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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / August 8.
  • Dennis Smith Adds Carolina, Duke, Arizona Offers; Talks Recruiting

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    By JOSEPH DURUAKU

    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    GARDEN GROVE, CA — Dennis Smith is already a household name in the recruiting world, and he’s only a junior in high school. Through three days at the Adidas Nations, Smith has performed at the highest level possible.

    His first game was more of the young guard imposing his will on the defense. He was scoring from every spot on the floor; the defense had no answer for him. His fearlessness when attacking the rim allows Smith to finish over much bigger and stronger defenders.

    Smith is the highes-ranked point guard in the Class of 2016 and the second highest-ranked prospect from North Carolina. The 6-foot-1 guard has garnered a lot of attention from programs across the nation.

    “I want to play for a program that will put the ball in my hands,” Smith said. “I want to be a featured scoring option and I do not want to come off the bench for anybody.”

    Smith has a host of offers, including Duke, Kansas, Wake Forest, Connecticut, Arizona, Florida, Miami, N.C. State, North Carolina and VCU.

    North Carolina, Duke and Arizona are Smith’s most recent offers.

    Someone close to Smith’s camp told me that the hometown pull does play a factor for junior guard. That same source said Duke and N.C. State have offered Smith a role similar to the one he is looking for. The Blue Devils want to use him as a featured option, a player that has the ball in his hands and ultimately runs the show.

    N.C. State and Duke are pushing the hardest for me right now,” Smith said. “I like Duke because it’s close to home and they want me to come in right away and contribute.

    N.C. State offered Smith something similar to Duke.

    Arizona offered the explosive guard back in May, and Smith confirmed that he has not heard too much from them but he is interested in head coach Sean Miller’s program.

    “I am very interested in Arizona,” Smith told the media. “Arizona has great program and you can tell by the way their recruiting has been the last couple of years. They have brought in some great guys.”

    His high-octane style and score-first mentality is different from Miller’s current system with starting point guard T.J. McConnell, but Smith feels he would fit into the system at Arizona.

    “I actually watched a lot of Arizona basketball the last few seasons because Nick Johnson was there,” Smith said. “I really liked his style of play and how he spent some time at both guard positions. We don’t really have a similar game, but you can tell Arizona has a guard-orientated offense and I definitely like that.”

     The offers will more than likely flood in as Smith progresses as a high school talent during his junior year.

     He is currently ranked as a five-star prospect on most national raking platforms.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.