N.C. State’s season of big expectations might start with a major setback.
Junior guard Lorenzo Brown will undergo exploratory knee surgery on Tuesday, the school announced on Sunday. His status for the team’s preseason trip to Spain in August, and the start of the 2012-13 season in November, will be re-evaluated after the surgery.
Brown, a 6-5 point guard, emerged as a team leader and one of the best all-around guards in the ACC as a sophomore. He led the Wolfpack in assists (6.3 per game), steals (an ACC-best 1.8 per game) and added 12.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in his first season as the team’s point guard.
Brown is one of four returning starters from last year’s team that won 24 games and reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament in coach Mark Gottfried’s first season. Freshman Tyler Lewis is expected to be Brown’s backup at point guard but would have to play a larger role if Brown misses any significant amount of time.
Lewis, a 5-10 guard from Statesville, led Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., to a perfect 44-0 season and the No. 1 national prep ranking by USA Today. Lewis earned McDonald’s All-American honors as a senior at Oak Hill and averaged 12.8 points and 8.1 assists per game.
Before Gottfried’s anticipated second season, the Wolfpack will travel to Spain, from Aug. 5 through 15, for a five-game exhibition tour.
Brown played his best basketball at the end of the 2011-12 season, scoring in double-figures in each of the final 14 games of the season. He nearly had a triple-double in the Pack’s opening NCAA tournament win over San Diego State with 17 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.