Brown's status uncertain as State preps for Miami
Posted January 31, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Two days ahead of a key showdown with ACC leader Miami inside PNC Arena, the status of North Carolina State guard Lorenzo Brown's injured left ankle is still very much up in the air.
Brown wore a walking boot to class Wednesday, and Mark Gottfried said he received multiple treatments on his ankle the day after the Pack's 58-55 road loss to Virginia in order to get back on the court.
"He was limping pretty good today, which is not a good sign," Gottfried said during his weekly radio show Wednesday evening. "We're just going work with him around the clock, and I'm going to guess it will be a couple of days before we start to have a feeling of whether he can or can't play."
If Brown can't play, the Pack will rely on freshmen Rodney Purvis and Tyler Lewis in the back court against the Canes, who moved to 7-0 in league play Wednesday with a 73-64 win over Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.
Sophomore Shane Larkin, Miami's starting point guard, averages 12.9 points and 4 assists per game and leads the league in steals at 2.2 per contest. He's joined in the back court by fifth-year seniors Durand Scott (13.8 ppg) and Trey McKinney-Jones (10.2 ppg), giving the Hurricanes a group primed to bother inexperienced players on the opposing side.
Gottfried said Wednesday he was impressed with how Purvis and Lewis played in the loss.
"If you had told me prior to the game that we would play without Lorenzo and we'd be in the game, I don't know if I would have believed that," he said. "Rodney played well, and Tyler came in and played well. We're right there, we just have to find a way to execute in the closing minutes."
Purvis, a Raleigh native, finished with six points, one assist and one turnover in better than 30 minutes against Virginia. In 15 minutes, Lewis scored three points and handed out two assists without recording a turnover.
If Brown does miss one or more contests, a tough stretch of games that includes Saturday's battle with Miami and trips to Duke and Clemson could become the key stretch of the ACC regular season for the Wolfpack.
With Brown's value in mind, Gottfried said Wednesday that the staff won't rush him back.
"We'll just have to wait and see," he said. "I want to make sure he's 100 percent ready to go. I don't want to take a chance of him injuring himself worse. We have a lot of games left. We have to be smart."
Before his injury midway through the first half, Brown had tallied two points, three rebounds and an assist against the Cavaliers and the Pack held a 12-7 lead.
In ACC play, Brown averages 13.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and a league-best 7.8 assists per game.