Pack Pride recently checked in on former NC State guard Lorenzo Brown, who is currently with the Grand Rapid Drive -- a NBA Developmental League affiliate of the Detroit Pistons.
Brown is closing in on the end of what has been a sensational season with the Drive. Through March 19th the 6-5 guard is averaging 23.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and four assists per game with the Drive.
He has spent parts of four seasons in the D-League in his professional career, which has also seen him play in the Chinese League. Brown, who signed a contract with Detroit towards the end of last season, has appeared in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves and the Phoenix Suns.
Prior to arriving at NC State he attended Hargrave Academy, where he played in prep school for Kevin Keatts. His coach while he was with the Wolfpack, Mark Gottfried, is currently helping out Stan Van Gundy with the Pistons.
Brown discussed his past, present and hopes for the future.
Statistically your numbers in the 2016-17 campaign are solid. Do you feel like this is the season where you have put things together?
Honestly, I have been doing this in the D-League for at least four years now so I am just trying to get to the top.
The season is winding down. What are some things you feel you have to work on over the spring and summer?
Off-the-dribble shots, coming off screens a lot harder than I do right now and just being a complete leader out there.
You have spent time in the NBA and know what that is like. How well do you think you adjusted when you have received your call-ups?
My rookie year was surreal. I ran into a couple of guys that I had looked up to at that point. It is what it is now. It is a lot more different than the D-League. A lot more space. Guys are a lot smarter than the guys down here so you have got to mind your P’s and Q’s.
NC State has several players in the D-League, including many who were teammates of yours. You actually get to go one-on-one with the point guard that replaced you on the Wolfpack’s roster, Cat Barber of the Greensboro Swarm. What is your impressions of him?
That is my guy. I wish Cat the best. I think he is a great player. He has a great head on his shoulders. I think he will go far in his career.
If you do make it back to Detroit one guy you may bump into that is familiar is Mark Gottfried. How nice would it be to see him and is he someone who could coach again, whether it be in college or the pros?
Yeah. Always. Gottfried is still my guy. He will be my coach forever. I wish Coach Gottfried well. He is in Detroit right now. I have not had a chance to talk to him. I have been real busy. When I get a chance I will talk to him.
Gottfried is a great coach. I think the fans have got the wrong image of him. It happens.
What are some things about Mark Gottfried that stand out to you?
He has the same attributes as Coach Keatts. He is Gottfried. He comes in with a quote. I still remember everything that he did. He came in with a quote every morning to try to get guys going because I know in college guys have their ups and downs.
I think that is why guys transferred schools because they weren’t ready or up on it. He is like a grown man. In college you are grown but you are not grown.
You mentioned the new head coach of NC State, Kevin Keatts. He also mentioned you at his opening press conference. Did he speak with you about the opening prior to being hired?
I had a couple of phone calls with him. We talked back and forth. He was not sure if they were going to pick him or not but it came down to what was the right decision. They got a great guy. I wish him the best.
How would you describe Coach Keatts?
Great guy. Great character. He pushed me as an individual to get better and I feel like at Hargrave, with him, it is the best basketball I have ever played in my life actually.
Did Keatts play you at the point or off the ball?
Both. I was in and out. Actually me and another guy that plays with the Swarm, Mardracus Wade, we played together with Coach Keatts. Like I said, he is a great guy and a great coach, and he just wants to win.
How would it feel to see NC State be successful under Coach Keatts?
It would mean the world to me. I love NC State and Coach Keatts as a person. I hope he does the best that he can.