Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pack's Smith facing up

CHARLOTTE - One of the ACC's most significant position changes this season will occur at N.C. State, where senior Tracy Smith is moving from center to power forward.

Smith, who ultimately decided to come back to school after initially entering the NBA draft, said he appreciates coach Sidney Lowe's support in allowing him to explore a position Smith expects to play as a future pro. Smith is listed at 6-foot-8, which is big enough to play center in college, but not in the NBA.

At the ACC's media tipoff event today, Smith said he spent the offseason preparing for his new position. Throughout his career, he has been effective as a low-post scorer. He averaged a team-high 16.5 points per game last season.

"This whole summer, I've been working on my face up, working on my jump shot," Smith said.

Smith said the development of sophomores DeShawn Painter and Jordan Vandenberg at center has helped make the move possible. Smith said Painter particularly has improved his shooting and blocking out on the boards, and Vandenberg has become a better defensive player and shot blocker at 7-foot-1.

Ken Tysiac