect some bumps. November and December is exactly the time to work through it.

  5. rtpack24 12/04/2012 at 2:56 PM #

    I went to the opener and thought we played really good perimeter defense that night. However, the rest of the time I have seen us play we have played perimeter defense average to poor. UNCA is 1-7 and the main reason is both their starting guards are first time starters. They have had trouble all year with teams that put pressure on the ball and guard well. They play us and almost beat us. Hopefully tonight we play hard and show improvement in this area. Our staff is well aware this is a problem. Go Pack! Make Jimmy V and Wolfpack Nation proud tonight.

  6. john of sparta 12/04/2012 at 8:17 PM #

    All top programs are “working in three freshmen”
    EVERY year. we’re different in that our coach is
    in his second year.

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