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How will Lorenzo Brown’s injury affect the development of freshman Tyler Lewis at NC State?

Tyler Lewis

Tyler Lewis, Rodney Purvis, and TJ Warren comprise a stellar 2012 recruiting class for Mark Gottfried and NC State.

The plan was to bring those freshman in with the strong returners from this past season’s Sweet 16 team, including CJ Leslie and Lorenzo Brown, and have a nucleus that can compete for an ACC title.

Those plans were revised a bit when Brown, a 6-5 guard and the team’s leading assist man in 2011-12, went down with a torn meniscus in his right knee, an injury that required surgery.

But as Brown recovers, Gottfried is taking what he termed a “conservative” approach to his team, according the Associated Press.

''Truthfully, the only objective I have is to have him healthy in October’’ Gottfried told the AP, which would be in time for formal practices. ''And if he ends up not playing, it helps (Lewis), helps the other players. In other words, if we had to play without Lorenzo, how do we play? There’s a question that needs to be answered, so it gives a chance for some of them to do that.’'

On paper, the freshman Lewis has the qualifications to run an ACC team: He led powerhouse Oak Hill (Va.) to a 44-0 record this past season. He was named a McDonald’s All-American. He is praised as one of the best passers from the Class of 2012 and he can shoot the basketball.

And now NC State begins a five-game exhibition tour in Europe that could answer some of those questions.

''This might be the beauty of us going to Spain. ... Your team has to learn how it needs to play and who needs to do what,’' Gottfried continued. ''We’d all like to know that on Oct. 15, but the reality is sometimes as you play games and you go through those first games in November and December, you begin to really learn your team. ... Maybe Spain will help us learn some of those things about our team.’'

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_