|ESPN.com: Boys Basketball||[Print without images]|
|On the heels of a Sweet 16 run, the future at NC State is bright with the impending arrival of McDonald's All-Americans Rodney Purvis, left, Tyler Lewis and T.J. Warren.|
While North Carolina State busted brackets en route to the NCAA tournament's Sweet 16 this month, three members of the Wolfpack's much-hyped incoming recruiting class weren't the least bit surprised.
T.J. Warren, No. 29 in the ESPNU 100, had the Wolfpack dancing to the Sweet 16 in his bracket. Rodney Purvis, No. 20 in the ESPNU 100, was a bit bolder, having them in the Final Four. And had No. 44 recruit Tyler Lewis filled out a bracket -- or even watched the games, for that matter -- he says he "would have had them going far."
"Every time I've watched State this year, they lose," said Lewis, an Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) senior. "I watched the UNC games. I watched the Duke game when we were up 20 and they came back on us. So now I just track the games on my phone. As long as we're winning, I'm fine."
"There's a lot of buzz in the [Raleigh-Durham area] because not a lot of people expected NC State to make a run this year," said Purvis, who averaged 26.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game as a senior. "Based on how the guys are doing this year, expectations are definitely pretty high for us coming in next year." Considering that Duke and UNC also occupy Tobacco Road, it's no small thing when NC State can steal a bit of the spotlight. That's why, for the better part of three decades, Wolfpack nation has been waiting for this perfect storm of talent. And while a highly touted recruiting class doesn't guarantee wins and championships, these three players know that fans won't be satisfied unless they're able to alter the status quo. "We're trying to come in, follow through on what this year's team has been doing and hopefully break up that whole thing UNC and Duke have going," said Warren, whose dad played for NC State from 1976 to 1979. "Nothing's going to be given to us, but we want to make things more competitive. We want to compete in the conference and tournament year in and year out." It might seem like the Wolfpack have come out of nowhere with a string of big commitments and a tournament run. But in reality, the roots for NC State's mounting hope stretch a bit deeper.