DENNIS SMITH, JR.

BIRTHDATE: 11/25/97

POSITION: Point Guard

HEIGHT: 6'3"

WEIGHT: 195 lbs

SCHOOL/ TEAM: North Carolina State

CLASS: Freshman

OFFENSE

* Good size and athleticism for an attacking guard

*Can be a dangerous open floor finisher for his size

*Seems to prefer going left and will finish with both hands on that side of the rim.

*He's shown he can shift gears in traffic moving downhill.

*But also can get too deep into the defense which leaves him susceptible to blocks and his passes getting tipped

*Crafty enough to get to the rim as teams are hedging multiple defenders toward him

*Has a way to go in reading multiple layers of a defense in seeing plays for his teammates before/as they're developing.

*Does a good job setting his man up to hit the screen solidly which puts him one on one with a big

*He should be eating at that Chris Paul elbow spot with a big backpeddling but his jumper needs a lot of work but might not be a lost cause. *Tends to fade back and left on his off the dribble shots, which might have something to do with his pull up often hitting front iron

*Uses his body well when driving to create contact and generate FTA.

*Should add Tony Parker floater so he can have a reliable shot and will be making decisions in the 3-10 range where there are still passing angles for him.

*When teams pack the paint he can bog down the offense by overdribbling.

*He will run a PNR/iso, back his dribble out and reset or make a pass and immediately call for the ball.

*I'd like to see him be a little more willing to give it up then do more cutting off ball so he can get it back in situations with the defense in flux and take advantage of his skills

DEFENSE

*Does a pretty good job of fighting over screens and continuing to pursue the play even when the ballhandler gets a step on him. *Recognizes who he can go under the screen on and still gets a good contest if they pull up

*Has a good feel for when he should switch onto the big and when he should keep pursuing the ballhandler

*When his team is in zone, he finds a body to box out when the shot goes up

*His size and athleticism makes finishing at the rim on him difficult for smaller point guards

*When locked in, pressures the ball well

*Can get lost finding his man spotting up in transition and he gets caught leaving shooters as he overhelps

KHAIRI AKILI

Dennis Smith JR is an elite level athlete who is extremely fast in the open floor.  He has all the attributes you'd love in a point guard for today's NBA, shifty, lightning quick with a great first step, a creative mind and tight handle. Smith can get in the lane any time he wants and is a strong finisher at the rim.  He plays an attacking downhill style of play that may draw comparisons to Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook. The majority of Smith's possessions were in the pick & roll where he displayed the ability to split double teams and put tremendous pressure on the defense.

I thought Smith answered a lot of questions about his jump shot this season as he shot 36% from 3 and was a pretty good spot up shooter. However, he will need to improve his shot selection and shooting off the dribble. You can tell he's always been able to get to the rim at will so shooting mid range jumpers and floaters hasn't really been needed until this point in his career.  I don't see anything that will prevent him from becoming an effective shooter inside the 3 point line. 

Overall I thought Smith had a good freshman season despite sitting out his senior year of high school with a torn ACL and the coaching situation at NC State.

RAFAEL BARLOWE - MARCH 26, 2017

Dennis Smith Jr is explosive- probably the best athlete in the class. Add that to his great handle and you have a prospect with a lot of upside. He's going to be in attack mode from the jump. He already uses wrong foot layups and changes speeds pretty well. He's not a bad catch and shooter at this point either. 

 

He will dribble the air out of the ball. Because he's such a great athlete, it's either layups or bust, I'd like to see him use or develop a floater. As expected with a lot of these young guards, he's pretty careless with the ball. In PNR situations, there's still a lot of work to be done as a playmaker. He will miss skip passes or pocket passes and instead shoot a contested pull up jumper. His jumper off the dribble needs work still. 

 

POSITIVES:

-Great athlete 

-Great handle

-Gets to the line 

-Good change of speed 

-Utilizes wrong foot layups

-Good vision

-Puts pressure on the defense 

-Good catch and shoot

 

AREAS OF CONCERN:

 

-Over dribbles a lot (shot clock)

-Doesn't shoot floaters

-Careless with the ball at times 

-Needs to improve as a playmaker especially in PNR

-Shoots a lot of contested mid range jumpers

-Continue to work on pull up jumper

JAMES BARLOWE - DECEMBER 29 , 2016