N.C. State's Purvis plans to transfer; Leslie entering NBA Draft
North Carolina State freshman guard Rodney Purvis plans to transfer, a person familiar with the situation said.
Purvis informed the coaching staff Monday, the same day junior C.J. Leslie announced he would enter the NBA draft, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the school hasn't made an official announcement.
The hometown guard who played at Raleigh Upper Room was one of three McDonald's All-Americans to join the Wolfpack this season. He averaged 8.3 points and started 23 of the first 25 games, though his minutes fell off when the Wolfpack elevated freshman forward T.J. Warren into the starting lineup to give the team some size and rebounding.
In a post on his Twitter account, Purvis appeared to say farewell to the Wolfpack without specifically saying he planned to transfer.
"Tears won't stop falling," Purvis tweeted. "I enjoyed every moment here. I still love you guys, no matter how you may feel towards me. Thank y'all!"
Purvis scored a total of 12 points and averaged just 12.8 minutes in his final four games, three coming in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament and the last in the loss to Temple in the Wolfpack's NCAA tournament opener. That included a scoreless performance in just 9 minutes against Virginia in the ACC quarterfinals.
Purvis' departure would be another blow in a turnover-filled offseason for the Wolfpack. N.C. State already knew it was losing seniors Richard Howell and Scott Wood, then Leslie and fellow junior Lorenzo Brown announced their expected early jumps to the NBA.
Leslie says it's time to 'move on'
North Carolina State's C.J. Leslie is joining teammate Lorenzo Brown by skipping his final season and entering the NBA draft.
"It's one of those things where you just know it's just time, it's time to move on," Leslie said Monday during a news conference at the team's practice facility. "That's what I feel like in my heart. My family, they feel the same way I do. It was just one of those things where we felt like it was time to move on."
The 6-foot-9 forward was the preseason Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year. He averaged a team-high 15 points to go with 7.4 rebounds while shooting nearly 52 percent from the floor. He was a third-team all-ACC pick by both the media and the coaches after ranking in the top 10 in the league in scoring, rebounding and shooting percentage.
Leslie, who arrived under former coach Sidney Lowe, started 85 of his 99 career games and led the team in scoring as a sophomore as well.
His decision comes four days after Brown, a point guard, announced his decision, though neither move was a surprise.
Leslie flirted with entering the draft last year after helping the Wolfpack make a surprise run to the NCAA round of 16 after missing the NCAAs for five straight seasons. This time, N.C. State was the ACC favorite for the first time since the 1974-75 season and entered the year with a No. 6 national ranking, but fell in the ACC tournament semifinals then lost to Temple in its NCAA tournament opener.
Coach Mark Gottfried said he believes there's a "strong likelihood" that Leslie will be a first-round draft pick.
"I think he's confident right now that this is the right time for him personally and I think he's going to do very well," Gottfried said. "I'm sad he's leaving the program, but I'm excited. I think this is where his heart is and I think he's going to be very, very good."