Archie’s last recruit for 2013 is Dayshon “Scoochie” Smith, a 6’3″ point-guard from the Bronx. At just “170” pounds, Smith is a rail-thin athlete whose lack of muscle kept him off of most high-major recruiting boards (Like a high-school gym teacher leering at coeds, Syracuse, Pitt and Miami supposedly backed off once it was clear Smith’s body wasn’t going to develop).
Smith played at a small prep school in Connecticut the past two seasons, Putnam Science Academy, where he became the school’s first 1,000 point scorer.
All along, Dayshon Smith said he was looking for the best fit, not the school with the biggest name or belonging to the best conference. When his recruitment exploded this summer and he drew interest from high-major programs such as Illinois and Providence, the general consensus was Smith would be swayed by the prestige of such programs.
He was true to his word.
On Friday, the talented 6-foot-2 point guard from The Bronx picked Dayton over Providence, Illinois, St. Bonaventure and a host of others mid-major schools.
“It was the best fit,” said Smith, ranked among the top players in the country by Rivals.com. “I felt like it was the best situation. I had a better feel on campus than my Providence and Duquesne visits. I just felt happy, felt comfortable, the coaching staff was awesome.”
He chose head coach Archie Miller’s program for the reason he said he would pick a school. He felt comfortable during his official visit, the coaching staff led by Miller and assistant coach Allen Griffin developed a bond with Smith’s family and he was drawn by the facilities and on-campus support the program is afforded.
“When I was there, the fans knew who I was, they treated me well, they were happy to see me, trying to convince me to come to Dayton,” he said. “I was told they threw a party after my commitment. I wish I could be there.”
Reading between the lines, it seems likely that John R and Ron Driesen were the closers. Sometimes pestering teenage kids over the Internet can yield results.
Again, as with Pollard and Davis, Archie Inc. seemed to be in the right place at the right time when it came to Smith’s recruitment:
Smith is a success story already, a virtual unknown after his junior year at since-closed Rice of Harlem. He reclassified and transferred to Putnam Science Academy, a prep school in Connecticut. Smith enjoyed a strong season there, transitioning to a point guard while averaging 17 points and six assists per game, and an even bigger summer with the New York Lighting. On a team which included Memphis commit Kuran Iverson and Christ the King star Jon Severe, he was widely considered its best player.
“He’s the epitome of a nothing-to-something story and he wants to get better,” one Division I coach familiar with Smith said. “What he can become is scary. He’s not your stereotypical New York City kid. He can play, has good grades and is respectful.”
The coach said jokingly that Smith used to recruit school to look at him, but by the end of the summer there wasn’t a mid-major program who didn’t want him. Another coach who recruited Smith said “he can score against anyone in the country.”
Oh, did I mention that he announced his commitment to UD via YouTube while in bed (and filmed it on what I’m assuming is a flip-phone)??? Because he totally did.
If that doesn’t sell you on Smith, nothing will.
A quick, cursory observation of Smith and Kyle Davis: I don’t think Dayton has ever signed guys with their combination of “personality” and, dare I say, swagadociousness. It will be interesting to see how they mix with UD’s current roster. Both kids have games built for AAU success, hopefully it translates on the mid-major level as well.
Lastly, one thing I really like about Smith is how invested he appears to be in UD as a program/school already. I frequently read re-tweets from his Twitter account over the past few months with references to either Flyer games in progress or in regards to UD’s season in general (there was even some Dayton women’s basketball discussion). He is clearly satisfied with his college choice and excited to play for UD. He’s definitely not a house cat.