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April 18, 2012
The Wolfpacker has confirmed that NC State sophomore forward C.J. Leslie is not going to enter his name into the NBA Draft and will instead return for his third season at NC State.
Leslie deliberated turning professional after averaging 14.7 points and 7.3 rebounds a game last year while shooting 52.5 percent from the field. He was named second-team All-ACC for his efforts and emerged as one of the top talents in the league.
"After talking this over with my family, we have decided it would best for me to return for my junior year," Leslie said. "I'm on track to graduate, which is important to me and my family, and I'm excited about building on what the team accomplished last season.
"There are parts of my game I want to continue to work on and take more of a leadership role with the team."
His news could make NC State one of the favorites in the ACC for next season.
In addition to Leslie, State is expected to return four starters from its Sweet 16 team, including third-team All-ACC point guard Lorenzo Brown, who like Leslie will be a junior next year.
Also back are two rising seniors starters in Scott Wood, a wing, and Richard Howell, a forward.
In addition, State welcomes one of the top recruiting classes in the country with three McDonald's All-Americans in point guard Tyler Lewis, guard Rodney Purvis and forward T.J. Warren.
The Pack is also in play with a fourth McDonald's All-American, forward Amile Jefferson. Jefferson is deciding between NC State, Duke, Villanova, Temple and Kentucky.
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