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Maverick Rowan leaving NC State to pursue a pro career

NC State's Maverick Rowan has a "shocker" of a dunk

VIDEO: Watch a timelapse of NC State's Maverick Rowan's two-handed dunk that Dennis Smith, Jr. called a "shocker" during the Wolfpack's victory over Rider at PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2016.
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VIDEO: Watch a timelapse of NC State's Maverick Rowan's two-handed dunk that Dennis Smith, Jr. called a "shocker" during the Wolfpack's victory over Rider at PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2016.

Maverick Rowan’s N.C. State basketball career is over. The sophomore wing will pursue a pro career.

Rowan called new N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts on Thursday and told him he was leaving the program. According to Keatts, Rowan didn’t clarify his plans if he was transferring or going pro. Rowan later posted a message on his Twitter account:

“I loved playing at PNC, I love WPN. Transferring was never considered. Everyone has a different path …”

The FanRag Sports Network reported that Rowan will enter the NBA draft. Rowan (6-7, 220 pounds) averaged 12.0 points last season as a sophomore and was third on the team in 3-pointers (53). NBADraft.net ranks 100 prospects for the 2017 draft and Rowan is not among them.

Rowan is the third player from last season’s N.C. State team, which finished with a 15-17 record, to enter the NBA draft. Freshman guard Dennis Smith Jr. is a projected lottery pick and freshman forward Omer Yurtseven is expected to go in the second round.

Rowan had a close relationship with former coach Mark Gottfried so his exit from the program was not unexpected but the initial ambiguity of his decision was unusual.

Rowan, who will turn 21 in July, came to N.C. State late in the recruiting cycle in 2015, after he had originally committed to Pittsburgh. He starred at two different high schools — one in Pennsylvania and one in Florida — before reclassifying and joining the Wolfpack before the 2015-16 season.

He started 31 games and averaged 12.9 points as a freshman and led the team with 81 3-pointers. He had 17 points and a career-high nine rebounds in the first game of his sophomore season but suffered a concussion and missed the next seven games.

Rowan returned on Dec. 10, playing a limited role in N.C. State’s overtime win over Tennessee State at Reynolds Coliseum and a month later returned to the starting lineup.

He had a career-best 31 points and eight 3-pointers, including the go-ahead basket with 10.5 seconds left in regulation, in a critical 100-93 overtime loss to Syracuse on Feb. 1.

Rowan’s exit leaves Keatts with seven returning scholarship players on the roster. Senior guard Terry Henderson has applied to the NCAA for a sixth-year waiver and Keatts has signed guard Lavar Batts, the top prospect in the state. Even if Henderson gets the waiver, that leaves four more potential open spots for Keatts to add in this freshmen class or through transfers.

Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio

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