Roy Williams Watches Smith

In just three weeks, Dennis Smith Jr. has gone from minimal contact with the UNC staff to an in-person visit by Roy Williams.

Smith, a 6-foot-2, 168-pound guard from Fayetteville (N.C.) Trinity, first heard from UNC in April when it watched him during an evaluation period.

During the summer and early fall, however, there wasn't much communication between the parties. That changed a few weeks ago when assistant coach Steve Robinson watched Smith and 2016 teammate Kwe Parker.

A week later, assistant coach C.B. McGrath visited Trinity and Smith recorded his second-straight triple double. Word got back to Williams, who promptly setup a visit for Thursday night.

It was his first in-person viewing of Smith.

"I'd never seen him in person before," said Smith,'s No. 25 overall player in the class of 2016. "I was a little star struck at first, I'll be honest. It's not too often you play in front of anybody that big. But after a while you just play like you normally do."

Smith, who is averaging 15 points and 10 assists per game, led Trinity to a 59-53 win over Northwood Temple.

"He (Roy Williams) spoke with my coach (Heath Vandevender) and he said he liked the way I played," said Smith. "He said he was going to come to another game a little later in the year."

Smith won't have to wait long to see Williams in person again, however. He plans to take an unofficial visit to UNC for its game against Kentucky on Dec. 14.

"I want to see how Coach Roy interacts with his players," Smith said. "I want to get a better gist of what the campus is like and how the people and fans interact with the players as well."

The Tar Heels have already handed out three offers in the class of 2016, including one to guard Seventh Woods, a former AAU teammate of Smith. By all accounts, UNC is recruiting Woods as a point guard, the same position Smith plays. Smith said he wasn't sure what impact that will have on his UNC recruitment.

"I'm aware they've offered him," said Smith. "But, if it came to him already being there and me getting an offer, it's always hard to turn down a school like North Carolina. North Carolina is North Carolina and they're always one of the best teams out there."

For now, Smith plans to continue to visit schools in the region. He's taken unofficial visits to N.C. State and VCU, and hopes to make it to Duke.

Thus far, Smith has received offers from VCU and UNC-Charlotte.

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