Before the season, T.J. Warren said he could handle the transition from the supporting cast to N.C. States No. 1 option.
Turns out he knew what he was talking about. Warren, a sophomore, won both the coaches and medias vote for the ACC Player of the Year on Tuesday. A 6-foot-8 forward from Durham, he is the first Wolfpack player to win the media award since Julius Hodge in 2004 and the sixth overall.
Warren led the ACC in scoring (24.8 points per game) and field-goal percentage (.532). He closed the season with consecutive 40-point games, 41 in a win at Pittsburgh and 42 in a home win against Boston College. No one had scored at least 40 in back-to-back ACC games since the 1956-57 season.
N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried broke the news to Warren after practice Tuesday, and the players gathered at midcourt and all cheered for Warren, who said he couldnt have won the award without his teammates.
Its basically a team award, Warren said. These guys put in a lot of work and made me better.
Warren was a unanimous choice for the All-ACC team on Monday, along with Duke freshman forward Jabari Parker. Warren received 48 first-place votes to beat out Parker (25 votes), who averaged 19.2 points and an ACC-best 9.0 rebounds, in the player-of-the-year media vote. North Carolinas Marcus Paige received two votes.
Warren won the coaches vote, which has only been given the past two years. Miamis Shane Larkin and Virginia Techs Erick Green split the honors last season, but Warren swept both Tuesday.
Its an award thats well-deserved, Gottfried said. I think he earned it.
Warren was more consistent than Parker, one of the top freshmen in the country, during ACC play. Warren had only two ACC games with fewer than 20 points and six with more than 30. By comparison, Parker had 12 games with fewer than 20 points and only one 30-point ACC game.
For the season, Warren scored 30 or more nine times and the Wolfpack went 8-1 in those games. Warren also led the ACC in offensive rebounding (3.2 per game) and ranked among the top five in steals (54) and top 10 in rebounding (7.1) and minutes played (34.9).
He played at a high level all season long, Gottfried said.
Warren joins Ronnie Shavlik (1956), Lou Pucillo (1959), Rodney Monroe (1991), Hodge and David Thompson as N.C. States other player of the year winners. Thompson won the award three straight years from 1973 to 75.
• Freshman of year: Parker was a nearly unanimous selection, receiving 72 of 77 votes. Syracuse guard Tyler Ennis received four and Virginias London Perrantes one. Parker also was the coaches choice.
• Coach of year: Virginias Tony Bennett received 68 votes to win the award. North Carolinas Roy Williams finished second with six votes. Pitts Jamie Dixon, Clemsons Brad Brownell and Miamis Jim Larranaga each received one vote. Bennett also was the coaches choice.
• Defensive player of year: Clemsons K.J. McDaniels won the award with 39 votes. Parker (4), Warren (1), Paige (1) and Wake Forests Devin Thomas were among those also receiving votes. McDaniels also was the coaches choice.