NC State's Brown head to NBA - WNCN: News, Weather

NC State's Brown headed to NBA

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

N.C. State junior point guard Lorenzo Brown will forego his senior year and declare for the NBA Draft, he announced Thursday afternoon.

Brown averaged 12.4 points, 7.2 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.0 steals per game. He led the ACC in assists and steals.

"I just kind of figured it was my time to leave and just step up to something new," Brown said.

Whether N.C. State faces other losses remains to be seen. Coach Mark Gottfried's name has surfaced as a possible candidate to be the head coach at UCLA, where he was an assistant. The Bruins fired Ben Howland after the season.

Gottfried said Thursday he wouldn't address any job "other than the one I have - which is the one I love."

"I'm excited about being here and my full focus is on the work that we have to do, which I think is a lot right now," he said.

Brown was named a second-team All-ACC selection for the 2012-13 season. Gottfried said Brown has a chance to be a first-round pick.

"I think guys [in the NBA] like the fact that they would potentially get a player that's kind of on the front end of all the growth that may happen for him," Gottfried said. "I know there's a lot of teams that like him a lot. ... I think he's going to have a good future."

Brown, from Roswell, Ga., scored a total 1,167 points during his three years playing for the Wolfpack.

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 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.

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