Smith Declares For The NBA Draft

NC State freshman point guard Dennis Smith just announced his intentions to declare for the 2017 NBA Draft.

NC State freshman point guard Dennis Smith just announced his intentions to declare for the 2017 NBA Draft.  Smith made the announcement on national television on ESPN.

"I would like to announce my decision to declare for the 2017 NBA Draft," said Smith.  "I had a good chance whenever I hit college.  I thought it was an attainable dream for me, and I knew I'd chase it with all my might... a week after my last game my family and I decided it would be the best decision for all of us.

"I've been a State fan my entire life... so it was definitely a dream to play in the Red and White."

Smith added he plans to return to school to finish his degree and is already a sophomore academically.  

Smith had arguably the greatest freshman season in Wolfpack history, as he averaged 18.1 points, 6.2 assists and 1.9 steals in 32 games. He ranked sixth in the ACC in scoring, led the league in assists and finished second in steals. He led ACC freshmen in all three categories.

Smith closed the season in March by being named the ACC Freshman of the Year. He became the first NC State freshman since Hawkeye Whitney in 1977-78 to win ACC Freshman of the Year honors and the first player in NC State history to win the honor outright. Whitney shared ACC Freshman of the Year honors with Duke's Mike Gminski.

He also registered two triple-doubles, recording 27 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds against Virginia Tech on January 4 and had 13 points, 15 assists and 11 rebounds against Syracuse on February 1. Smith is the only player in ACC history to register two triple-doubles in the same season.

Smith is the first freshman since UNC's Ed Cota in the 1996-97 season to lead ACC freshmen in points and assists, and his four 30-point performances were the most 30-point games for a freshman in ACC history.

The decision was an easy one for Smith, who is projected to be a Top 10 NBA draft pick by multiple outlets.

ESPN  has Smith going No. 5 overall to the Magic.  Draft Express has Smith projected to go No. 7 overall to the 76ers. has Smith going No. 8 overall to the Timberwolves. 

If those projections hold true, Smith would be the Wolfpack's highest-drafted player since Tom Gugliotta, who was picked No. 6 overall by the Washington Bullets in the 1992 NBA Draft.

Pack Pride will have more on Smith's decision in the near future so stay tuned!

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