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Former NC State Forward TJ Warren finished his rookie season strong with the Phoenix Suns.  On the year, he averaged 15.4 minutes per game, but in April he saw that average jump to 25.7 minutes per game.  He averaged 6.1 points per game, while shooting an impressive 52.8% from the field.  His future looks bright according to Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek, who projects that he will start in the NBA one day.

This week we had the chance to catch up with T.J. and pick his brain on what the past year has been like for him.

The transition from college to the NBA…
It’s been a smooth transition for me, minus the early injury that kept me out a month. With every opportunity, I believe I performed pretty well.  Coming on strong at the end of the year gave me some good momentum heading into the next year. I’m really excited for my future with the Suns.

How NC State prepared him for his rookie season…
My 2 years at NC State were an amazing experience for me and definitely helped prepare for the next level. The coaching staff gave me a good boost of confidence from start to finish. Gottfried and the staff really helped me improve myself and keep a strong work ethic throughout my 2 years that has carried on into the NBA.

What it was like to watch NC State in the NCAA tournament…
It was a beautiful thing seeing that group make a strong run like that. That Sweet 16 run was really impressive. Gottfried does a really great job motivating guys and getting them ready to play on the big stage.

The toughest defensive matchup this year was…
The toughest guy I had to defend was Kevin Durant, the former MVP of the league. With him having the ball so much, he is definitely a tough cover. Covering him was a rookie moment for me.  Haha.

Who he likes in the NBA Finals…
I like the Warriors in this series.  With Kyrie down I think it’s going to be tough, but it’s hard to go against Lebron. It’s been an entertaining series so far. I’m glad to see good basketball played on both sides. I can’t wait to play on that stage in my future!

 

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