Tag:C.J. Leslie
Posted on: November 22, 2011 2:21 pm

Matured C.J. Leslie means more optimism for State

By Jeff Borzello

When C.J. Leslie was suspended before the first game of the season for accepting extra benefits, it wasn’t clear how he would respond.

After all, Leslie has had his ups and downs during his short career in Raleigh. He was suspended last year for a violation of team rules, and has been relatively inconsistent through 32 games in a Wolfpack reunion.

In the two games since returning from suspension, though, Leslie is averaging 18.5 points and 4.5 rebounds, shooting nearly 65 percent from the field. He went for 17 points against Texas in Monday night’s win.

“I learned a lot [while suspended],” Leslie said. “I didn’t just take it as a bad experience.”

He came off the bench in both games of the Legends Classic, making a huge impact at both ends of the floor. When Leslie is at his best, he’s one of the toughest matchups in the ACC.

Leslie is very good in transition and loves playing above the rim. He has plenty of talent and is continuing to improve both his perimeter shot and his back-to-the-basket game.

“He gives us another athlete,” head coach Mark Gottfried said.

A consistent and focused Leslie could be the difference for North Carolina State this season. The Wolfpack have some good perimeter talent in Lorenzo Brown and C.J. Williams, and a knockdown shooter in Scott Wood. Inside, Richard Howell and DeShawn Painter are solid.

The player that could put them over the top, though, is Leslie. His talent level is unmatched on the NC State roster and he has the ability to take over game at the offensive end. There were stretches last season where he looked like an all-league player, and others where he was nothing more than an ineffective role player.

He brings a level of athleticism that changes your team,” Gottfried said.

The optimism surrounding North Carolina State is mostly focused on its top five recruiting class for next season.

If Leslie plays to his potential, though, the Wolfpack might not have to wait that long for an improved finish in the standings.

Photo: US Presswire

Posted on: November 19, 2011 9:29 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2011 10:39 pm

N.C State: The real deal or an imposter?

By Jeff Goodman

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It was tough to tell.

Is this N.C. State team a legitimate NCAA tournament contender with the addition of C.J. Leslie -- or was this an inaccurate evaluation of the Wolfpack since Vandy was without Festus Ezeli?

I wish I had the answer.

Leslie, in his first game back after serving a two-game NCAA-mandated suspension, was dominant -- especially in the first half. He finished with 20 points.

Richard Howell went for 16 points and nine boards. N.C. State's big men exposed Vanderbilt on the interior, a team that is missing a potential first-round pick in Ezeli.

"I don't know yet," N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried told me when asked if this team can get to the Big Dance. "We need all our guns."

The Wolfpack were without its top shooter, Scott Wood, who is nursing a sprained ankle. Gottfried also said he's hopeful that the NCAA will make a decision soon on the status of skilled 6-foot-8 Belgium native Thomas de Thaey. On paper, N.C. State nearly knocked off a Top 20 team on Saturday night.

But Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings will be the first to say that, without Ezeli, his Commodores don't deserve to be ranked right now.

"We've got a long way to go before we're a good team," he said.

Which brings me back to my original question -- which may be impossible to answer just yet.

Photo: AP
Posted on: November 12, 2011 11:01 am

NC State's Leslie among three suspended Friday

By Jeff Borzello

North Carolina State announced on Friday that forward C.J. Leslie will sit out the first three games of the season due to receiving impermissible benefits.

Leslie and his half-brother accepted $410 from a friend after a car accident last May. The friend, a former NC State student, allowed Leslie to borrow his car and also paid an apartment application fee for Leslie’s half-brother.

NC State reported the violations to the NCAA.

“I understand the issue and regret what has occurred,” Leslie said. “I will support my teammates in every way possible and look forward to getting back on the court.”

Leslie missed the Wolfpack’s 84-75 win over UNC-Asheville on Friday, and will also be on the sidelines for Sunday’s contest against Morehead State, and Wednesday’s game against Princeton.

He averaged 11.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game last season.

Glen Rice Jr. suspended for violating team rules

Shortly before Georgia Tech opened its season against Florida A&M, head coach Brian Gregory announced that Glen Rice Jr. had been suspended for three games for a violation of team rules.

Gregory did not get into specifics.

“The guys are learning that there are consequence, but there’s also going to be growth,” Gregory told reporters after the Yellow Jackets’ 92-59 victory. “We’re here to help him grow from this.”

