Dennis Smith Jr.

NC State v Louisville

Did N.C. State commit a recruiting violation?

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N.C. State made a big splash in the recruiting world earlier this month by landing a commitment from five-star point guard Dennis Smith Jr. Before Smith pledged to the Wolfpack, however, head coach Mark Gottfried and assistant coach Orlando Early visited the future All-American by taking a helicopter to Trinity Christian High School.

The grand recruiting gesture by Gottfried was unique enough that the school alerted local media of what was about to happen and some went to the school to document Gottfried’s arrival. There’s only one problem with the media coming to see Gottfried’s helicopter arrival: it’s a minor NCAA violation.

According to a report from Powell Latimer of the Greensboro News & Record, N.C. State compliance is looking into the matter, as the NCAA does not allow coaches to have recruiting contact in the presence of media.

“In our situation, the media member was present without our knowledge or involvement,” N.C. State assistant athletics director for compliance Steve Shults said to Latimer. “Had our coaches known media was present, then they would have ended the contact immediately in order to avoid a violation.”

Even if N.C. State is found guilty of this violation, it wouldn’t do much but be a slap on the wrist. Since Trinity Christian notified the media of what was happening, you can hardly blame Gottfried for the minor violation — although I’m sure he wasn’t upset about the national publicity.

In the end, Gottfried landed his top target and now he’s focused on trying to put talented pieces around Smith.

Five-star point guard commits to NC State

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One day after being visited by NC State head coach Mark Gottfried on the first day of the fall recruiting period, a top prospect in the Class of 2016 has made his pledge to the ACC program.

NBC Sports confirmed that Fayetteville, North Carolina point guard Dennis Smith Jr. has verbally committed to NC State. News of his commitment was first reported by, and the decision doesn’t come as a surprise. While Smith trimmed his list to six schools in mid-July, it had been believed for some time that NC State was the team to beat for his commitment.

In Smith, the Wolfpack add an explosive guard who can both score and distribute the basketball at a high level from the point guard position. Unfortunately Smith will be on the sidelines for a little while, as he suffered a torn ACL at the adidas Nations camp in southern California in early August. The injury is expected to keep him out of action for anywhere from six to nine months.

With Smith in the fold NC State has taken care of the point guard position in 2016-17, regardless of what current starter Cat Barber (who’s a junior) may do at the end of the upcoming campaign. Smith is NC State’s first commitment in the Class of 2016, and with him on board Gottfried and his staff can focus more of their time on elite big men Bam Adebayo and Udoka Azubuike.

As he did with Smith, Gottfried used a helicopter as his mode of transportation to see Adebayo Wednesday.

Elite 2016 PG Dennis Smith Jr.’s summer highlights (VIDEO)

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Dennis Smith Jr., one of the top players in the Class of 2016, suffered an unfortunate setback earlier this month as he went down with a torn ACL at the adidas Nations Camp in Long Beach, California. However while Smith does face the challenge of rehabbing from the injury, that hasn’t changed his status as one of the most sought-after recruits around.

Courtside Films put together a video of Smith’s highlights from this summer, the majority of which was spent playing with the Team Loaded North Carolina program. Smith trimmed his list to six schools in mid-July, with Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, NC State, North Carolina and Wake Forest making the cut for the Fayetteville, North Carolina native.

Video credit: Courtside Films

Highlights of Dennis Smith Jr., Kobi Simmons matchup from July

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The Class of 2016 is loaded at the point guard position, with two of the best being Dennis Smith Jr. (who’s currently sidelined with a torn ACL suffered at adidas Nations in early August) and Kobi Simmons. The two stars met multiple times in July, including at the adidas Gauntlet Finale in Atlanta in the middle of the month.

Courtside Films recently released a highlight video of that meeting, which Simmons’ Atlanta Celtics squad won by four points, can be viewed above. Simmons currently has visits set for Kentucky (August 28), Xavier (September 4) and Ohio State (September 28), with Smith yet to schedule any official visits.

Video credit: Courtside Films

No. 1 point guard in Class of 2016 has knee surgery

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Dennis Smith Jr., the nation’s top high school point guard recruit, had surgery on his left knee Friday afternoon a source confirmed to

The 6-foot-2 five-star Class of 2016 lead guard was seen on crutches at the end of the adidas Nations event in California last week. The news of Smith’s surgery was first reported by Bret Strelow of the Fayetteville Observer.

Regarded as the top point guard in the class, according to Rivals, Smith is from Fayetteville, North Carolina. The No. 4 overall prospect recently cut his recruiting list to Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, N.C. State, North Carolina and Wake Forest.

Smith spoke about the injury during Monday night’s broadcast of the adidas Nations title game, saying that the knee had already started to feel better. MRI results indicated that surgery was necessary. There is currently no update on the timetable for Smith’s recovery or when he will return from surgery.

Highlights from 2015 adidas Nations

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Team Rose, which included Lonzo Ball, Kobi Simmons, Edrice Adebayo, Rawle Alkins, and Mustapha Heron, defeated Team Wall, 113-93 on Monday night at Cerritos College in Norwalk, California to win the 2015 adidas Nations.

Alkins, the five-star guard down to 10 schools, scored a game-high 26 points. Markelle Fultz led Team Wall with 14.

The field at the 2015 adidas Nations also included the nation’s top point guard, Dennis Smith Jr., who averaged 16.0 points and 7.6 assists per game in the showcase, as well as Wenyen Gabriel, July’s biggest stock-riser, wh helped Team Africa finish third.

Frank Jackson and Terrance Ferguson, ranked Nos. 10 and 11 by Rivals, played in the same back court for Team Wall, the runner-up in the event.