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April 29, 2010

Smith testing NBA Draft waters

NC State junior center Tracy Smith has declared for the NBA Draft, but won't be hiring an agent.

The talented 6-foot-8, 247-pounder from Detroit has until May 8 to pull his name out of the draft. The Wolfpacker first reported that Smith was going to enter the draft in the War Room, but sources close to the situation don't expect him to go in the first round. However, he would be open to a spot in the second round if it meant a guaranteed spot on the roster.

"I love playing basketball at NC State, but this would be a win-win situation for me if I am able to take advantage of it," Smith said in a statement. "This would give me a great opportunity to see where I stack up against other NBA prospects."

Smith enjoyed a breakout season, and earned second-team All-ACC honors. Smith led NCSU with 16.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, and was tied with Horner for the team lead with 35 blocks. In addition, he ranked second on the team with 40 steals.

Smith was a model of consistency, scoring between 11 and 23 points in every game he played in but three. He topped 20 points in 11 contests and had 10 or more rebounds in six. His passing out of the post improved immensely, making him difficult to double team, and he was always a threat to reach the free throw line, where he connected on 134 of 205 attempts (65.4 percent - a 6.1 percent increase from his sophomore season).

"We support Tracy in this decision," NC State coach Sidney Lowe said. "This is a great opportunity available to college players, and we support Tracy in taking advantage of it. It provides a good experience for them to see what areas of their game need improvement."

Smith also led NC State with 32.1 minutes per game and only fouled out of two games.

If Smith returns, he'll anchor a Wolfpack squad that 20-16 last year, but returns starting point guard Javier Gonzalez and small forward Scott Wood. NC State also has landed a potential top five recruiting class thanks to Wednesday's commitment from forward C.J. Leslie of Raleigh Word of God, along with point guard Ryan Harrow of Marietta (Ga.) Walton and combo guard Lorenzo Brown of Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy.

Smith might not be able to attend any scheduled workouts because of his academic schedule.


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