Rice Jr., a 6-foot-5 swingman, averaged 12.8 points and 5.6 rebounds last season. He sat out last night’s game and will also miss next week’s matchups against Delaware State and Saint Joseph’s.

Marquette’s Juan Anderson suspended for three games

The NCAA has suspended Marquette freshman forward Juan Anderson for three games because he accepted a free ticket to a Brewers’ playoff game.

The Golden Eagles self-reported the violation.

“My college eligibility is much too valuable for me to risk,” Anderson said.

The freshman from California had been receiving rave reviews for his performance in early workouts and practices.  

Photo: US Presswire

More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: December 28, 2010 10:33 am
Edited on: March 7, 2011 9:08 am

Who's the ACC's Top Frosh?

Posted by Eric Angevine

This whole ACC Newcomer of the Year thing was supposed to be easy. UNC's Harrison Barnes was a pre-season All-America; expected to dominate from day one, claim the ACC and National POY honors and go No. 1 overall in the 2011 NBA Draft. Easy. Except the freshman struggled out of the gate, as freshmen so often do. It doesn't help that his entire team is failing to dominate as well.

The national spotlight jumped immediately to Duke's Kyrie Irving, and in his case, the hype was justified. Over eight games, the point guard from New Jersey made the defending national champs even more scary to contemplate, averaging 17.4 points and 5.1 assists against premium competition like Kansas State, Butler and Michigan State. Then came the toe injury that has kept him out of the Blue Devils' last three games, and could sideline him for the rest of the season.

It says a lot about the recruiting acumen of ACC coaches that they can recruit freshmen who merit national POY consideration, even in a season when the overall conference profile is less than elite. Of the remaining freshmen, who has the early edge on ACC success?

First, the stats. I'm going to sort by minutes played, and rank anyone who plays more than 20 mpg.

Travis McKie WAKE 13.0 8.5 1.3 1.0 1.1 .514 30.5
Lorenzo Brown NCST 10.5 4.0 3.7 1.5 0.5 .442 29.0
Harrison Barnes UNC 12.3 6.0 1.8 0.8 0.4 .367 28.3
Joe Harris UVA 10.0 3.4 0.9 0.7 0.3 .478 27.3
J.T. Terrell WAKE 14.0 2.0 1.6 0.8 0.1 .408 26.9
C.J. Leslie NCST 9.9 7.6 1.2 0.5 1.9 .421 24.2
Daniel Miller GTECH 5.1 5.6 0.4 1.3 1.9 .435 24.0
Danny Rubin BC 7.4 2.6 0.5 0.5 0.1 .466 23.5
K.T. Harrell UVA 9.8 2.6 0.8 0.2 0.0 .461 23.5
Ryan Harrow NCST 10.4 3.1 3.1 0.7 0.0 .369 21.7

Do you get the sense that, if Wake Forest were playing better as a team, we might be hearing a lot more about Travis McKie? His stats across the board are very impressive for a freshman big man. Jeff Bzdelik definitely has something to work with in Winston-Salem.

Looking at the ACC's official Rookie of the Week honors, Irving leads, having won the award all three weeks he was healthy. The only other player to win twice has been N.C. State's C.J. Leslie, though one week he was beat out by his own teammate, Harrow. McKie and Virginia's K.T. Harrell have each been honored once.

There are some names on this list that have had virtually zero national exposure. Daniel Miller and Danny Rubin are pretty much unknowns at this point. If BC continues to build upon a good early-season showing, Rubin may yet see some of the spotlight.

Of the remaining contenders, however, only Barnes has the national profile to turn an ACC FOY into a national FOY honor. Considering that he hasn't won even a single weekly honor, that still seems like a long shot. Still, I don't blame Barnes for that. He didn't ask to be the first freshman ever placed on the preseason All-America ballot, which was clearly a premature, hype-fueled honor.

This will all shake out more clearly when these kids go head-to-head in conference play, but for now, my front-runners for ACC Freshman of the Year would have to be C.J. Leslie and Travis McKie. Gun to my head, I'd pick Leslie right now. If either leader adds consistency to his resume, and helps his team win league games, his stock will go up. Some of these other guys are going to be great team building blocks over the next couple of seasons, but for now, they're also-rans.

Photo: AP
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