Wildcats add five-star recruit for 2015

2014-07-13T21:15:00Z 2014-08-04T20:25:40Z Wildcats add five-star recruit for 2015By Zack Rosenblatt Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Ray Smith’s high school career is in serious jeopardy. But Sunday night, he took the first step toward planning for the future.

The five-star small forward verbally committed to the UA’s 2015 recruiting class, three days after suffering a serious knee injury.

The 6-foot-8-inch Smith, who plays for the Las Vegas High School Wildcats, announced his decision with a tweet.

“My high school has a saying once a wildcat always a wildcat. I guess it’s true,” he wrote. “I have committed to UofA #beardown.”

Smith’s timing is curious: He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee during Thursday’s Adidas Unrivaled Camp in Chicago. The injury will likely cost Smith his senior season, his father told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“As of today I would say he’s not going to play the high school basketball season,” Bobby Smith told the newspaper. “If he comes back, it would be toward the end of the playoffs.”

Whether the ACL tear was a concern to any of the college coaches is unclear, but his father said it was not an issue. The Scout.com recruiting service ranks Smith as a five-star player. He chose Arizona over offers from nine other schools, including Texas, Louisville and defending national champion Connecticut.

“I talked to a couple of coaches recruiting him, and they said it was fine,” Bobby Smith told the Review-Journal. “I thought they would be alarmed, but all they said was, ‘When he gets back, we still want him.’ It’s not as devastating as it used to be, so the offers are still on the table.”

Smith is rated a five-star recruit by all the major scouting services, and Scout rates him as the No. 3 small forward — and No. 22 overall player — in the class of 2015.

Smith averaged 24.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game as a junior when he was named first-team all-state.

Smith is the second player to verbally commit to the UA for 2015; Temecula, California, guard Justin Simon is the other. UA coach Sean Miller continues to recruit a handful of prized recruits, including two guards — Allonzo Trier of Seattle and Isaiah Briscoe of New Jersey.

The Wildcats would be wise to stock up. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Brandon Ashley, Kaleb Tarczewski and incoming freshman Stanley Johnson are all candidates to leave early for the NBA after the 2014-15 season. And point guard T.J. McConnell will be a senior next season.

An ESPN.com scouting report had this to say about Smith’s game: “Smith is an active high level athletic wing forward that makes plays in transition and with slashes to the rim in addition to being an excellent offensive rebounder. A high major forward with a bright future and tremendous upside.”

Contact reporter Zack Rosenblatt at zrosenblatt@tucson.com or 573-4145. On Twitter @ZackBlatt

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Pac-12 basketball standings

  Conference Overall
Team W L T PCT W L T PCT
Arizona 0 0 0 0.000 12 0 0 1.000
California 0 0 0 0.000 10 1 0 0.909
Washington 0 0 0 0.000 9 0 0 1.000
UCLA 0 0 0 0.000 8 3 0 0.727
Oregon 0 0 0 0.000 7 3 0 0.700
Oregon State 0 0 0 0.000 7 2 0 0.778
Utah 0 0 0 0.000 7 2 0 0.778
Arizona State 0 0 0 0.000 6 4 0 0.600
Stanford 0 0 0 0.000 6 2 0 0.750
Colorado 0 0 0 0.000 6 3 0 0.667
USC 0 0 0 0.000 6 4 0 0.600
Washington State 0 0 0 0.000 4 6 0 0.400

AP Top 25


Pac-12 basketball schedule

Teams Date Time
Eastern Washington at
California
12/19 67-78
Arizona at
UTEP
12/19 60-55
Delaware State at
Oregon
12/20 60-55
Lehigh at
Arizona State
12/20 7:00 pm
Oklahoma at
Washington
12/20 7:00 pm
USC at
Boston College
12/21 2:00 pm
DePaul at
Colorado
12/22 2:30 pm
UC-Santa Barbara at
Oregon
12/22 7:00 pm
Tulane at
Washington
12/22 9:00 pm
Detroit at
Arizona State
12/23 1:00 pm
Stanford at
Texas
12/23 5:00 pm
South Dakota State at
Utah
12/23 7:00 pm
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