NC State freshman small forward T.J. Warren has four regular season games remaining before the ACC Tournament to get comfortable in the starting lineup.
The 6-foot-8, 224-pounder from Durham, N.C., moved into the starting lineup against Florida State on Feb. 19, and exploded for 31 points and 13 rebounds. He became one of only five NC State freshman to score over 30 points in a game joining Ernie Myers (35 in 1983), J.J. Hickson (33 and 31 in 2007), Scott Wood (31 in 2010) and Brandon Costner (30 in 2006).
Warren followed up his spectacular game with a solid showing against North Carolina last Saturday with 10 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two blocks for his second double-double on the season.
NC State coach Mark Gottfried praised Warren's work on the boards the last two games, which will enable the Wolfpack to get more fastbreak and second-chance scoring opportunities.
Warren is aiming for third straight double-double against Boston College at 8 p.m. tonight at PNC Arena.
"He got the opportunity to be in the starting lineup, and one thing he can bring is giving us an additional rebounder," Gottfried said. "I don't want him to be in the lineup just so he can score more points. He's got to defend well and rebound well, And we've talked to him about that.
"I think he's responded. He's getting to the glass, finding ways to rebound the ball, and I think that's important."
Warren is averaging 12.1 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in 25.7 minutes of action. He is shooting a blistering 62.2 percent from the field and is a threat from three-point land, with four game with at least two from beyond the arc. He's shooting 54.5 percent on three-pointers this season.
Gottfried also thinks Warren has potential on the defensive end with his strong body against smaller small forwards.
"Well, like with most freshmen, coaches, we nitpick everybody to death," Gottfried said. "I think he can get better there. I do think he's paying attention and trying to figure out exactly how to guard, and he makes mistakes like everybody else. I think he's been pretty solid defensively."
Boston College preview
Boston College (12-15, 4-10 ACC) at NC State (19-8, 8-6 ACC)
Game time: Wednesday, Feb. 27, 8 p.m. — PNC Arena, Raleigh, N.C.
Television: ACC Network
PG — 2 Lorenzo Brown (6-5, 186, Jr., 12.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 7.0 apg, 2.0 spg)
SG — 15 Scott Wood (6-6, 169, Sr., 12.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.1 apg)
SF — 24 T.J. Warren (6-8, 224, Fr., 12.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.6 apg)
PF — 5 C.J. Leslie (6-9, 200, Jr., 15.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.0 spg, 1.0 bpg)
C — 1 Richard Howell (6-8, 257, Sr., 13.0 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.1 spg, 1.0 bpg)
PG — 25 Joe Rahon (6-2, 195, Fr., 9.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.6 apg)
SG — 21 Olivier Hanlan (6-4, 188, Fr., 14.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.2 spg)
SF — 33 Patrick Heckmann (6-5, 205, Soph., 8.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.0 spg)
PF — 12 Ryan Anderson (6-8, 220, Soph., 15.4 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.6 apg)
C — 24 Dennis Clifford (6-11, 275, Soph., 3.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.9 bpg)
Location: Chestnut Hill, Mass.
2011-12 record: 9-22 overall, 4-12 ACC
2012 postseason: None
Coach: Steve Donahue, third season at Boston College (42-50) and 13th overall (188-188)
Series: Boston College leads 8-7
Last meeting: NC State won 78-73 on Jan. 5, 2013, in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Boston College: The youthful Eagles hung tough with NC State on Jan. 5 until senior wing Scott Wood broke the game open late with two big three-pointers for the Wolfpack. Sophomore power forward Ryan Anderson had 22 points and 13 rebounds to lead Boston College, and freshman point guard Joe Rahon added 18 points … Rahon is one of three perimeter players in the starting lineup with freshman shooting guard Olivier Hanlon and sophomore small forward Patrick Heckmann. Anderson and sophomore center Dennis Clifford round out the lineup, with sophomore wing Lonnie Jackson a former starter … Anderson has carried the Eagles inside all season and has seven double-doubles. Prior to scoring just two points in BC's 69-58 win over Maryland Feb. 19 — just his fifth game in single digits this year — he had scored in double figures in 16 straight games. Anderson had an ACC-high 26 points and nine rebounds at Virginia Tech Jan. 9, and he went for 29 points and 17 rebounds in the season-opening 84-70 win over Florida International Nov. 11. The 6-8, 220-pound Anderson has tried 14 three-point attempts this season (making three), which is considerably down from last year when he went 23 of 84 from beyond the arc … Hanlon has emerged as an ACC Rookie of the Year candidate. The 6-4, 188-pounder from Canada is averaging 14.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, and is shooting 33.3 percent from three-point range. Hanlon had 10 points and three assists in the previous meeting against NC State. He tallied a career-high 26 points and seven boards in the win over Maryland, and also has scored 22 points in a pair of games — a 73-61 win at Penn State Nov. 28 and a 82-70 home loss versus UNC Jan. 29. Hanlon has scored in double figures in all but five games … Rahon has played well off of Hanlon and is averaging 9.9 points and 3.6 assists per game, while shooting 32.8 percent from three-point land. The 6-2, 195-pounder had 18 points and two assists against NC State, and also had 26 points and shot 6 of 7 from three-point land in a 75-68 win over Clemson Feb. 2. Rahon has scored in double figures in four ACC games and 12 games overall … Heckmann is averaging 8.0 points and is shooting 35.8 percent from three-point land this season. The Mainz, Germany, product had five points and went 1 of 7 from the field before fouling out against NC State. He had an ACC-high 15 points at Duke on Feb. 24 … The 7-0, 250-pound Clifford has battled injuries this season. He averaged 8.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game last year, but has fallen to 3.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per contest this season. He has started 12 of 24 games played this season, including the last five. However, he has gone scoreless the last two contests … Jackson has started 19 games this season, but has come off the bench the last four contests. The slight 6-3, 180-pounder is averaging 9.6 points and is shooting 39.6 percent on three-pointers.