Success came a year early for Mark Gottfried at North Carolina State. As critics debated whether the coach was a good fit for the Wolfpack, Gottfried led his team to the Sweet 16 and did one other thing: lock up a stellar recruiting class.
That three-man class will be on display tonight in Chicago, as Tyler Lewis, TJ Warren, and Rodney Purvis take part in the McDonald’s All-American Game.
NBCSports.com takes a look at NC State’s three-man group and one other player, Amile Jefferson, who has yet to make a decision, but is down to a group of schools that includes NC State.
Tyler Lewis | Oak Hill (VA) | 5-11 G | Statesville, NC
Lewis won Player of the Year in the state of Virginia, and rightfully so. He averaged 12 points and 7.9 assists in his senior season and left Oak Hill (the same school that produced Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, Brandon Jennings, and Ty Lawson) as the leading assist man. He is a crafty passer and a very good shooter who will fit well into the up-tempo style that Gottfried likes to run.
Rodney Purvis | Upper Room Christian (NC) | 6-4 G | Raleigh, NC
As far as rankings go, Purvis is the biggest catch of the 2012 NC State bunch. At 6-4, he has good size for a shooting guard at the college level. He attacks the basket well and is another asset in transition for the Wolfpack. Before signing his name to NC State, he was committed to Louisville.
TJ Warren | Brewster Academy (NH) | 6-7 F | Durham, NC
It’s easy to see that Gottfried has no plans to change the philosophy he had in place this season at NC State that brought so much success, and Warren is more proof. He is an athletic forward who is versatile and will work well in combination with Lewis, who has a knack for finding players in the right spot.
Amile Jefferson | Friend’s Central (PA) | 6-8 F | Philadelphia, PA
Jefferson is one of the smartest players on the court from the Class of 2012. He is athletic, but not a top-flight athlete. What he may lack in that department, he makes up for with his ability to know what to exploit within a defense and when to attack the rim, work away from the basket, or pass the basketball. It is likely that Jefferson will choose between NC State and Duke. Villanova and others are reportedly in the mix, as well.