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Pack in the Pros

TJ Warren off to a blistering start. So why is he coming off the bench for the Suns?

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The addition of the 6’7 Mikal Bridges (#10 overall pick) and the signing of 6’8 Trevor Ariza seemed to be the writing on the wall that the Suns were moving on from former NC State star TJ Warren. These were some peculiar moves seeing as Warren averaged almost 20 points and 5 boards last season. However, his inability to stretch the defense and hit from 3 seemingly hurt him.

The moves have pushed Warren to the bench, but he’s still serving as the 6th man for the Suns, and so far this season he’s proving that they may want to rethink that.

Warren has started this season where he left off last season. He’s averaging 20 points per game in just 23 minutes (he averaged over 30 minutes the past 2 seasons). His rebounding numbers are down (2.7) but his rebounds per minute are close to his career average. One area Warren is shooting a blistering 58% from the floor and has shown significant improvements from beyond the arc.

Last season Warren struggled from long range (22%) and may be the reason the Suns were looking for someone more versatile. But Warren is out to prove that he can stretch the defense and is hitting a crazy 57% (8-14) from beyond the arc so far this season. If this trend continues, the Suns will be forced to give Warren more minutes and likely move him back into the starting role.

Check out the highlights above to see his latest big performance. A 27 point outburst in a loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Pack in the Pros

Joe Thuney Wins 2nd Super Bowl Ring!

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The New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII last night, giving former NC State All-American Offensive Lineman Joe Thuney his second Super Bowl ring.

Thuney made NFL history last night, becoming the first player to start in 3 Super Bowls in their first 3 seasons.

He has been a rock of consistency at offensive guard for the Pats ever since they drafted him in the 3rd round of the 2016 NFL Draft, starting every single game since day one…51 straight games.

Thuney joins Mike Cofer and Perry Williams as the only players in NC State history to win 2 Super Bowls.

Joe Thuney – LI & LIII – Offensive Guard – New England Patriots
Mike Cofer – XXIII & XXIV – Kicker – San Francisco 49ers
Perry Williams – XXI & XXV – Cornerback – New York Giants

His 3 Super Bowl appearances are the 2nd most in NC State history.

Jim Ritcher – 4
Joe Thuney – 3
Mike Cofer – 2
Perry Williams – 2
Mike Jones – 2
Torry Holt – 2
Russell Wilson – 2
J.R. Sweezy – 2
Steven Hauschka – 2
(Bill Cowher – 2 – as a head coach)

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Pack in the Pros

Former NC State ROY Dennis Smith Jr has been Traded to the New York Knicks

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Dennis Smith Jr., former NC State ACC Freshman of the Year, has officially been traded to the New York Knicks.

It’s fitting that Smith landed in New York, considering he just dropped his 2nd career triple-double in Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.

After it was all said and done, the Knicks will have roughly $71 million in salary cap space heading into the summer, which could pay two max salary players to package with Dennis.

Top targets: Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard.

The buzz around Durant has been that New York might be his most likely destination.

Through 101 games over the past two seasons with the Mavericks, Smith finished his time there averaging 14.5 points and 4.9 assists.

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Former NC State WR Alvis Whitted Named Wide Receivers Coach for Green Bay Packers

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Former NC State Wide Receiver Alvis Whitted has been named the Wide Receivers Coach for the Green Bay Packers.

Whitted has spent the past 9 seasons as the Wide Receivers Coach at Colorado State, developing 3 All-Americans in that span (Michael Gallup, Rashard Higgins, and Preston Williams).

Prior to becoming a coach, Whitted spent 9 years as a wide receiver himself in the NFL, spending 4 years with the Jacksonville Jaguars (who drafted him in the 7th round of the 1998 NFL Draft, with the 192nd overall pick), and 5 with the Oakland Raiders.

He finished his NFL career with 74 receptions for 1,030 yards and 6 touchdowns.

At NC State, Whitted compiled 29 receptions for 461 yards.

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Nate McMillan is the 26th Coach in NBA History to Win 600 Games

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Former NC State Guard Nate McMillan became the 26th coach in NBA history to win 600 regular season games this week.

McMillan played 2 years at NC State, and was a captain for the 1985-86 squad. Despite only 2 years worth of stats, McMillan ranks 9th all-time in assists, and ranks 5th in assist-to-turnover ratio.

In 1986, McMillan was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics with the 30th pick in the 2nd round.

McMillan played 12 seasons in the NBA, all for Seattle. He ranks 2nd all-time in assists in SuperSonics history. Seattle retired his #10 jersey on March 24th, 1999.

He has spent the past 2o years coaching, with 15 of those being as a head coach.

McMillan is in his 3rd year as the head coach of the Indiana Pacers.

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