One of the top players in the Class of 2016 is expected to likely miss his entire senior season after tearing his ACL at the adidas Nations Global showcase in Los Angeles earlier this month. Dennis Smith Jr., highly regarded as one of the most explosive guards in the nation, is regarded as a top-10 prospect and being recruited by the flagship programs in college basketball. We wish the young stud a speedy recovery!
Class of 2016 point guard Dennis Smith Jr. had a torn ACL in his left knee repaired during a recent surgery, Smith’s father, Dennis Sr., confirmed to ESPN on Monday.
Smith is a rising senior at Fayetteville’s Trinity Christian School. Repeated attempts to obtain comment from his father have been unsuccessful.
As previously reported by The Observer, Smith underwent surgery in Durham on Friday, five days after he injured his knee in the semifinals of the adidas Nations Global event in California. The procedure was performed by Claude T. Moorman III, the director of Duke Sports Medicine.
The recovery time for a torn ACL is normally between six and 12 months, meaning Smith’s high school career is likely over. The private school playoffs in North Carolina normally end in late February, which is six and a half months away, and many of nation’s top prep all-star games are held in late March or April.
Considered the top point guard in his class, the 6-foot-2 Smith has not committed to a college program, and the early signing period doesn’t begin until November. He has narrowed his list of college choices to N.C. State, Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Kentucky and Louisville.
It’s unlikely that the injury will have a major impact on his recruitment.
“Post-surgery, the recruiting did not stop,” Smith’s father told ESPN. “Duke, UNC, N.C. State and Wake Forest all called saying nothing has changed, and that they still want him.”
Early in his high school career, Smith gained national attention as an explosive athlete with elite-level quickness, jumping ability and floor awareness. His skills as a ball-handler, scorer and passer have contributed to an ESPN ranking of No. 4 overall in the Class of 2016.
Smith suffered his injury in the semifinal game of the adidas Nations Global tournament, which attracted many of the nation’s top recruits and was held a week after the July evaluation period for college coaches ended. Smith and Virginia recruit Kyle Guy, who suffered a foot injury, were both on crutches during the final day of the event.