Tyler Lewis Transfer: A Look at the Numbers

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Teen Wolf was a very good assist man, but that's it.

N.C. State brought in three McDonald's all-Americans in the class of 2012. With the news that Tyler Lewis is transferring, it's overwhelmingly likely that none of the three will make it to their junior seasons in the red and white. Rodney Purvis lasted just one year before transferring to Connecticut. T.J. Warren has not made it official, but he is about 99.9% likely to make the jump to the NBA. And now Lewis heads to parts yet unknown.

I think our community, who have lovingly dubbed Lewis "Teen Wolf," are perhaps more emotionally than logically attached to the little guy who overachieved his way to an opportunity to run the show for a major college basketball program. Lewis narrowly missed qualifying for Sports Reference's ACC leaderboard in assist percentage -- he averaged 19.9 minutes per game, and the threshold is 20 minutes per game -- but had he qualified, Lewis would have led the ACC with a 32.9 assist percentage. While impressive, that assist rate would not have ranked in the top 10 nationally.

The problem is that, even if Lewis was an elite assist man, assists would be the sum of his game.  Of the five best assist men in the league not named Lewis, all were threats to score the ball and none were the liability defensively that Lewis was. And all of them, with the exception of Devin Wilson, took better care of the basketball despite increased offensive responsibility.

Player

Asst/TO%

Usg%

Ppg

Tyler Ennis

32.3/11.9

21.9

12.9

Lamar Patterson

29.9/14.7

29.1

17.1

Devin Wilson

29.7/23.8

18.9

9.2

C. Miller-McIntyre

29.2/13.2

23.8

12.6

Quinn Cook

27.7/13.8

20.4

11.6

Tyler Lewis

32.9/17.5

15.9

4.4

Lewis is a competent backup point guard who would give Mark Gottfried the luxury of depth at the position, but that's all he is. That's the bottom line logic of it, though from an emotional standpoint it sucks to lose a fan and liveblog favorite.

It would be harder to stomach Lewis's loss if the program didn't already have two superior options available in Anthony Barber and Alabama transfer Trevor Lacey. Barber, while sometimes guilty of stagnating the offense with too much dribbling and some freshman decision making, was superior to Lewis in every category except for assist percentage and free throw shooting, but Cat was still competent enough as a distributor to finish sixth in the conference with a 27.5% assist rate. Supposedly Lacey transferred in part due to a desire to play off the ball rather than run the point; nonetheless, he is capable of taking some minutes at the lead guard and, as the table below indicates, offers a huge defensive, rebounding, and shooting upgrade over the departing Lewis.

Player

TS%

eFG%

TRB%

Asst%

TO%

Stl%

Usg%

T. Lewis

43.8

39.3

3.7

32.9

17.5

0.6

15.9

C. Barber

47.5

42.4

4.8

27.5

16.1

1.5

23.1

T. Lacey*

51.7

48.3

7.5

23.4

17.1

2.9

23.1

*2012-13 with Alabama

With the departure of Warren, the Pack will need points from the point that Lewis, based on his body of work so far, does not appear capable of providing. Barber and Lacey will provide that. True, an injury to either Barber or Lacey leaves Gottfried in the unenviable position of turning to Desmond Lee as an emergency point guard. But, barring injury, Lewis was very likely going to be the odd man out anyway. Gottfried will have Barber, Lacey, Lee, and Ralston Turner to rotate between two guard spots next year. Lewis's transfer perhaps solves more problems than it causes, as Barber, an already superior option with a much higher ceiling than Lewis, knows he will be "the man" now and is thus less likely to consider transferring. If forced to choose between the two -- and I think it was clear that the two-headed point guard could not last forever -- I would choose Cat every day and twice on Tuesday. Additionally, there should be plenty of minutes for the other remaining guards to keep everyone happy.

Moving on may or may not turn out to be a big win for Lewis; it will not be a big loss for N.C. State. And if the new coach at Appalachian State releases Devonte Graham from his LOI, potentially freeing Graham to take Lewis's roster spot, Gottfried and the Pack will be all the more better off for their loss.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Backing The Pack

You must be a member of Backing The Pack to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Backing The Pack. You should read them.

Join Backing The Pack

You must be a member of Backing The Pack to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Backing The Pack. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker