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Pack in the Pros

Is Dennis Smith Jr making his final stand with Portland?

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Dennis Smith Jr. hasn’t really had the career we all envisioned.

The kid was an elite 5-star coming out of high school, came to State, put up numbers, but didn’t win anything. In fact, the 2016-17 Wolfpack team went 15-17, lost 7 straight ACC games in the middle of the season, and as the #13 seed was ousted by the #12 seed Clemson in round 1 of the ACC Tourny. But hey, he averaged 18 points, 6 assists, and 4 boards!

Then onto the NBA, where it looked like he had finally found his footing. He averaged 15 points, 5 assists, and 3 boards for the Mavs. In year two, he was traded to the Knicks halfway through the season but averaged 14 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds.

Then the wheels came off. Smith averaged 5 ppg the next season and was shooting just 34% from the field. Anyways, the next few seasons have been awful for Smith. He’s either been injured, benched, or just plain bad.

People thought maybe this year would be different. He was finally out of New York and in Portland around a more talented cast. And he’s played here and there, but really hasn’t done much in the reserve role.

However, this past Saturday, Smith Jr finally got the start in place of the injured Anfernee Simons, and he kinda went off.

Smith went for 21 points, 6 assists, 4 boards, 3 steals, and not a single turnover.

Then on Monday night, Smith played 39 minutes, scored 13 points on 6-11 shooting, was 1-1 from 3, and had 7 assists and 6 boards (however he did have 7 turnovers).

Unfortunately, they lost both of the games.

When Simmons comes back, Smith is back to the bench and if he keeps playing like he did over the past couple of games, he might remake himself into a quality backup PG in this league.

However, if he can’t keep it up, this might be his last stop. Smith has lost some of the top-tier level explosiveness he had earlier in his career. He doesn’t have elite vision as a PG, and he’s not a reliable shooter.

On the plus side, the kid is still just 24 years old, has a good handle, and great size. And heck, maybe this is the beginning of the DSJ resurgence?

…Or maybe it’s Dennis Smith’s last stand. We’ll have to wait and see.

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Pack in the Pros

Trea Turner Signs 11 Year Contract with Phillies for $300 Million

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Former NC State All-American Shortstop Trea Turner has signed an 11-year contract worth $300 million with the Philadelphia Phillies.

The deal also includes a full no trade clause.

Turner is now reunited with his former Washington Nationals teammate Bryce Harper for the long haul.

He has been an All-Star selection the past two seasons, and earned his first Silver Slugger Award this year. Last year, Turner hit .298, hit 21 home runs, stole 27 steals, and collected 101 RBI’s and 1o0 Runs.

Turner ranked 2nd in the MLB in hits (194). In 2020 and 2021, Turner led the MLB in hits. In 2021, he led all of baseball in batting average (.328). In 2018 an 2021, Turner led the National League in steals.

Over 8 seasons, Turner boasts a .302 career batting average.

Turner is the best MLB hitter that NC State has ever produced, holding the NC State record for most career Major League Runs, Home Runs, Doubles, RBI’s, Stolen Bases, and Walks.

Also, it probably goes without saying, but this is the largest MLB contract a former NC State baseball player has ever signed.

In celebration of Turner’s monster contract, have fun watching a whole mess of his highlights!

Congrats Trea!

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TJ Warren is Back Baby!

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Tonight, former NC State ACC Player of the Year TJ Warren played his first NBA game since December 29, 2020, and HE’S STILL GOT IT!

For the first time as a member of the Nets, Warren stepped on the court.

Tony Buckets came off the bench, and managed to score 10 points (5-11 FG) and grab 4 rebounds in 17 minutes of play in Brooklyn’s 114-105 victory over the Raptors.

 

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Zonovan Knight Makes Jets History in NFL Debut

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Former NC State All-American (Kickoff Returner) and All-ACC Running Back Zonovan Knight made his NFL debut today in the Jets 31-10 victory over the Bears, and in doing so, he made New York history.

Knight had 69 yards on 14 carries (4.9 yards per carry) and had 3 receptions for 34 yards, giving him 103 yards from scrimmage, setting a new Jets record for yards from scrimmage in an NFL debut.

Bam went undrafted earlier this year, but then signed an undrafted free agent deal with New York. He initially made the Jets 53-man roster, but then was waived a few days later to make space for an Offensive Lineman. Two days later, the Jets signed Knight to their Practice Squad, and that’s where he was until he was called up to the 53-man roster on October 25th.

Though Bam has been on the 53-man roster since then, today was the first time that he was Active. This came after Jets Running Back James Robinson was listed as a healthy scratch. When Running Back Michael Carter left the game in the 1st half with an ankle injury, it was Knight’s turn to step in as RB1.

Knight ended up playing 49% of the offensive snaps for the Jets today.

Also, dude was wearing a Scarface sweater for his postgame press conference…serious drip.

Also, Knight made a bet with Jets Running Back Michael Carter, a former Tar Heel, that if NC State beat UNC, he would have to wear an NC State shirt tomorrow to practice. Love it Bam!

Knight might have just made a big enough splash to justify more of an active role with the New York Jets.

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Carlos Rodon Finishes 6th in 2022 National League Cy Young Award Voting

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Earlier this week, the 2022 Cy Young Winners were announced, and former NC State All-American Pitcher Carlos Rodon came in 6th in the National League voting.

Sandy Alcantara, MIA: 30 (first-place votes) – 210 points
Max Fried, ATL: 10 (2nd), 7 (3rd), 5 (4th), 1 (5th) – 72 points
Julio Urías, LAD: 7 (2nd), 9 (3rd), 5 (4th), 1 (5th) – 66 points
Aaron Nola, PHI: 5 (2nd), 6 (3rd), 4 (4th), 2 (5th) – 48 points
Zac Gallen, ARI: 3 (2nd), 5 (3rd), 6 (4th), 6 (5th) – 45 points
Carlos Rodón, SF: 3 (2nd), 1 (3rd), 4 (4th), 7 (5th) – 30 points
Corbin Burnes, MIL: 1 (2nd), 2 (3rd), 1 (4th), 8 (5th) – 20 points
Yu Darvish, SD: 3 (4th), 1 (5th) – 7 points
Edwin Díaz, NYM: 1 (2nd), 2 (5th) – 6 points
Kyle Wright, ATL: 1 (4th), 1 (5th) – 3 points
Logan Webb, SF: 1 (4th) – 2 points
Ryan Helsley, STL: 1 (5th) – 1 point (MLB)

Rodon finished the 2022 season with a 14-8 record, a 2.88 ERA, 237 strikeouts (179 innings) and a WHIP of 1.03. In the National League, he ranked 6th in ERA, 2nd in K’s, 9th in WHIP and 9th in Wins.

In 2021, Rodon finished 5th in the Cy Young Award voting for the American League.

Rodon is now a Free Agent, and is set to become a very wealthy man after the past two seasons he’s put together.

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