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July 25, 2012
First overseas travel for several
NC State's trip to Spain will be the first time leaving the country for several players, including Scott Wood, Lorenzo Brown and C.J. Leslie. All three are excited to go overseas for the first time in August. The Pack plays five games from Aug. 5-15, and are currently practicing for two hours per week.
"I think it's going to be a lot of fun," senior Wood said. "I've never been overseas, so I think it will be a good experience for us.
"I think it will be a good bonding exercise for us, we're going to a place we've never been don't know what to expect. It's just you and your teammates figuring out what to do and where to go."
Leslie also noted that the trip gives the team a head start on its upcoming opponents for the 2012-13 season.
"We're going to get ready for the season with some preseason games, it's a chance to get a step ahead of everybody else," he said. "We're going to take that time and get better, but we're going to go out there and have fun. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience and not a lot of people get to enjoy something like this."
Interestingly, at least two of the Pack's freshmen are experienced playing outside of the country. Rodney Purvis went on the road with the U.S. U18 National Team, playing at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Brazil in June, while Tyler Lewis and his Oak Hill teammates played some exhibitions in China.
Sharing the point
With Lorenzo Brown out following a knee operation, several other players have had to step up and share the point guard duties. In addition to freshman Tyler Lewis taking the reigns, classmate Rodney Purvis and senior Scott Wood have also taken turns running the offense.
Wood thinks that it is an experience that will help in the long run, but he's anxious to get Brown back in the fold and get back to where he's more comfortable, although he does have experience running the one from high school.
"It's one of those things that is definitely going to help me, I'm continuing to get better at it and I have to do it," he said. "I told [Lorenzo] that I'm ready for him to come back because I like coming off down screens. I told him he needs to hurry up and get well."
Brown has been impressed with his rookie understudy, Lewis, and noted that he can even learn a thing or two from watching his young teammate run the offense.
"He's a very smart guy," Brown said. "He knows who to pass it to at the right time and he just got here, I had to figure that out in the middle of the season. He already knows how to do it, so I'm just picking up what he does by watching him."
Brown said he returned to practice on Monday and pronounced himself at 75-80 percent. However, he knows the season is the most important thing and he won't push himself to play in Spain if he's not ready. He said he's fine whether he plays overseas or not.
"Either or, it doesn't really matter to me," he said. "I just want to give my support any way I can.
"Just being there is big for me, I've never been overseas, so I'm just excited to go. My job right now is to talk to [the younger guys] and keep their heads level. I'll cheer on my team and do whatever I have to do.
Is there a chance on him playing in Spain?
"It depends on how I'm feeling next week," he said. "If I'm jumping like normal, I might as well play but, if not, I'm not even going to try it."
Although Brown is not able to practice right now, he has also helped Lewis with pointers from the sidelines and has served as another coach for the youngster.
"Lorenzo has been a great leader and teacher to me," Lewis said. "He's telling me all of the things that I need to do. In my opinion, he's the best point guard in the country so just learning from him is a great opportunity."