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NCAA Basketball ACC BasketballNC State Wolfpack

North Carolina State’s T.J. Warren Will Have Chance to Shine Following Decision to Return

Mark Dolejs-USA Today Sports

North Carolina State head coach Mark Gottfried will be facing a difficult challenge next season — having to replace all five starters from a team that was a virtual disappointment in 2012-13.

The Wolfpack began the season at No. 6 in the country, but N.C. State managed only a No. 8 seed within the NCAA Tournament. They were then eliminated in the Round of 64 by Temple.

Moving forward however, the Wolfpack are losing seniors Scott Wood and Richard Howell, while juniors C.J. Leslie and Lorenzo Brown have made the decision to forgo their remaining eligibility and declare for the 2013 NBA Draft. On top of that, freshman guard Rodney Purvis has announced his intentions to transfer.

With all that movement taking place, the spotlight now falls directly upon sophomore-to-be T.J. Warren. The Wolfpack have a strong recruiting class coming in next season, so N.C. State will have the potential to be dangerous, but they certainly will be young. Warren however,  can step into a larger role and higher level of leadership.

As a freshman, Warren 12.1 points per game which ironically enough was good enough for fifth on the team. Yes, five players averaged 12+ points per contest this past season and North Carolina State still failed to get out of the Round of 64. Either way, look for that number to increase as Warren can be amongst the top play makers and producers in the ACC next season. Warren also averaged 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 steal per game in 2012-13.

Warren announced his decision to return to Raleigh on Wednesday.

 

Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS