North Carolina State’s Lorenzo Brown is among the top-rated point guards in this year’s NBA Draft. That’s not a debate. At 6-5, the slick ballhandler and passer offers NBA teams an intriguing blend of point guard skills and size.
This past season, Brown dished out an ACC Conference-leading 7.2 dimes per game to go along with his 12.4 points per game. He also grabbed 4.3 rebounds and produced 65 steals. The Roswell, Georgia native and former Georgia Class 5A Player of the Year spoke to Dime about the predraft process, his workouts and overlooked scoring ability.
[Eds. note: We also had the chance to catch up with his teammate, Richard Howell. Check page two.]
*** *** ***
Dime: How has the predraft process been for you?
Lorenzo Brown: The experience is amazing. Just traveling to each place seeing how they work their schedules, how they do their plays. It’s just an amazing feeling. Right now I’m real anxious and nervous to see where I will be picked. It’s always been a life-long dream to play in the NBA. Just to know that I’m a couple of weeks away from actually stating my career is a real big accomplishment.
Dime: What advice have you been getting from coaches and other guys that have been through this process?
LB: This whole workout thing is a mental process. You are flying to a different place every day. It gets tiring, so they want to see you work your best even though you are tired. When I went to Oklahoma, I had only four hours of sleep and I had to get up and workout. As long as you go in there and work your hardest, try not to show them that you’re tired and you can play through your drowsiness, it will be fine.
Dime: What teams have you worked out for?
LB: Indiana, New York, Utah, Cleveland, Minnesota…..Oklahoma as well.
Dime: What has been the biggest eye opener working out for these NBA teams?
LB: The plays that they do and run through. Normally it’s three-on-three, but we do a little sequence of what they do and how they close out and things like that. The defensive end has really been an eye opener.
Dime: What are some things that you are trying to show teams?
LB: My scoring ability. I was set around a whole team full of scorers so it was kind of hard for me to show what I can do on the offensive end.
Dime: What have NBA teams said they like about your game?
LB: Mainly my passing ability. That’s what I pretty much do. They see that I’ve been working on my shot this whole summer. They see that my technique has gotten a lot better.
Dime: How much time have you spent this summer working on your technique?
LB: Man, probably like five hours a day.
Dime: At 6-5, how does that size help you when playing against other point guards?
LB: It’s a big difference between a lot of the guys actually except for Michael Carter-Williams because he is the only point guard who is about the same height as me and probably the same weight. I can use my size to overpower them and get to the hole a lot easier just by using my size and quickness that I have.
Dime: Coming up in high school, were you always taller than other point guards generally?
LB: I never really was a point guard until my sophomore year. Coming out of high school, I was a two. They would rank me as a point guard because of the things I did, like pass the ball and push up the court just like any other point guard. My first full-time playing point guard was the start of my sophomore year.
Dime: Playing the two-spot, how were you able to develop those passing skills?
LB: I believe it came natural to me just watching other guys. I like to study the game as well as play it. As I watch the game, I try to imitate the things other guys do just to work on it. Guys like Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter because they can also pass the ball as well as score it. Sort of like LeBron James as well. I just try to base my game off of creating for other guys. If I create for other guys, that means I’m opening up lanes for myself as well.
Dime: What aspect about the NBA game do you think will allow you to excel?
LB: Just my creating ability. The NBA is more spaced out than college. I feel like I will have a lot more opportunity to get to the basket. I feel like my game is more of a pro-type game than a college game anyway.
Dime: Would you consider yourself a passing point guard or scoring point guard?
LB: All around guard. I have athleticism, passing ability. I’m still working on my jump shot and it’s getting a lot better. Once I get that locked down and became a great defensive stopper, I think I can hang with those top notch point guards.
Dime: You spoke on the defensive side of things. What will it take for you to get up to that type of defense?
LB: Just getting a lot stronger. I know a lot of these point guards in the league are very strong. Once I get the strength going and learning how to sit down and move my feet as fast as any of these guards, I will be okay.
Dime: You led the ACC in assists. Do you sometimes feel overlooked when they talk about other point guards in this class?
LB: I’m not really worried about what anybody else does. Everybody has their own type of game. I mean you never know where you will end up at the end of the day. As long as you play your part and do what you have to do.