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Tyler Lewis Steps Into The Limelight

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Liz Condo-USA TODAY Sports

Ken Pomeroy's website now tracks individual offensive ratings by game, and it tells an impressive story about Tyler Lewis, who was forced from garbage minutes into a major role. He's handled this difficult situation incredibly well.

Lewis played a total of 32 minutes in the eight games prior to Brown's injury at UVA. Against the Hoos, he played 15 minutes. He logged 36 minutes against Miami and 39 against Duke. Here are his offensive ratings in those games:

UVA: 134
Miami: 142
Duke: 154

While he was just 1-5 from three in those games, he made half his two-point attempts and 13 of 14 free throws while dishing out 13 assists against one turnover. There is nothing more that State could have asked of Lewis, and again, it's a shame that the Pack doesn't have any wins to show for those efforts.

What is encouraging is that someone who appeared to be a major liability is getting more confident and displaying an as-yet unseen level of effectiveness as we near crunch time. It seems like we're getting the real Tyler Lewis for the first time--that kid with deceptive quickness and a good mid-range game. And this is only going to help going forward, because it takes pressure off Lorenzo Brown.