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NC State’s Exciting Freshman Trio Is the Best in College Basketball

August 19, 2010 – Allen Moll

CJ Leslie, Ryan Harrow, and Lorenzo Brown. Heading into the 2010 NCAA basketball season, these three players’ names are only known to hard-core NCAA and elite level HS basketball junkies, but come December when the season is well under way, I guarantee you that one or all three will be regulars on ESPN’s Sportscenter for their propensity towards highlight reel plays this season for the Wolfpack of NC State. Opposing teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference beware,……………Coach Sydney Lowe has assembled the most exciting trio of freshmen players in the game next season.

NC State is poised to make a major leap back towards national prominence, something which hasn’t been seen since the Jim Valvano led Pack went on their magical run to win the 1983 National Title. While that inspirational squad, and subsequent photo finish in the championship game, was led by names like Derek Wittenburg, Lorenzo Charles, and Thurl Bailey, this year’s squad could potentially be very good behind Leslie, Harrow, and Brown.

Easily the most exciting player of the entire freshman class this upcoming season has to be CJ Leslie. As a former teammate of John Wall at Word Of God in high school, Leslie has learned some valuable lessons from the now #1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, when it comes to showmanship, athleticism, and finishing above the rim. Although listed as an undersized power forward at 6’7, Leslie will most likely play at small forward to greater showcase his amazing abilities as a slasher and high flying finisher. As we showcased previously, Leslie is a slightly shorter Kevin Garnett clone, since he continually goes hard, finishes strong, and has potential to be an elite level shot-blocker from the wing. If he improves his jump-shot to match his already through the roof athleticism, Leslie could be a lottery pick in next year’s NBA Draft.

While elite point guard prospect Ryan Harrow might fool you at first glance of his willowy 6’0 and 160lb frame, he is an outright assassin with the basketball. By exuding a high amount of athleticism similar to that of Leslie, Ryan is the definition of a scoring point guard. He has range out to the 3 point arc as well as the giddy-up to get to the rim seemingly at will. Possessing a lightning like quickness, he regularly finishes with authority, as he may just remind you of a young Allen Iverson, during the early Georgetown years. Just to prove it check out his outstanding performance at the Elite 80 Showcase last Fall.

At the shooting guard position, the Wolfpack have an underrated stud in Lorenzo Brown. He also has an amazing amount of bounce and athleticism to add to his prolific scoring abilities. Brown at times can be unstoppable to opposing defenders since he is at his best either coming off of screens or taking it straight to the rack, often finishing over an unfortunate defending player. Since he was unable to qualify with the rest of his ’09 HS class, Brown starred last season at Hargrave Military Academy alongside University of Pittsburgh commit, Isiah Epps. He is a terrific ball-handler, especially in the pick-and-roll and exudes the confidence and swagger to do pretty much anything on the basketball court. With his only downside being sometimes on the defensive side of the ball, Brown may prove to be the perfect compliment to Leslie and Harrow next season.

Check out some of the trio’s exciting play-making skills from the Greater NC Pro-Am:

Allen Moll has been a lifelong NBA and NCAA College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously, and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania.  Allen also provides content to,, in addition to being a tenured NBA and NCAA columnist for

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