Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports listed the official underclassman entrants into the NBA Draft this morning, and much to many Wolfpack fan’s surprise, rising senior Tracy Smith’s name was among the players planning to see what their worth is in the upcoming league draft.Â He’ll have until next Saturday, May 8th, to finalize his decision as to whether he’ll keep his name in the hat or come back to school for his final year.
Don’t Press The Panic Button Quite Yet
That does not mean that Smith is necessarily leaving the program, and it’s not that uncommon for talented players to “declare” for the draft so that they assess where they are.Â That’s probably what Smith is doing. According to many folks, Smith will likely return to play for the Wolfpack in 2010-11 — ranging from those close to the program to those close to the NBA Draft.
Looking here, you won’t find Tracy Smith listed.
In fact, the site doesn’t even list Smith in their positional rankings.Â That’s not to say that NBA scouts aren’t viewing Smith positively, and it may be that NBADraft.net hasn’t added Smith into their mix of players yet.Â Or perhaps not, because he is not even in their junior rankings. Smith is also not listed in the 2010 Mock Draft at DraftExpress.com, and that site has not even been tracking him – they have no profile of his skills or statistics.
The Top Picks for 2010
The top 3 power forwards coming into this year’s draft are probably Demarcus Cousins of Kentucky, the oft-injured Ed Davis of UNC and Patrick Patterson, also of Kentucky.Â Those three will likely be lottery picks, and Dnatas Motiejunas, Jan Vesely and Greg Monroe will follow, though in what order is anyone’s guess.Â With a pretty solid top 4-5 players ranked ahead of him, it’s hard to say where – or if – Smith might be picked.
Keep in mind too that Smith has been adamant in recent interviews about returning to school.Â With the likes of CJ Leslie and Ryan Harrow coming aboard, he has good reason to return – first of all, State will have a solid squad, and may well be a solid showcase for a strong forward like himself, and secondly, with a great point guard dishing him the ball, his averages are sure to climb higher than ever.Â For a player who’s not a sure-fire first rounder, a final year of college hoops surrounded by a higher level of talent can only improve his position in the 2011 draft.
It never hurts to look, however, and anyone who’s ever looked a Monster.com when they already have a good job should be able to relate to Smith’s curiosity.
9:30 p.m. Update
Tracy Smith will play basketball for N.C. State next season, his mother said Thursday.
The Wolfpack junior is among the 103 underclassmen on the NBA’s list of early entrants but he’s not going anywhere, LaShawn Lester said.
“There’s nothing to worry about,” Lester said Thursday. “He’s going to be at N.C. State next year.”