A little something from Andy Katz and the ESPN College Basketball Blog that every Pack fan should take the time to read. NC State rebuilding for the future (ESPN.com) NC State was staring at a potential NIT bid in Mark Gottfried’s first season with two games left in the 2011-12 regular season. The Wolfpack won [...]
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.
“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.”
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.
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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