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.