Smith High On NC State

When five-star Class of 2016 point guard Dennis Smith and his family watch an ACC basketball game, there are usually a couple of different rooting interests going on as the game is unfolding.

When five-star Class of 2016 point guard Dennis Smith and his family watch an ACC basketball game, there are usually a couple of different rooting interests going on as the game is unfolding.

Growing up in North Carolina means that some family members are fans of one ACC program while some might lean more towards another. Since Smith is being recruited by all of the in-state ACC powerhouses, it makes for some interesting moments during the game as family members try to get in his ear a little bit about where he should continue his basketball career.

"Anytime we watch a game together as a family they always try to push me to one side," Smith said with a smile. "It's just jokes. They want me to go wherever is best for me. It's a lot of joking around."

With a grandmother who roots for N.C. State and some uncles who root for North Carolina, there will always be a small divide among Smith's family, but he actually grew up rooting for the Wolfpack as a child.

"I grew up an N.C. State fan so I was definitely blessed when I got the offer," Smith said. "I was excited to hear the news. I've built a great relationship with the guys. I talk to Cat [Barber] every now and then. Coach Early and Coach Gottfried, I talk to them quite often."

N.C. State coaches were active recruiting Smith and his Team Loaded teammates at the adidas Gauntlet in Indianapolis last weekend. Head coach Mark Gottfried and assistant coach Orlando Early were both present to watch both of Team Loaded's games on Sunday in Indianapolis.

That's already paid off in a commitment from 2015 forward Shaun Kirk, who played with Team Loaded during the weekend, and Smith also noticed that Wolfpack coaches were trailing him.

"It does mean a lot. I appreciate it because they don't have to be here," Smith said of the N.C. State coaches. "For them to take the time out and come here and see me, I'm very appreciative of that."

"Shaun is a phenomenal athlete," added Smith. "He's an even better player and competitor. He's always read to go to war, and I'll go to war with him at my side any day. He should make an immediate impact [at NC State]."

The recruiting process isn't a major focus for Smith right now, as he navigates the grassroots circuit and just tries to get better. He's more focused on improving his game and trying to become the best player he can more so than the schools that are after him.

"I won't have any visits until the fall and that's when I'll start my in-home visits," Smith said.

But when asked if N.C. State will get an official visit in the fall Smith told reporters with a smile, "I'm sure they will."


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