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Tweet From Tyler Lewis Means More Than You–Or Even He–May Know

May 4, 2011

If you follow me on Twitter, you know these days that's where I spend most of my "Riddick and Reynolds" time.


I know there are a lot of you that hate on Twitter because the name sounds stupid, and/or it may seem like a universe full of attention whores like myself (and other unnamed basketball players who may or may not be affiliated with the N.C. State program any longer).

And you'd be right on both counts.

But to you haters I would say you're potentially missing out on a tremendous amount of value, especially if for folks that like staying on the cusp of news as it breaks. If you think reading about Bin Laden's death 15 minutes after it breaks is impressive, trying 15 seconds.

I'm not joking. With a few well placed "re-tweets," big news can spread literally in the time it takes to visually process a tweet, then click the "Retweet" button. 

It sounds cheesy, but your "timeline" (the stream of tweets you receive from people you follow) is what you make of it; mine, naturally, is comprised of mostly of ACC/N.C. State news. Pick and choose who you want to see doling out their attention-whorish tweets and let the site do the rest. It's easy, fun and informative.

In short, stop hatin'.

Now, all of that Twitter talk is prelude to a discussion on this: a tweet from 2012 PG commit Tyler Lewis from earlier this week:

@ Hurry up and commit to State!!!

It's not much on the surface…just 44 characters of Tyler playfully imploring his friend, uber-stud PG/SG Rodney Purvis who recently decommitted from Louisville, to join him on State's roster in 2012. (Worth noting: the number 44 is a historically important one to State)

Stud recruits that face each other often on the AAU circuit, especially those from the same state, tend to buddy up with one another easily on the circuit so it's not uncommon to see them converse with one another on Twitter.

But here's why I think this one tweet is worth mentioning, and why it has stuck with me over the last two days:

In today's hyper-competitive world of college basketball, where elite players often shun joining rosters with pre-existing high levels of competition at their chosen position, the fact that Lewis—himself a pretty stout prospect at point guard, worthy of the lion share of minutes at nearly any high-major program—is not only comfortable with but actively lobbying for Purvis to join him in the 2012 class is exciting stuff to me as a State fan.

In this tweet, he's exhibits exactly the type of mentality you'd hope to see from an incoming recruit: the lack of fear of competition.

Lewis may be a top-10 point guard, but Purvis could blossom into the #1 overall player in the 2012 class, regardless of position, so I'm sure Lewis is quite aware Purvis' arrival could jeopardize seeing the kind of minutes he could likely get elsewhere.

A guy more concerned with name-building from Day One in a similar position might pay lip service to rooting for higher-ranked player to join his class, or might say nothing at all publicly about the matter. He may even express privately wanting to be the only big fish in his soon-to-be pond.

That kind of prospect, while talented and likely worth a fair measure of points, assists and steals per game, may actually negate his own contributions by wrecking the team's chemistry. We saw this at Carolina the last two years with Larry Drew II, and some say there was an element of that with Harrow this past season. Team-first guys put more points on the board via their teammates than one-man shows do by themselves.

And here's another angle to this: Lobbying to bring Purvis along might actually be a rather shrewd play by Lewis and his camp.

As we saw with Harrow, an undersized-but-highly-touted point guard can struggle meeting the naturally elevated expectations of fans/the media at a point in the player's maturation process when he's not physically ready to deliver that which is expected from a top-flight recruit.

By recruiting Purvis to come to State—a lock to play no more than two years at the college level—Lewis would give himself the means to play some test-the-waters minutes behind him—and some small-guard minutes alongside him—during his first year while reshaping his body to adjust to the ACC level without shouldering the burden of "Savior" the moment he arrives on campus.

Lewis' current build and Harrow's are eerily similar, actually: Lewis is currently listed at 5'11", 165; Harrow appeared in the media guide at (a generous) 6'1", 156. It's not hard to imagine Lewis would face the same issues Harrow did as a true freshman when trying to check the larger, more physically gifted point guards of the ACC. 

Having a year, maybe two, where he would push Purvis for the starting job—concurrently consuming a bazillion calories while getting to know new Strength & Conditioning coach Bob Alejo on a first, middle, last and nickname basis—would, in theory, put Lewis in a much better position to contribute at the highest level when he assumes that role down the road. A shrewd move, indeed, one that would benefit both he and the team.

I think our chances of landing Purvis are very slim; to secure his services, the coaching staff will—with precious little time—need to in essence defeat the college basketball equivalents of Brock Lesnar, Chuck Liddell and a coked-up Mike Tyson in a winner-take-all cage match.

But if Purvis doesn't come and nothing comes of Lewis' tweet beyond a simple exchange between friends, it's given State fans a look into the type of person Lewis is. He's not shy of competition, and might actually be more calculating in his actions preparing for the long term than your average prospect. Right down to his tweets.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. NsmittyK permalink
    May 4, 2011 7:43 pm

    I think they could play along side each other Lewis at the point, Purvis at the SG spot.

    • Anonymous permalink*
      May 4, 2011 9:07 pm

      You know, I had that very same thought….right about the time I was wrapping up the piece. 🙂 But in thinking about a Lewis/Purvis backcourt, it would be a pretty small one. Lewis at 5’11” 165 and Purvis at 6’4″ 185. Could Lewis defensively handle larger points from game one? Could Purvis handle larger “twos?” A backcourt like that — while deliciously talented and perhaps a scoring/assisting machine — would likely be a defensive liability during conference/tournament play.

      I would feel much, much better about fielding those two together in their sophomore, junior and senior seasons after they’ve filled out a bit. But obviously Purvis won’t be around more than a year, maybe two, and since he’d be looking at his brief college stay as prep work for the pros, he’d likely head to a place where he can play point alongside a larger two-guard.

      That’s just my guess. But yes, that did occur to me, and I tried to address it in the piece as best I could while not killing the concept of the article.

  2. Bob Everett permalink
    May 5, 2011 7:54 pm

    This is twice in two days I have felt compelled to respond to one of your posts. Again you are spot on with your comments about Tyler Lewis. I look forward to having someone of his character and love for the Wolfpack playing for us.

    • admin permalink
      May 17, 2011 9:03 am

      (Ultra-late) Thank you very much, Bob. I hope to compel you much more in the future!

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