A Very Macrowave Draft, Plus Pointless Lineup Speculation

First things first: Tracy Smith is testing the waters.

He indicated in late February that he would return for his senior season and indications are that is still the case. College athletes are allowed to declare for the draft and return to school once during their career and Smith can use this experience to gather information from NBA scouts and executives.

As long as he doesn't sign with an agent he maintains his college eligibility. Smith has until May 8th to officially withdraw from the draft.

Because he's a rising senior, there's absolutely no reason why he shouldn't do this.  If he hadn't declared, he'd have missed his final opportunity for some free and valuable information.  As Tracy told GoPack, it's win-win for him.  I don't think he's changed his mind about coming back, and I doubt he'll receive any information that will change it. I expect he'll be told that it's not that he isn't ready for the NBA but rather that the NBA is not ready for him.  Being the gentleman that he is, he'll allow the league one more year to make the necessary preparations.

So, assuming Tracy's back, and assuming the incoming recruits qualify, what's the lineup going to look like?

1: Harrow/Javi
2: Brown/Williams/Wood
3: Leslie/Wood/Davis/
4: Macrowave/Howell/Painter
5: Howell/Macrowave/Vandenberg

Does that look about right? I'm assuming the freshman are all good enough to start, and I figure Brown is pretty much a lock at the two considering who else is on hand, though I could see both Harrow and Leslie coming off the bench at the start of the season.  I'm a little more comfortable with Howell's bulk and rebounding at the five, but he and the Macrowave are probably interchangeable. 

I'm also wondering where Tashawn Mabry fits should he end up in Raleigh.  Is he supposed to be a two or a three?

The coaches have some nice problems.  What's the best situation for Scott Wood?  Is there room for some Josh Davis hustle time?  Is there enough room to allow for the development of Painter and Vandenberg?  The encouraging thing from a chemistry standpoint is that the freshmen know and like each other.  How they integrate with the rest of the guys remains to be seen (and Leslie's friendship with Tracy is a good sign to that end), but I'm hopeful that we won't have to worry about another Hickson situation. 

News and notes following Leslie's commitment:

-- The N&O story, with some comments from Dave Telep.

-- The ACC Sports Journal's Jim Young offers his take on Leslie and gets a few comments from Brick Oettinger:

"He’s just an explosive leaper," Oettinger said. "He’s an armpits over the rim the rim kind of player. Those guys don’t grow on trees."

But Leslie is more than just a high-riser. He has a versatile game, with skills he can use on the perimeter and in the paint.

"I think Lowe will try to play him in different spots on the court," Oettinger said. "I don’t think he’s going to lock in him either inside or outside. That’s kind of the way Leslie plays."

That applies on the defensive end as well. While Leslie has shot-blocking ability, he also has the quickness to defend on the wings.

"I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s State’s matchup with (Harrison) Barnes and State’s matchup with (Kyle)Singler," Oettinger said.

Leapsplosion!  Young mentions that people have questioned Leslie's maturity, which of course leads to questions about chemistry, but Young also notes that the amount of time Leslie has already spent on campus playing basketball should allay some of those concerns.

-- News 14 talked to Julius Hodge about Leslie; so did Technician.

-- Mike Decourcy wonders if Leslie is what NC State needed in order to get back to the NCAAs.

-- Harrow and Leslie were interviewed on 620 AM this morning; Pack Pride has the audio.

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