North Carolina State's Lorenzo Brown declares for NBA draft
RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina State junior point guard Lorenzo Brown will enter the NBA draft, a person familiar with the situation said Wednesday night.
The person said Brown has notified coach Mark Gottfried of his plans to skip his final season. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the school hasn't made an official announcement.
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.
N.C. State was the preseason ACC favorite, but lost its NCAA tournament opener to Temple.
The move wasn't a huge surprise considering Brown and junior C.J. Leslie were both mentioned as likely candidates to jump to the NBA all season. The person didn't know if Leslie - who flirted with entering the NBA draft after last season - has also notified Gottfried of his plans.
The tandem of Brown and Leslie was a big reason why N.C. State was the ACC favorite for the first time since the 1974-75 season, while the Wolfpack's No. 6 preseason ranking was the program's highest in 29 years.
Though N.C. State started 3-0 in league play, the Wolfpack struggled with inconsistency all season, particularly on the defensive end. Things got tougher when Brown suffered a sprained left ankle in the first half of a loss at Virginia on Jan. 29, sidelining him for the rest of that game followed by the next two. N.C. State lost all three to essentially end its ACC regular-season title hopes.
N.C. State lost its finale at Florida State to blow a chance to secure a top-four seed and a first-round bye at the ACC tournament, then fell to top-seeded Miami in the semifinals as it failed to get the program's first title since 1987.
N.C. State ended up with a No. 8 seed in the NCAA tournament to set up last week's season-ending loss, though it still matched last year's 24-win total - the best for the program since 1988.