Without Warren, Where Will State’s Points Come From?

With T.J. Warren’s announcement that he’s entering the NBA Draft, the NC State Wolfpack have to find more scoring offense in a hurry. 

Where will the points come from?  One theory claims that the players left in Warren’s shadow will get the chance to step up and be the focal point of the offense, and Warren’s scoring will be divided among several returning players. 

In short, that rarely happens. 

Warren scored 871 points this season, more than double the next highest Wolfpack scorer, Ralston Turner (379 points). Since 1998, there have been nine other teams who relied heavily on one scorer. 

Year   Team      Leading scorer         Next-highest scorer

2013 Va Tech   Erick Green 801       Jarrell Eddie 393

2009 FSU         Toney Douglas 751  Solomon Alabi 295

2012 Maryland Terrell Stoglin 690   Sean Mosley 327

2007 FSU         Al Thornton 690      Toney Douglas 380

2008 UVa        Sean Singletary 653  Mamadi Diane 389

2008 BC          Tyrese Rice 629        Rakim Sanders 351

2000 Clemson Will Solomon 627     Adam Allenspach 331

2009 Miami     Jack McClinton 617   Dwayne Collins 330

2014 Clemson KJ McDaniels 614     Rod Hall 348

(Criteria: Since 1998, leading scorer in top 50 single-season ACC point totals and either double or 250 points more than next-best scorer) 

This year’s Clemson Tigers aren’t going to shed much light on the subject. Neither are ’08 Boston College or ’00 Clemson, since their leading scorers returned the following year and didn’t need replacing. Of the remaining six teams, four saw their points total drop the following season. Only 2009 Miami (65 point increase) and 2012 Maryland (490 point jump, thanks primarily to transfer Dez Wells joining the team) saw an increase. 

Overall, one-man teams see a 4.8% dropoff the year after the one-man departs. In other words, the answer to “How does NC State replace Warren’s scoring?” is “They don’t.” Based on the numbers, State’s scoring will drop from 71.1 ppg last year to 67.7 next season. 

As for the improvement of the supporting cast, take another look at that list of next-highest scorers. There aren’t many household names on it. Mosley was a senior, but the other five second bananas saw a 0.8% boost in their scoring once the star player left. In other words, Ralston Turner will see his average go from 10.5 ppg to 10.6. 

The impact farther down the roster is actually larger. Here’s a look at the third-leading scorer on the teams on our list that returned one:

Team                   Player        Scoring with star   Scoring after star

2012 Maryland    Nick Faust         285 points             358 

2009 FSU             Chris Singleton 282                        326

2007 FSU             Jason Rich        360                         492

2009 Miami         James Dews      263                         381

Moving from third option to second gave a 12% boost to a player’s scoring. That means that Cat Barber would see his average jump from 8.5 ppg to 9.5. On Clemson, Damarcus Harrison would go from 7.8 to 8.7. 

Barring a big contribution from a newcomer, State and Clemson will both see their offenses take a step backward next season.