North Carolina State v Miami - ACC Semifinals

T.J. Warren slims down, ready for breakout year at N.C. State

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North Carolina State, the preseason favorite in the ACC in 2012-2013, lost Lorenzo Brown, Rodney Purvis, Scott Wood, C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell, also known as last season’s starting five.

It looks as if it’s going to be a long year in Raleigh for Mark Gottfried and Co., but the one bright spot could be the emergence of sophomore forward T.J. Waren. He was the Wolfpack’s top reserve, averaging 12.1 points and 4.2 rebounds, shooting 62 percent from the floor. N.C. State will rely on him heavily this season, though following this summer heavy isn’t the word used to describe Warren.

This offseason Warren slimmed down from 240 to a lean 218 pounds, earning the nickname T.J. 2.0 from Bert Strelow of the Fayetteville Observer.

As Sterlow points out, Gottfried will have options when using Warren this season, either playing him at the four, or having him out on the wing.

“T.J. would cause a lot of nightmare matchups if he played the four (spot), because I really don’t think there’s any fours in the ACC that can step out and guard him on the perimeter,” sophomore point guard Tyler Lewis told Strelow.

Warren’s weight loss was a result of a competition between him and Lewis, his roommate and the only other member averaged double-digit minutes last season. According to Sterlow, Lewis was trying to bulk up, adding 15 pounds this offseason.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
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South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.