NC State was in desperate need of a victory of any kind after a frustrating weekend defeat and disappointment.
Coming on the heels of an ACC baseball championship game loss to rival North Carolina and its team’s unexpected NCAA Tournament snub, the Wolfpack finally got some good news to celebrate Tuesday when Terquavion Smith announced he was withdrawing his name from the NBA draft.
The 6-foot-4 guard, who earned ACC All-Freshman team honors by averaging 16.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while leading the league with 96 3-pointers, will return to State for his sophomore season.
A late-bloomer from Farmville, Smith’s stock has risen significantly after standout performances at the NBA’s pre-draft combine and individual workouts. But despite projections as a mid-to-late first round pick, he decided to continue his development with the Wolfpack, a team he has rooted for since he was a young child.
“My agent explained to me that teams as high as the late teens, through the rest of the first round, all have me ranked as a first-round talent,” Smith told ESPN.com. “It’s exciting to hear that. But I told him I have more work to do. I like school and my college in particular. Remember, my last two years have been so strange, thanks to the pandemic. I just want one more season to get everything right and just be a college student.”
Smith’s return is a major boost for coach Kevin Keatts’ program, which is coming off a disappointing 2021-22 season in which it finished last in the ACC with a 11-21 record.
His return solidifies a roster bolstered by the addition of four transfers – Ole Miss point guard Jarkel Joiner, LaSalle wing Jack Clark, Winthrop big man D.J. Burns and Utah power forward Dusan Mahorcic.
The Wolfpack is still waiting on the decision of star Dereon Seabron, who like Smith has been impressive in pre-draft workouts and could potentially be a first rounder. The 6-foot-8 wing led State in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals last season.