To be honest, while it was clear that NC State’s Terquavion Smith was a talented player, we didn’t pay that much attention to him, other than when Duke was playing.
Our sense was that he could really fill it up and was athletic and might be an NBA player.
So it was a bit surprising, even though it shouldn’t be at this point, when he announced that he would be entering this year’s NBA Draft.
What was more surprising was when he announced Tuesday that he would be pulling back out of it.
And what was really surprising was why: he said he just wanted to be a college student for one more year.
No doubt NIL played a role in that - he could make a lot of money at NC State too - but even so, how cool is that?
It reminds us an article about Stanley Roberts and Shaquille O’ Neal where they reminisce about their LSU days. Shaq said this: “The best times. Because back then there was no money, no stress. Wake up, go to three classes, come back and take a nap, then go practice. Wait a couple of hours and go out, to the frat parties, to the Tiger, to sports. That’s the life.”
So good for Smith for following his own heart instead of what other people think he should do.
Back to Roberts for a minute. We had forgotten it, but in the same article, when Roberts got sent to the LA Clippers, he was greeted by Danny Manning, who said this: “You just made the biggest mistake of your life.”
Which book-ends nicely with what he told former Blue Devil Danny Ferry when he arrived in LA: “Welcome to hell.”
Honestly, it’s the funniest we’ve ever seen Manning and the most personality he has ever shown publicly.