4 - Dennis Smith

6-2, 195 Point Guard
ncstate_65.gif NC State Freshman
11/25/97 (22 yrs)
Fayetteville, NC
High School
Trinity Christian
Team Site Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Ball Handling

NBA Comparison: Baron Davis/Steve Francis

Strengths: Smith is arguably the most explosive athlete in the draft, despite tearing his ACL a little over a year ago … He is very shifty with the ball in his hands and has tremendous burst … An elite level athlete who attacks the rim like a player 5 inches bigger … Possesses solid size for a PG at 6’2 in shoes with a 6’5 wingspan and 8’1 standing reach … He is also a strong, physical guard with the ability to absorb contact and finish acrobatically at the rim (61% at the rim) … Smith has outstanding leaping ability off of both one or two feet, which led to numerous highlight reel dunks in his freshman year at NC State … He also has the strength, quickness, and speed to be an excellent on ball defender when locked in … Smith is a nightmare to guard in the open court with and his ability to change gears with power … He also attacks the rim fearlessly off the bounce where he can finish explosively above the rim with regularity … He also has an excellent first step from a stand still position and can cover a lot of ground with the dribble … He does a great job of inviting contact and getting to the free throw line frequently (6.9 free throw attempts per 40 minutes) … Smith’s strength also helps him fight through screens and recover quickly defensively … He has quick hands and good instincts and can really be a problem for opposing ball handlers when pressured (2.2 steals per 40 minutes) … Smith is a score first point guard with the ability to put pressure on the defense via isolation or the pick and roll … He is quite difficult to stay in front of due to his shiftiness and ability to drive with either hand … He is also improving as a shooter, particularly from long range where he shot a respectable 35.9% this season … Where Smith truly shines on the offensive end, however, is his ability to create his own offense … He can fill it up from all three levels, which will bode well for him in a modern NBA with an abundance of scoring point guards … He does a good job of reading his defender off the pick and roll and has the ability to rise into a pull up jumper, where he gets great elevation … He also frequently utilizes a lethal step back jumper when the guard is able to recover off the screen … He improved as a 3 point shooter as his freshman season progressed … Smith is a tough shot maker with the ability to bail his team out late in the shot clock … He has the ability to make a play on the offensive end every time he touches the ball in one way or another … Especially when his jumper is falling, there is almost no way to guard him because his so dangerous off the dribble and getting to the basket … He is exceptional at creating space with jab steps, a variety of dribble moves, and a quick rising pull up jumper … He is best when on the ball but is a capable spot up shooter when left open … He has an innate ability to attack closeouts hard to pull up off the dribble or finish at the rim … Smith primarily is looking to score, but he is a capable playmaker as well (6.8 assists per 40 minutes) … He wasn’t in an ideal situation at N.C. State, but he is capable of creating space, surveying the floor and passing the ball with either hand out of pick and roll situations … With better talent around him in the NBA, he will look like an even better playmaker … His open court speed makes him particularly dangerous in transition, as he will collapse the defense and find cutters or open shooters on the perimeter … He does not need a screen to collapse the defense … Instead he can usually break his man down off the dribble and get in the paint to kick out to open teammates … He also shows flashes of impressive vision and accuracy off the pick and roll … He will have a chance to be an absolute force on both ends of the court in the NBA … Has excellent size at the point guard position at 6’2 with a 6’5 wingspan … Shows a lot of confidence in his abilities and has a swagger on the floor, should not have any trouble adjusting to playing at the NBA level and be a standout PG at the next level … His upside is among the best of any player in this draft …

