NC State's Brown NBA-bound
Posted March 28, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina State junior guard Lorenzo Brown confirmed Thursday that he will forego his senior season and enter the NBA Draft.
A second-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference pick by both the media and the coaches, the 6-foot-5 Brown averaged 12.4 points and a league-best 7.2 assists per game this past season.
“I feel like I am more mature now and will be able to do well at that next level,” Brown said at a press conference. “My freshman year was tough; coach came in and gave me the opportunity to lead this team. I hope I can do that at the next level. I am ready. This has been a dream for me since I was a baby.”
A native of Roswell, Ga., Brown said he consulted with his family as well as head coach Mark Gottfried before making his decision. He said that he hadn’t put any thought into the move before the Wolfpack season came to an end against Temple in the NCAA Tournament.
“I support him 100 percent and I’m excited for his future. He's ready,” said Gottfried. “I’ve talked with a lot of GM’s around the league and the general consensus is he could be a first-round draft pick.”
Gottfried went into more detail stating that he had spoke with between 15 and 20 organizations personally and that he believes every NBA team was present for at least one NC State game during the year.
Brown’s departure marks yet another vacancy to the NC State starting five as seniors Scott Wood and Richard Howell have exhausted their eligibility. Gottfried said that while the move by Brown was not unexpected, he will be difficult to replace.
“Anytime you lose a player of his caliber it hurts your program, especially if they leave early,” Gottfried said. “At the same time, we have somewhat planned for it. I have a tremendous amount confidence in Tyler Lewis. Cat Barber is coming in as a true point guard. We have some other returning players that, as far as guards go, can be really good. We’ve planned but we will miss a player of his magnitude.”
NC State is still awaiting the decision of junior forward Calvin Leslie. Thought to be headed to the NBA as well, Leslie took to twitter to calm those rumors on Wednesday saying, "Who said I was leaving?"
While Leslie has not committed to a date for his announcement, Gottfried said that Brown's schedule may get a little more hectic as he prepares for the jump.
“I think in the next month, month and a half, number one he’s committed to do his school work. That’s important,” Gottfried said. “At the same time, he may be in and out of town and he’s got to be ready for any kind of workouts that may come or anything that puts him in the best position possible for his future.”
If Leslie is to join Brown in departing, NC State will be left with just six players on their roster from this past season and just three that averaged more than six minutes per game.
Brown closes his college career as one of just three NC State player to eclipse the 500 assist mark (589). He played in 101 games in three seasons, starting 95, while averaging 11.6 points per contest.
"I feel that it is in my best interest, and the best interest of my family, to make this move now," said Brown. "I have enjoyed my NC State career and it has been a privilege to be a part of rebuilding this program. I am proud to be a member of the Pack for life."