CJ Leslie Lorenzo Brown

NC State duo C.J. Leslie and Lorenzo Brown will reportedly declare for NBA draft

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With two back-to-back decisions, NC State coach Mark Gottfried lost 35 percent of his overall offensive output on Tuesday. According to multiple reports, forward C.J. Leslie and point guard Lorenzo Brown will both forego their senior year of college and declare early for the 2013 NBA draft.

Leslie and Brown were two of the major pieces of the up-tempo and high-scoring NC State attack this season, averaging 15.4 points and 12.4 points respectively. Leslie was also the team’s second-leading rebounder with 7.4 per game and Brown was the ACC’s assist leader with 7.2 per game.

(CLICK HERE to follow along with who is turning pro and who is returning to school.)

Brown is regarded as a late first round pick, slotted to be selected 29th overall by the San Antonio Spurs in Draft Express’ latest mock draft. Leslie is projected to be an early second round pick, said to be selected with the fifth pick of the second round by the Detroit Pistons in that same mock draft.

NC State will also lose Richard Howell, the team’s leading rebounder, and Scott Wood, the team’s best three-point shooter to graduation. To fill in the gaps, the Wolfpack will welcome one of the best recruiting classes in the nation, a three-man classes with three Top 100 prospects.

Among them is Virginia native Anthony Barber who is regarded as one of the top point guards in the class. He will likely see time in the rotation along with sophomore-to-be Tyler Lewis, a player who took time to adjust early in the year but progressed as the year went on at the point guard spot.

NC State finished 24-11 this season, including 11-7 in conference play. The Wolfpack lost in the Round of 64 of the NCAA tournament to Temple.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Auburn suspends leading scorer Canty indefinitely

Auburn guard Kareem Canty (1) screams in pain after being fouled during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, in Auburn, Ala. Auburn won 75-70.  (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson
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Prior to Auburn’s game at Georgia Saturday evening, head coach Bruce Pearl announced that leading scorer and starting point guard Kareem Canty has been suspended indefinitely.

Canty’s currently averaging 18.3 points per game and his abilities as a scorer and distributor have been key for the Tigers offensively. When Canty returns to the court remains to be seen, with Pearl noting that Canty may be able to return before the end of the season.

“Kareem has had some strong moments for our team this season,” Pearl said. “He has demonstrated that at the highest level of competition, he can win his matchup.

“However, his effort and attitude have been extremely inconsistent, which led to actions and behavior that are unacceptable. He will step away from the team for a while and may return later in the season. He is suspended indefinitely.”

According to the release Cinmeon Bowers will move into the starting lineup for Auburn, which is now 9-13 overall and 3-7 in SEC play. Auburn’s lost five straight and eight of their last ten games after losing by ten at Georgia Saturday night.

Without him more minutes are available to freshman New Williams, who played 22 minutes against Georgia. Bryce Brown started and played 18 minutes, with Devin Waddell playing 12 minutes off the bench.

Jamal Murray, Tyler Ulis go crazy, No. 20 Kentucky beats Florida by 19

Kentucky's Jamal Murray (23) shoots near Missouri's Ryan Rosburg during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
(AP Photo/James Crisp)
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Jamal Murray scored a career-high 35 points and became the first Kentucky player to hit eight threes in a game since 2010.

Tyler Ulis had 18 points and 11 assists.

As a result, No. 20 Kentucky bounced back Tuesday’s loss to Tennessee — when the Wildcats blew a 21-point lead — as they blew out a good Florida team, 80-61. The final score doesn’t really do the beat down justice, either. Kentucky was up 24-5 seven minutes into the game. The Gators, who look like they may end up being seeded as high as the No. 6 line on Selection Sunday, never had a chance.

If Kentucky was trying to prove a point, they did. I’m not sure if Murray and Ulis make up the nation’s best back court in college basketball, but on Saturday, they looked like the best back court in the entire world. They were awesome.

So awesome, in fact, that they were responsible for 64 of Kentucky’s 80 points tonight.

And that’s where this win can be a bit concerning.

Look, the issue with Kentucky is that they don’t get near enough production out of their front court, and if the knee injury that kept Alex Poythress out of the lineup on Saturday ends up being at all serious, than UK’s most productive big will be out of commission. On Saturday, Kentucky’s front court — minus Derek Willis, who is more of a wing that’s been slotted at the four — finished with a grand total of 10 points, 15 boards and 12 fouls.

That issue isn’t going away just because Ulis and Murray played an unbelievable game against one of the nation’s top five defenses, according to KenPom.com. You don’t buy a house with termites just because you love the way that it’s furnished.

But what this performance shows you is what Kentucky’s ceiling is, what they are capable of on the night’s when their two stars play like stars.

If they get hot at the right time, they can beat anyone in March. Hell, this could be enough to carry them to the Elite 8, maybe further.

When those two can play that well in a season where there is no dominant team, you can’t really count anything out.

But it also means that Kentucky is capable of losing to anyone on any given night, and all it takes is one cold shooting night for Kentucky’s run in March to come to an early end.