The Wolfpacker

May 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 23 of 79

BASKETBALL RECRUITING ISSUE played on the varsity while in middle school, and already had offers from schools such as Charlotte, Virginia Tech and Auburn before his freshman year of high school. Lewis played in the 15-year-old divi- T sion of traveling team tournaments while in the eighth grade and spent two full years in the 17-year-old division. He ended up playing six years of varsity basketball. BY JACEY ZEMBAL yler Lewis has always been ahead of his time. The 5-11, 165-pound point guard from Statesville, N.C., needed two classes to graduate from high school, so the decision was purely based on helping him in basketball. He guided the Warriors to a 44-0 record and No. 1 national ranking. Lewis averaged 12.1 points, 8.1 as- sists and 2.4 rebounds per game. He shot 51.0 percent from the field, 38.3 percent from three-point land and 80.6 from the free-throw line. Lewis finished his prep career with a staggering 2,787 points and 1,150 assists. Head coach Steve Smith ingrains one Ahead Of The Curve simple thing with his players. "That coach is all about winning," Lewis half-joked. "He'll do anything to Point Guard Tyler Lewis Is Ready For Whatever He'll Face At NC State Lewis has already traveled across the United States and been to China, and has played on national television while at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va. Lewis verbally committed to NC State during the fall of his junior year at For- syth Country Day in Lewisville, N.C., the school he attended for four years before moving on to Oak Hill Academy. Lewis became the first member of the Wolfpack's eventual No. 4-ranked recruiting class. The floor gen- eral helped NC State land shooting guard Rodney Purvis of Raleigh and small for- ward T.J. Warren of Durham, whom he has known for years. All three earned spots in the top 50 and played in the McDonald's All-American Game. ranked Lewis as the No. 6 point guard and the No. 48 overall player in the country following his senior year. "I definitely have a lot more experi- ence than a lot of freshman coming in to college," Lewis said. "I'm so blessed. I'm just happy that I'm the person to get to do all this stuff. "I just want to go out there and play my best for all the people watching me and the kids that look up to me." Lewis welcomed watching NC State morph into a Sweet 16 squad this past season. The Wolfpack went 24-13 and are poised to be a preseason top-15 squad next year. He got used to playing with expectations after transferring to famed Oak Hill Academy. Lewis, an excellent student, only 24 ■ THE WOLFPACKER win. Coach Smith had confidence in me all year. Even if I had a bad game, he'd still have me in the game. He had trust in me that I could lead the team to victory." Between exhibition games, regular- season contests, and playing in the Mc- Donald's All-American Game and Derby Classic, Lewis' teams went 54-3 this sea- son. Only one loss occurred in an Oak Hill Academy uniform, which was the first game after making the long plane trip to China. to a national championship." ■ Lewis "I know I can lead a team Lewis played games in Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Oregon, Massachusetts, West Virginia, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., and ended the season playing a series of ex- hibition games for two weeks through- out China. A few games were bigger than others, and the majority ended up in blowouts, but learning how to adjust to playing on the road will pay off for Lewis. He will have a jump on most freshmen in knowing how to juggle aca- demics, athletics and extensive travel. "We were really never at school," Lewis said. "We were on the road so much, so I had to take my books with me and get my work assignments from my teachers before I left, so I could get it done on the road. It's going to be like that next year, and at least I know how to said. "I've already gone through a full schedule. I'm going to be like a sopho- more with that part. I think I'll go in there and fit pretty well from that aspect." Lewis was able to learn how to adjust to different players and where they like the ball at Oak Hill Academy. Teammates included former NC State shooting guard target D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (signed with Georgetown), wing Jordan Adams (UCLA), center A.J. Hammons (Purdue), power forward Darion Clark (Charlotte) and forward Jordan Tebbutt (unsigned), among others. As the point guard. Lewis had to be part playmaker and part psychologist. He was able to help each player perform at his best. "I definitely had to learn every player's tendencies up here," Lewis said. "Every player was really good at something. You wouldn't be at Oak Hill if you weren't re- ally good. With Adams, I had to feed him the ball and pass it to him, so he could get his shots. I knew where he would like to have it." Getting the ball to NC State small for- ward Scott Wood in his favorite spots will be similar to passing the ball ahead to Adams or Smith-Rivera. "Next year at State, I'll have to figure out the players tendencies and where they want the ball and like to score," Lewis said. "I had a lot of confidence in Smith- Rivera and Adams, and next year, I'll have a lot of confidence in Scott. I know once I pass him the ball, it's an automatic assist." do that right now." The almost NBA-like schedule of games featured 14 contests in December, including Lewis' first nationally televised contest when Oak Hill beat Lithonia (Ga.) Miller Grove High. The taxing amount of games has pre- pared Lewis for just about anything he'll see at NC State. The Wolfpack played 39 games this past season when including one exhibition game and a closed scrim- mage, and played nine games in March for comparison. "You know that with the basketball part and school work, you still have to put a lot of time in the gym too," Lewis

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolfpacker - May 2012