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NCAA Basketball ACC BasketballNC State Wolfpack

T.J. Warren: N.C. State’s Front Runner for the 2013 ACC Freshman of the Year Award

Rob Kinnan USA TODAY Sports

The North Carolina State Wolfpack have a  freshman forward in T.J. Warren, who is destined for greatness. Hailing from Durham, North Carolina, Warren came from Duke Blue Devil territory and he was relatively close to Chapel Hill, home of the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Nevertheless, Warren went to Wake County to become a freshman stud for the Wolfpack. This player has exploded onto the scene in a big way this season. Last weekend, Warren scored 19 points off the bench against the Tar Heels. Earlier this season in a loss to the No. 3 ranked Michigan Wolverines, Warren scored 18 points while going eight of ten from the field.

On Jan. 20, Warren notched 21 points and six rebounds in a 66-62 win against the Clemson Tigers.  It is safe to say that at times, Warren has been the best player for the Wolfpack. Overall, I think that he is the third or fourth best player on the N.C. State’s roster when you think about the likes of Lorenzo Brown, Richard Howell, and C.J. Leslie (Preseason ACC Player of the Year).

One thing for sure is that Warren is the front-running candidate for the 2013 ACC Freshman of the Year. Warren averages 12.3 points and 3.6 rebounds a game while playing 25.9 minutes per game. Out of the top six players in N.C. State’s rotation, Warren also averages the least amount of turnovers a game (0.8).

Warren is efficient. When he enters the game, he realizes that his role is to score and defend. He reminds me of UNC’s Marvin Williams. As a freshman, Warren plays like a seasoned upperclassmen. He makes very few mistakes and he is not scared to take big shots. Currently, Warren ranks No. 25 in the ACC in the scoring leaders with 12.1. There is another freshman on the list as well, Olivier Hanlan (Boston College Eagles), who averages 14.1 points a game.

In my opinion, Warren gets the nod for 2013 ACC Freshman of the Year because he is the fourth N.C. State player on this list. Leslie averages 15.6 points per game. Both Howell and Brown average 12.7 points per game.  If Warren decides to come back for his sophomore season, N.C. State will continue to have a solid core of players who should help re-build their basketball program.