North Carolina State's second-round loss to the Temple Owls summed up the team's season, as well as two of their best players, pretty well. To start the game, NBA draft prospects C.J. Leslie, Lorenzo Brown and the rest of the Wolfpack looked like the super talented team they were touted as coming in to the season. However, midway through the first half, their game plan and effort fell apart before a late comeback push fell short in a 76-72 loss to Temple.
Leslie, listed as the number eight prospect to watch in Jonathan Tjarks' preview of the East Regional, looked unstoppable to begin the game, scoring 10 points mostly off of fast break dunks and a low-post game based off his athleticism and touch around the basket. He came out midway through the half. When Leslie came back, he either acted like he didn't want the ball or his teammates forgot he was back on the court. The Wolfpack as a whole looked like they disappeared for much of the first half and found themselves down 38-22 at halftime. Leslie did finish with 20 points, five rebounds and two blocks.
The second half was much better for the Wolfpack, especially Leslie and Brown. Brown, who had a very quiet six points and three assists in the first half, came alive in the second, scoring 16 points and dishing out six assists. He also seemed determined to push the pace for the Wolfpack, cutting Temple's lead in half seven minutes into the second half. The Wolfpack continued to push the pace, pulling within two points before losing 76-72.
Overall, Leslie and Brown did little to help their draft stock, but definitely didn't hurt it either. Leslie showed his ability to score in transition and on the block, but also disappeared for much of the first half and looked indifferent on defense. Likewise, Brown showed his ability to score and distribute, but also committed three turnovers, which has been a bugaboo for him throughout his career. Both came in to the game as fringe first-round picks and likely left the game in the same category.