Weaknesses: Questions about attitude, focus and desire have surrounded Smith since his high school days … Has a tendency to rely on his physical gifts and not pay enough attention to detail in regards to improving as a PG … As talented as Smith is, he is still learning how to play the position and run a team offense at an optimum level … He can improve his feel for when to create his own offense or when to facilitate … He did not always seem to be on the same page with his teammates, which could be interpreted as a lack of leadership … His overall decision-making, particularly off the pick and roll still need to improve, and he needs to become more vocal to be a quality leader in the NBA … He can be a bit turnover prone, as he has a tendency to make careless entry passes and pick up his dribble against pressure without knowing where he wants to go with the ball … He does not always initiate the offense with consistency and can learn to be more unselfish … Often times he will launch a contested shot without any prior passes or turn it over before any set is run … Smith also will settle for long jumpers early in the shot clock or force contested pull up jumpers instead of getting all the way to the rim or making a play for someone else … In transition he is dangerous, but he does not always look ahead for open teammates and will instead force a low percentage shot … He does the same off the pick and roll where he will frequently miss wide open teammates when double teamed off the screen … Smith struggled with consistency this past season in terms of effort and overall impact … Fell asleep defensively far too often showing a lack of commitment and focus … Despite the fact that he has great upside defensively, his intensity has to improve … Smith did not have a great situation at NC State, but a player as talented as him should be able to carry them to a more successful season … Too often he proved to be lazy fighting through screens and closing out on shooters … He can be too upright and often appears uninterested in keeping his man in front of him … As a shooter, he still has room to improve, as he is best with some upward momentum … He releases the ball on the way down sometimes and has an occasional hitch at the top of his release, which leads to sporadic results … 

Notes: Measured 6’2 in shoes, 6’5 wingspan, 190 lbs, and 8’1 standing reach in the summer of 2016 … Highest-ranked recruit NC State has signed since the Recruiting Services Consensus Index began ranking prospects in 1998 … No. 4 recruit overall and No. 1 point guard according to … No. 6 overall recruit in composite ranking by 247 sports and 10th overall by Scout … Tore his ACL on August 7 of his senior year of high school and elected to graduate high school in December … Enrolled at NC State in January of 2016 … Averaged 22.2 points per game as a junior for Trinity Christian School … Named North Carolina’s Gatorade Player of the Year while leading Trinity Christian to 1A high school state semifinal … Led Trinity to a state championship as a sophomore … Played AAU Basketball for Team Loaded…2nd Team All-ACC Selection

William Peter Desautelle III 5/23/17

Strengths: Explosive point guard with size and great intangibles for the position … Elite level athlete and plays well above the rim. Incredibly explolsive and has a lightning first step …  Attacks the rim with aggression. Very good finisher … Far from a one dimensional athlete… Charasmatic personality. Great leadership … Has a team first mentality … Highly unselfish, very willing passer … Has an advanced feel for the game … Controls the tempo of the game well … Sees the floor and passes the ball well … Led the adidas Gauntlet in assists with 6.9 per game … Plays with patience and doesn’t force his offense … Quick decision maker, reads and reacts well … Plays well in isolation and thrives in transition … Handles the ball well and gets where he wants with his dribble … Good defensive ability. Blocks shots well for a guard, almost averaged a block per game over the adidas Gauntlet … Can be a good perimeter defender when committed … Has the ability to harass and rip opposing ball handler … Strong body, can finish in traffic and stay on his driving path with some contact … Draws fouls and gets to the free throw line at a high rate …

Weaknesses: Has room to improve as an outside shooter. Tends to hesitate when shooting off the catch … Only shot 22.5% from three over the adidas Gauntlet … Has shooting range out to the three, though still needs consistency … Can become more dedicated on the defensive end … Doesn’t always get in a low stance. Tends to gamble a bit … Shows a floater when he beats the first line of defense but overall can improve his overall midrange game … Tends to go through the motions at times, can be too nonchalant … Doesn’t move much off the ball. Can improve in the half court … Knee injury raises questions where his immense athleticism makes him injury prone. To his credit he has relentlessly attacked his rehab and strengthening his legs and body …

Outlook: Smith enters his freshman season at NC State. The highly touted guard sat out his senior high school season with a torn ACL and attended NC State to rehab it. He impressed scouts at adidas Nations this year while looking explosive and fully recovered. With a solid year, Smith has a chance to a high pick in a talented 2017 draft class.

Notes: Name is Dennis, though was sometimes referred to as "Junior"

Evan Tomes 10/3/16

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