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.
“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.
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 ESPN.com, 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.
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.