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.
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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.