NC State guard Terquavion Smith will declare for the 2023 NBA Draft, he told ESPN on Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know:
The Athletic’s instant analysis:
Smith passed up a likely first-round landing spot last summer to return to NC State, basically for one reason: to win at the college level. And in that sense, mission accomplished. After the Wolfpack went 11-21 during Smith’s freshman campaign, Kevin Keatts’ team rebounded this season in a major way, posting a 23-11 record and making it back to the NCAA Tournament. That turnaround wasn’t all because of Smith — Keatts nailed a number of impact transfers in the portal, including Smith’s backcourt mate, Jarkell Joiner — but the sophomore sharpshooter was obviously a key factor. He led the team in scoring, assists, and steals, although he was less efficient than during his stellar freshman season.
But having gotten NC State back into the NCAA Tournament — and likely saving Keatts’ job in the process — means Smith did what he came back for. He won, was rewarded for his loyalty, had a heck of a lot more fun (and complete) college experience… and, obviously, is still a highly sought-after prospect. There really isn’t anything left for Smith to prove at the college level, and he’s only getting older. This is the ideal time to jump, especially after his 32-point performance against Creighton in the NCAA Tournament. — Marks
Back to the transfer portal. The question is, can Keatts hit on new imports at the same rate as he did last offseason?
He’ll have to for the Wolfpack to make it back to the NCAA Tournament, considering Smith and Joiner — his two star guards, a pair of All-ACC Second-Team honorees — are both gone. So too is wing Jack Clark, a starter when healthy, who has already re-entered the transfer portal after one season in Raleigh. There’s still talent here — namely big man D.J. Burns and guard Casey Morsell — but realistically, not enough of it (yet) to compete with the ACC’s best. I’ll be interested to see if either of the team’s incoming four-star freshmen, but especially athletic guard Trey Parker, can make an impact in Year One. Parker’s game grew immensely this season with Overtime Elite, and there are backcourt minutes there for the taking. — Marks
Smith has been on the NBA radar since his freshman season when he averaged 16.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game. He withdrew his name from the 2022 NBA Draft to return for a second year with the Wolfpack. After going 11-21 overall and 4-16 in ACC play in 2021-22, they rode a 12-8 mark in conference play to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2018 before losing in the first round to No. 6 seed Creighton.
“I showed a lot of different things this year,” Smith told ESPN. “Teams wanted to see me be more of a point guard, making the right play, making the right decisions. They wanted to see me improve my finishing, and I increased that. I showed I can be a leader.”
(Photo: Rich Barnes / USA Today)
The Denver Nuggets finally have their NBA Finals opponent, setting the stage for a matc
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty ImagesThe official NBA Finals schedule has been released after the Miami Heat defeated the Boston Celtics 103-84 in Game 7 of
Brianna Williams, ESPNMay 29, 2023, 11:06 PM ETThe Miami Heat are heading back to the NBA Finals.Led by Jimmy Butler and Caleb Martin, who scored 28 and 26 poin
Creighton center Ryan Kalkbrenner announced Monday on social media that he will withdraw from the 2023 NBA draft and return to school for his senior season. Kal