Relationships, Trust Critical For Smith

LAS VEGAS -- Five-star point guard Dennis Smith recently cut his list to six schools and the North Carolina native is a major priority for N.C. State in the Class of 2016.

Five-star point guard Dennis Smith recently cut his list to six schools and the North Carolina native is a major priority for N.C. State in the Class of 2016.

During the week at the adidas Uprising Summer Championships at the Cashman Center in Las Vegas, Wolfpack coaches have trailed Smith's every move with Team Loaded North Carolina and he's been one of the best players in the event in helping his team get off to a great start.

Recently cutting his list to N.C. State, Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina and Wake Forest, Smith is figuring out the final steps of the recruiting process. Although Smith's final list is a who's who of college basketball's elite, N.C. State is still in very tight with the local guard, as he's been to campus a handful of times.

"I like hanging out with the guys," Smith said of N.C. State. "I played up there with them about three different times so it's a really down-to-earth [place] that they have there."

Taking the multiple trips to campus and building relationships with Wolfpack players and coaches is important to Smith's recruitment because the people around him at his future school will be a big part of his decision.

"My main thing is relationships," Smith said. "Whether I go there for one year or four years, I have to have a good relationship with whoever I'm with."

While building a solid rapport with the players on the roster is important, its the coaching staff that Smith is really focused on. Smith wants to know that his future coaches are people that he knows have his best interests at heart.

"Trust [is important]. I don't want anybody trying to blow my head up or anything like that," Smith said. "I would rather have them tell me what I need to hear instead of what I want to hear."

Cutting his list to six schools means that Smith is getting down to the final stages of the recruiting process. But during the month of July, Smith is preferring to spend his time focusing on basketball, as he wants to close out the live evaluation period with a title at the adidas event while also gunning for the No. 1 spot.

"I'm not really thinking about [recruiting] right now," Smith said. "I just want to do whatever it takes to win."

With recruiting in the rearview mirror at the moment, Smith hasn't set any official visits, but he said to reporters in Las Vegas that he would likely take visits to the out-of-state schools on his list while potentially seeing the four in-state schools again before making a decision.

For Smith, it came to a point in the recruiting process where he wanted to make sure it wasn't taking up all of his time and that he was enjoying things again.

"It's relentless. At the beginning you love it. After awhile it gets overwhelming," Smith said. "And then after that, you have to make it fun for yourself. So I kind of did that and kind of made it fun for myself."


Pack Pride Top Stories