In the absence of fellow McDonald’s All-American Rodney Purvis, who remains in the United States as his eligibility status is sorted out, TJ Warren is blossoming during NC State’s overseas trip.
The 6-8, 230-pound Warren scored 26 points on 13-of-16 shooting from the floor to lead the Wolfpack to an 85-70 victory over CB Gran Canaria U20 Friday in the Canary Islands.
“The style of play over here is much more physical than what we’re used to back home,” Warren said in a statement after the game. “But my goal is understanding our plays and improving myself as a player.”
Warren’s impact as a scoring option is more important as Lorenzo Brown continues to work back to full strength after surgery and Purvis’ eligibility continues to be worked out.
He was a Top-25 player coming out of high school and fits well into the up-tempo style employed by head coach Mark Gottfried.
Brown, who underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus after the season, contributed with 13 points and eight assists. He and returning forward CJ Leslie will be integral to the Wolfpack’s success if they are to challenge for an ACC title in 2012-13.
The Wolfpack are coming off a surprising run to the Sweet 16 this past season, losing to eventual Final Four participant Kansas. Along with Brown and Leslie returning and Warren and Purvis (if he is eligible), NC State also brings in McDonald’s All-American point guard Tyler Lewis.