The Suns took North Carolina State standout TJ Warren with the 14th overall pick in last week’s draft.
We’ve delved deeper into the impact the 6-8 forward made in college and why Phoenix made him their man in the lottery. Five things stood out.
Scoring + Efficiency
By now, everyone knows Warren ranked third in the nation and first in the ACC by pouring in 24.9-points per game.
It was how he did it that made him a lottery pick. Warren’s unique brand of mid-range jumpers, runners and contested shots in the paint were all converted at a 52.5-percent clip.
The result: only he and No. 2 overall pick Jabari Parker ranked in the top five of the ACC in both scoring average and shooting percentage.
Option A, B and C
It’s not like college opponents didn’t know that Warren would get the ball. The 6-8 forward’s usage percentage (the amount of team plays used by a specific player while on the floor) was a whopping 35.5 percent.
In other words, he involved on more than a third of N.C. State’s plays. His usage percentage ranked first in the ACC and fourth in the country.
Despite the unrelenting defensive attention that resulted, Warren still produced at an elite level. He and Creighton’s Doug McDermott (taken 11th overall) were the only players in the country to rank in the top five in both per game scoring and usage percentage.
Three-Pointers in Store?
Warren had a down year from beyond the arc in 2013-14, but that was largely due to the attention he drew and the lack of quality returners around him (five of N.C. State’s top six players had departed the summer before).
It’s worth noting that Warren shot a scorching 51.9 percent from downtown in 2012-13. He was efficient with that shot, attempting just 1.1 tries per contest from beyond the arc in his freshman season.
The point? Leave him open if you really want to. He can hit it.
Defense There Too
Warren’s impact is visible on the other side of the court. His 1.8 steals per contest ranked fourth in the ACC and his work on the boards (7.1 rpg) was seventh-best.
If you’re looking for two-way players, then Warren might be the best candidate from the best conference – he’s the only player from the ACC to rank in the top 10 in points, rebounds and steals per game last season.
"W" Stands for Warren, Wins
Win shares are an estimate of the number of wins contributed by a player due to his offense and defense. It’s one of the more all-encompassing stats in the world of analytics, and Warren was particularly dominant in this area.
His 6.5 total win shares ranked second in the ACC, and his 4.8 offensive win shares was tops in the conference and ninth in the country.