Monday, January 21, 2013
Lorenzo Brown's draft stock
By Luke Lapinski
After a sluggish start to the season, North Carolina State is quietly delivering on some of its mammoth potential. The hype surrounding Mark Gottfried's group in the offseason pegged them as high as the best team in the ACC and a legitimate Final Four contender. Neither of those goals is unattainable, but there's still work to be done. Fortunately for fans in Raleigh, this group seems to be on the right track.
The Wolfpack landed at No. 18 in today's Top 25 and, with the exception of their one-point loss in Maryland last week, they've essentially been unstoppable since a defeat at the hands of Michigan on Nov. 27. They ran the table in December (7-0), and have now won 11 of 12 -- including a victory over then-undefeated Duke -- to run their record to 15-3.
So who's been the difference maker for NC State? A number of players have stepped up but Lorenzo Brown has been the main catalyst. That doesn't exactly come as a shock, considering his breakout performance in 2011-12, but he's really raised his game of late. He's scored in double figures in 10 of the 12 contests since the loss to the Wolverines, has dished out double-digit assists five times already on the year and seems to play some of his best games against the tougher opponents (10 assists against Michigan, 12 points and 13 assists in the win over the Blue Devils). He was already on NBA radars entering this year and our own Chad Ford currently has him at No. 29 on his big board. If he continues to perform like this, he could take big steps to solidifying himself as a first rounder in the summer.