- Adam Finkelstein
Dayshon Smith (Bronx, N.Y./Putnam Science Academy) is coming off a big summer and he has pushed his recruitment to the high-major level.
A year ago, Smith was a slender scoring guard, best known for his ability to make shots in bunches from the 3-point line. Since then, he’s diversified his entire approach to the game and saw his recruitment rise as a result.
“Last year I was a one-dimensional player. I was really just a scorer,” Smith said. “This year I tried to use all of my talents, get my teammates involved, and score when I needed to.”
The evolution of his game went beyond just a more unselfish approach, it actually went as far as a new position, as Smith spent the majority of the summer playing the point with the New York Lightning.
Like many scoring guards, Smith used to talk of his desire to play the point, but didn’t show the skills or mindset to play the position. He got his first chance last year at Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut, where he would start off the ball, but slide over to the point to spell starter Johnny Joseph.
It wasn’t until this spring, with the Lightning, that Smith started to play the point on a consistent basis and his natural feel for the position took a variety of people by surprise.
“Being a New York City guard, everybody can handle,” he said. “I was just doing what the team needed so the transition from the 2 to the 1 wasn’t really a difficult one.”
As he started to project as a big point who could create as well as shoot the 3, Smith started to appeal to higher level schools, and while he’s happy to get the opportunity to prove he could play the point, he isn’t the type to spend too much time worrying about what position he’ll play at the next level.
“Hopefully I’ll be playing on the ball, but again, it’s whatever the team needs,” he said. “If they need me off that ball I’m fine with that.”
On the recruiting front, Smith claims offers from Illinois, Dayton, Rhode Island, UMass, Richmond, St. Bonaventure and Drexel along with a long list of other mid-major programs.
Syracuse, Providence, Pittsburgh, Memphis and Indiana are all showing additional interest and Smith is expecting to unofficially visit Syracuse on Tuesday.
He’s got additional trips set to see Providence and Rhode Island on Sept. 1 and said he is also planning to visit Illinois and Drexel unofficially during September.
Smith hasn’t formally cut down his list but said if no other schools come along this fall he’s happy with the recruitment he has now, which is vastly different than the recruitment he had back when he was known as a slender scoring guard.