Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Texas sleeper garnering interest from six
By Reggie Rankin
Byron Smith (Fort Worth, Texas/O.D. Wyatt) is still relatively new to the game of basketball but college coaches are quickly getting familiar with the rising small forward.
Smith, who checks in at 6-foot-6, 190 pounds, is a New Orleans native who relocated to Texas following Hurricane Katrina. He was mainly a football player prior to his move and first got serious about hoops right before entering high school. His lack of experience hasn’t stopped him from emerging as a sleeper recruit in the Class of 2014.
New Orleans native Byron Smith is generating interest from a number of schools following his move to Texas.
"The coaches have been saying they are going to continue to watch me throughout the summer and keep in touch," said Smith, who has sprouted nine inches since he was in the seventh grade.
Smith has turned in some top-notch performances with the Texas Select AAU squad, and while he has yet to garner any offers, he has interest from the likes of TCU, Weber State, Nebraska, Louisiana Tech, Texas A&M and UT-Arlington.
Smith’s athleticism is what intrigues coaches most. He is a live body wing who plays with great energy. Smith finishes well on the break and is excellent at slashing to the basket, with a knack for finishing through contact. He also showed the ability to hit the one- or two-dribble rhythm pull-up consistently. Smith is capable of guarding either wing position at the collegiate level and finishing the defensive possession with a rebound. Smith will have to continue to develop his handle as he struggles at times against intense pressure or when attempting to create a shot off the bounce.
Smith turned in a solid junior season at Wyatt, averaging a double-double at 13 points and 10 rebounds per game. He was often forced to play at center as his team lacked size in the frontcourt.
"Byron has so much untapped talent," Wyatt coach DeMarqus James said. “Byron's athleticism is a major strength of his game. It's what makes him special and sets him apart.”
Smith has played his way onto a number of D-1 recruiting lists at various levels, and if he continues to be productive and play consistently, expect the offers to begin rolling in.