NC State was without point guard Lorenzo Brown due to injury Saturday vs. No. 14 Miami. In his absence, the Wolfpack looked to freshman Tyler Lewis, who had played just 38 minutes through the first eight games of ACC play.
He would be asked to nearly equal that total Saturday, playing 36 stellar minutes and almost leading NC State to a win. A tip-in in the final seconds by Miami’s Reggie Johnson would keep the Hurricanes undefeated in league play, but Lewis’ 16 points, five assists, and just one turnover kept the Wolfpack in the game when they needed it most.
But it wasn’t necessarily his on-court performance that is most impressive. Instead, it is the set of circumstances leading up to the game that give reason for applause.
As detailed in a story in Sunday’s Fayetteville Observer, Lewis played with a heavy heart Saturday, less than 24 hours after the death of his 83-year-old grandmother. He decided he would play Saturday, dedicating the game to his grandmother and grandfather, the man whose words motivated him to remain in Raleigh and take the court against Miami.
“I knew what I had to do out there,” Lewis told the Observer. “I had to prove (myself) to all the people that hadn’t seen me play this year. After this, I think I proved a lot of people wrong.”
To read the story in its entirety, click here.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_
Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.
The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.
Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.
With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.
“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”
Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.
While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.