"It Was A Great Experience"

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Tyler Lewis and T.J. Warren have played together since they were young, so it was only fitting that their high school careers came to a close on the same floor at the Derby City Classic on Friday night.

Tyler Lewis and T.J. Warren have played together since they were young, so it was only fitting that their high school careers came to a close on the same floor at the Derby City Classic on Friday night.

Both N.C. State signees finished with efficient stat lines and smiles on their faces despite Warren's team being victorious, 130-127.

Warren scored a game-high 27 points (11 of 16 from the field, 5 of 6 from the line) and grabbed five rebounds. Lewis embraced the facilitator role as he took the least amount of shots on his team, going 4 of 7 from the field (2 of 4 from 3) for 11 points while dishing out six assists.

"It feels good to play in an event like this," Warren said. "It's very prestigious, and a lot of good players have played in it."

The 5-foot-11 Lewis knows that people have judged him his whole life, so he embraces the opportunity to step on the court to dazzle all onlookers.

After playing at Forsyth Country Day (N.C.) for four years (he played as an eighth grader), the point guard took his talents to Oak Hill Academy (Va.) for his senior year — where he was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Virginia.

"It feels good playing in my last game just because I've been through such a hard high school career," he said. "I went through many ups and downs – lots of adversity. So I just wanted to prove the haters wrong one last time."

To go along with playing in the Derby Classic, Lewis — as well as Warren — was also named to the McDonald's All-American game.

"It was a great experience," Lewis said. "The McDonald's game is the most prestigious of them all, and this was a great high school basketball event. So it was an honor to play in them."

Another player that N.C. State is recruiting is Amile Jefferson — who also played in both games with Warren and Lewis.

Jefferson, the lone undecided player in the Derby Classic, walked away with the MVP award after scoring 26 points on 11 of 18 shooting (4 of 4 from the line) and grabbing five rebounds.

The 6-foot-9 forward is down to the Wolfpack, Duke, Villanova, Ohio State and Kentucky.

Whether or not Jefferson will join Lewis and Warren is another question, but regardless, Warren is ready for that next step in his basketball career.

"I just look forward to getting on the floor at N.C. State," Warren said. "It's going to be a lot of fun playing at N.C. State and doing everything that I can do to win."

The third member of the class is guard Rodney Purvis. Purvis also played in the McDonald's All-American game but is playing his final high school game Saturday at the Jordan Brand Classic in Charlotte, N.C.

"It's going to be fun coming in with those guys," Warren said. "I know both of their games, they know my game real well. So we should bond together."

Warren transferred to Word of God (N.C.) after spending his first two years of high school at Riverside (N.C.). To polish off his game, the 6-foot-7 forward then transferred to Brewster Academy (Mass.) to round out his game — a move that helped propel him into the player he has become.

When asked what Warren and Lewis were predicting for N.C. State during their tenure: "National champs. That's a promise."


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