Top 10 guard headed to Raleigh

North Carolina native Dennis Smith will keep his talents in-state for college. The tremendously gifted point guard pledged to NC State over North Carolina, Louisville and many others.

Dennis Smith has committed to the NC State Wolfpack, he confirmed to Scout. The 6-2 point guard from Fayetteville long had been considered a Wolfpack lean, and on Thursday he made it official: He will play for Mark Gottfried’s Wolfpack.

Smith first garnered interest as a freshman out of Fayetteville, earning early offers from schools such as VCU. But he blew up as a sophomore, wowing crowds at events such as the 2013 High School OT Invitational. From that point forward he proved to be a dynamic force for Team Loaded as it assaulted opponents on the Adidas circuit, and Smith easily was one of the best players we watched this past travel season.

Truth is, anyone ranked in this year's top 10 would be a potential (or even likely, in Smith's case) top five or higher in the average class. The Class of 2016 is spectacular, and Smith is one of its most spectacular members.

He projects as an immediate impact player for the Wolfpack, which relied heavily on assistant Orlando Early to score the commitment. Smith currently is rehabbing from knee surgery to repair a torn ACL, but that injury no longer carries long-term implications for most players. Assuming a return to full health, he should be one of the ACC's best freshmen in 2016-17 and perhaps one of the league's best players. Period.

Smith may not reside in Raleigh for long, but now the Wolfpack should enjoy an NBA representative who can proudly represent the program the way Chris Paul does for Wake Forest. In my career there have been three great N.C. point guards: Paul, John Wall and now Dennis Smith.

The Pack also hope to land Smith's Team Loaded running mate, elite forward Edrice Adebayo.

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