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April 25, 2011Sunday at 11:59 p.m., was the deadline for early entry into the NBA Draft, and one player who elected not to enter was NC State freshman forward C.J. Leslie.
NC State spokesperson Annabelle Myers confirmed Monday afternoon that Leslie, a 2010 McDonald's All-American from Holly Springs, N.C., and product of Word of God Academy in Raleigh, opted not to file the paperwork to go pro early.
Leslie averaged 11.0 points per game as a rookie, second-highest behind departing forward Tracy Smith. Leslie also averaged a team-high 7.2 rebounds per contest.
His apparent return to NC State should help give the Pack a solid frontcourt in Mark Gottfried's first year as head coach of NC State. The Pack also returns rising junior centers DeShawn Painter and Jordan Vandenberg and rising junior forward Richard Howell and have inked well-regarded forward Tyler Harris from St. Benedict's High in Newark, N.J.