The importance of North Carolina State freshman T.J. Warren has been known for some time.
Long story short, when Warren is clicking on the offensive end, the Wolfpack are that much more dangerous, especially with March nearing its arrival.
On Tuesday night, Warren shone for a career-high 31 points. In addition, he grabbed 13 rebounds, which also marked a season-high. In turn, it was the first double-double of Warren’s young career.
As the disappointments continue to pile up for Florida State, the Wolfpack got exactly what they needed on Tuesday night: a convincing win. North Carolina State will find themselves jostling for position and seeding, not only for the upcoming ACC Tournament, but also in the NCAA Tournament.
A three-game losing skid earlier this month has quickly been countered by three consecutive wins, so head coach Mark Gottfried knows that his team has the capability of getting hot down the stretch. The Wolfpack are not currently ranked within the AP Top 25, but N.C. State certainly has the potential to make a run within the Big Dance, there is no doubt about that.
Moving forward, it’s clear that Warren’s importance and overall production will be counted upon more and more. It’s unlikely that Warren will have games like he did on Tuesday night, but that potential can certainly derail opponents. His contributions to the team will be just another worry for teams that N.C. State matches up with in the final weeks.
A true road test at North Carolina is on the docket for this weekend.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS