Later, with Duke possessing a 70-63 lead, Smith elevated to another level. NC State exploded for 21 points over the final 4 minutes, 35 seconds of action, with the Fayetteville (NC) native scoring or assisting on 18 of those—all but three Maverick Rowan free throws. Smith went for 11 points in that duration to go along with 3 assists—on a Rowan trailing three-pointer plus two dunks by Abdul-Malik Abu—including one on a wraparound, one-handed 20-foot missile that whizzed right by Jayson Tatum.
Dennis Smith Jr. is ready for the big leagues. pic.twitter.com/yIpfjGw5Aj— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) January 24, 2017
“Dennis was tremendous all game long,” said Duke coach Jeff Capel afterward. “He’s a very talented kid, and played lights-out basketball tonight. Did it in every phase—scored—but in the second half he really got his guys involved.” In the final moments, with NC State clinging to a 2-point lead, Smith collected the game-winning steal before cocking back and throwing down a monstrous slam as the buzzer sounded for a loud exclamation point.
Some pass by Dennis Smith, Jr. Some slam by Abdul-Malik Abu. pic.twitter.com/YO30Njlvna— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) January 24, 2017
Maybe for the Cameron Crazies, the NBA personnel in the building, or just to prove that he’s inching closer toward that 100 percent threshold. “All the talent in the world,” another NBA scout told ZAGSBLOG. “Will he listen? Will he focus? If he will move him up in the top-five.” Photo: Getty Images Follow Mike on Twitter Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter And like ZAGS on Facebook
When you beat Duke at Cameron for the 1st time in 22 years, celebrate in style 😎 pic.twitter.com/lhLrwKzF8z— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 24, 2017