UNC, Duke have one each

N.C. State recruits ready for McDonald’s Game

Today, 9:30 p.m., ESPN

tstevens@newsobserver.comMarch 27, 2012 

  • More information McDonald’s All-American Boys’ Basketball Game Wednesday, 9:30 p.m., ESPN EAST TEAM Name ;School; Position ;College Kyle Anderson ;St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.) ;SF ;UCLA DaJuan Coleman ;Jamesville-Dewitt (DeWitt, N.Y.) ;C ;Syracuse Kris Dunn ;New London (New London, Conn.) ;PG ;Providence Perry Ellis ;Wichita Heights (Wichita, Kan.); PF ;Kansas Shaq Goodwin ;Southwest DeKalb (Decatur, Ga.) ;PF ;Memphis Gary Harris ;Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers, Ind.) ;SG ;Michigan State Amile Jefferson; Friends’ Central (Wynnewood, Pa.) ;PF ;Undecided Tyler Lewis ;Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) ;PG ;N.C. State Tony Parker ;Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.) ;PF ;Undecided Alex Poythress ;Northeast (Clarksville, Tenn.) ;SF ;Kentucky Rodney Purvis; Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh) ;SG ;N.C. State T.J. Warren ;Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) ;SF ;N.C. State WEST TEAM Name ;School ;Position ;College Brandon Ashley ;Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.); PF ;Arizona Isaiah Austin ;Grace Prep (Arlington, Texas) ;C ;Baylor Anthony Bennett ;Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.); PF ;Undecided Yogi Ferrell ;Park Tudor (Indianapolis) ;PG ;Indiana Archie Goodwin ;Sylvan Hills (Sherwood, Ark.) ;SG ;Kentucky Grant Jerrett ;La Verne Lutheran (La Verne, Calif.) ;PF ;Arizona Shabazz Muhammad ;Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) ;SF ;Undecided Marcus Paige ;Linn-Mar (Marion, Iowa) ;PG ;North Carolina Devonta Pollard ;Kemper County (De Kalb, Miss.) ;PF ;Undecided Cameron Ridley ;Bush (Fort Bend, Texas) ;C ;Texas Marcus Smart ;Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas) ;SG ;Oklahoma State Rasheed Sulaimon ;Strake Jesuit (Houston); SG ;Duke

Any reference to the North Carolina contingent at the McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago tonight means N.C. State recruits, not future University of North Carolina players.

The Wolfpack has three Tar Heels in the game, but the designation applies not to their college decision, but to their residence.

T. J. Warren, who grew up in Durham, and Tyler Lewis, from Lewisville, played their senior seasons at out-of-state high schools, but they join Raleigh’s Rodney Purvis in giving the state, and State, three players in the game. It is a record for the state and for the university.

Lewis played at Forsyth Country Day, but transferred to Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy and helped coach Steve Smith’s Warriors to a 44-0 national championship season. Lewis was named the Virginia Gatorade Player of the Year.

Purvis picked up the N.C. Gatorade award for while playing at Raleigh’s Upper Room Christian Academy.

Warren’s father Tony was one of the best basketball players ever at Raleigh Enloe High and later played at N.C. State. T.J. played at Durham Riverside as a sophomore, at Raleigh Word of God as a junior and last year at Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster Academy.

Aiming for N.C. State

Lewis said the players had often talked about going to N.C. State.

“Coach (Mark) Gottfriend has turned the program around. We know we’re going to have a lot of pressure on us. That’s even more exciting,” he said. Purvis said N.C. State was a great fit for him.

“It was probably one of the best decisions that I’ve made in a long time,” he said. “Just being able to play with guys that I grew up with, Tyler Lewis and T.J. Warren. N.C. State made a great run in the tournament. I’m really happy with my decision.”

Gottfried has impressed the recruits. Purvis was considering schools such as Memphis, Connecticut and Ohio State before the coach sold him on the Wolfpack.

Warren said the three players know there is a lot of work ahead of them.

“We just want to get there and work hard and try to be one of the top teams in the country next year,” he said. “We just want to bring NC State back to where it needs to be.

“We know what we have to do and we’re going to do it. We’re going to come in and work hard. We’re going to take it as far as we can.

There also is a chance that N.C. State eventually may be able to claim four 2012 McDonald’s All-Americans because uncommitted Amile Jefferson, a 6-foot-8 forward from Philadelphia, has the Wolfpack among his finalists.

“Hopefully, we can have some more McDonald’s All-Americans. We’re definitely putting the full-court pressure on him. We really want him there,” Lewis said Tuesday.

Shabazz Muhammad, the nation’s top-ranked player, also is not committed.

North Carolina, the school, is represented by Marcus Paige of Marion, Iowa, the top-ranked point guard recruit in the country, and Duke has shooting guard Rasheed Sulaimon of Houston in the game.

Correspondent Bob Naran contributed to this story.

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