North Carolina v North Carolina State

Mark Gottfried: Lorenzo Brown is still “a few days away”

Leave a comment

NC State point guard Lorenzo Brown couldn’t have gotten hurt at a worse possible time.

He sprained his ankle in the first half of the Wolfpack’s visit to Charlottesville, a game that Mark Gottfried’s club ended up losing by three points. The injury kept him out of Saturday’s home game with Miami, which NC State lost by one.

And now, it looks like Brown may not be available on Thursday, when the Wolfpack visit Cameron Indoor Stadium to take on the Blue Devils.

From the Fayetteville Observer:

North Carolina State coach Mark Gottfried says he doesn’t know if point guard Lorenzo Brown will be ready for Thursday’s trip to No. 4 Duke. […] Brown spent the days following his injury in a walking boot, though he shot around during pregame warm-ups in an attempt to play against the Hurricanes.

Gottfried said Monday that he thought Brown was still “a few days away” after the Miami game.

A recap, for those scoring at home. The Wolfpack at in the fourth game of a four game stretch where they play the top four teams in the ACC. After playing his best game of the season in a big win over North Carolina — Brown finished with 20 points and 11 assists — Brown was unavailable as the Wolfpack lost nail-biters against third-place UVA and first place Miami, and, at the very least, won’t be at 100% when the Wolfpack visit Duke.

NC State is currently 5-4 in the ACC, four games behind Miami and two games in back of Duke. A loss to the Blue Devils drops them to 5-5, although the last-second loss to the Hurricanes all-but ended any chance NC State had to win the ACC regular season title.

Not to rub it in, but wins in those last two games would mean that the Wolfpack were 7-2 in the ACC, a game out of first place heading into Thursday’s battle.

With all due respect to Tyler Lewis and the way he has played the past two games, would Lorenzo Brown had made four points worth of a difference?

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Texas lands commitment from top 100 center

Getty Images
Getty Images
Leave a comment

James Banks announced on Thursday that he has committed to Texas, joining Jacob Young in Shaka Smart’s first recruiting class as the head coach of the Longhorns.

Banks is an interesting prospect. A 6-foot-10 center from Georgia, Banks is a still-developing prospect that was recruited more on his potential than his immediate ability.

“James Banks emerged as a good low post prospect this spring and summer,” NBC Recruiting Analyst Scott Phillips said. “With a good set of hands, some offensive potential and a frame that can add weight, Banks is a nice upside grab for Texas.”

He’s probably a few years away from having a major impact in the Big 12, but he may not have that much time to develop. Cameron Ridley, Prince Ibeh and Conner Lamert all graduate after this season, meaning that Banks is going to have to contribute immediately when he sets foot on the Austin campus for the 2016-17 season.

Texas has three commitments in the Class of 2015. Smart convinced Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis to remain committed to the program when he took over for Rick Barnes while he landed a commitment from Tevin Mack, who pledged to Smart when he was at VCU.

Memphis guard could miss season with shoulder injury

Kedren Johnson
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Memphis just cannot catch a break.


It’s to the point where I almost feel bad for Josh Pastner.

Today, reported that Kedren Johnson, a 6-foot-4 point guard that was on track towards being an all-SEC point guard at Vanderbilt, could end up missing the season due to a shoulder injury. If he can handle the pain he can avoid surgery and play with the injury, but at the very least, Johnson is going to be less than his best.

Johnson averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 assists last season for the Tigers. He sat out 2013-14 after leaving Vanderbilt and entered last season incredibly out of shape. There was hope that he would be able to make a bigger impact this season and help fill the void at the point guard spot.

This news comes on the heels of Memphis finding out that Jaylen Fisher is heading to UNLV. Who’s Jaylen Fisher? Well, he’s a point guard and top 40 recruit from Memphis that was Pastner’s No. 1 recruiting target that opted to leave the city for his college hoops instead of play for the Tigers.

That’s a bad sign, but not quite as bad as Memphis losing star center Austin Nichols — another local kid — to a transfer over the summer. Nichols transferred to Virginia.