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.