WARREN TO NBA

Apr. 08, 2014 @ 11:17 PM

Voted the ACC’s top player this season, T.J. Warren will take his game to professional basketball.

The N.C. State sophomore from Durham announced Tuesday that he will forego his final two seasons of college basketball eligibility and enter the NBA Draft.

“I would like to thank my coaches and teammates at NC State for allowing me to compete for this great university,” Warren said in a statement released by N.C. State. “It’s been a fun ride the last few years. I’ve had some great experiences and now I feel I’m ready to play at the next level. Playing in the NBA has been a lifelong dream of mine and playing at N.C. State has prepared me well to achieve my dream.”

Warren played at Durham’s Riverside High School before playing his last two seasons of high school basketball at Raleigh’s Word of God Academy and Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.

After averaging 12.1 points per game as a freshman in 2012-13, Warren emerged as one of the nation’s most prolific scorers this season.

The 6-8 Warren led the ACC by scoring 24.9 points per game, which was the No.3 scoring average in Division I this season. He made an ACC-best 52.5 percent of his field-goal attempts, making him just the third player in ACC history to lead the conference in scoring and rebounding in the same season.

Warren closed the season by scoring 20 or more points in his final 19 games. He posted 31 games with 20 or more points this season. His 871 points scored this season established an N.C. State single-season record.

Warren also led the ACC in field-goal percentage as a freshman, making him the sixth ACC player to lead the league in shooting percentage in his first two seasons.

“I am extremely proud of T.J. He has developed tremendously as a person and as a player over the last two years,” N.C. State head coach Mark Gottfried said. “He has matured and become a special player to coach. I truly believe he was the best offensive player in the nation this year, and although he is a great scorer, his rebounding and defensive improvement are often underappreciated. I am excited for T.J. and want the very best for him. I believe in him and will miss having him in our program.”

Warren was a second-generation player for the Wolfpack. His father, Tony, played at N.C. State from 1977-79 under coach Norm Sloan. Tony Warren was drafted in the eighth round by the Chicago Bulls in 1979. But T.J. Warren is projected to hear his name called relatively early in his summer’s NBA Draft, which only includes two rounds.

DraftExpress.com projects Warren to be selected in the middle of the first round as the No. 18 player in the draft.

The Sporting News projects Warren as the No. 13 pick.

The NBA Draft is June 26 in New York. Players selected in the first round receive contracts with guaranteed pay for the first two years.