Thursday, May 9, 2013

Darryl Smith Commits to Cornell

Cornell added a commitment from Darryl Smith (Blue Ridge School) Chesapeake, VA, 6-2, G.  Smith played AAU basketball with the Richmond Squires and East Coast Fusion programs and previously attended Norfolk Collegiate in Norfolk, Virginia prior to transferring to Blue Ridge in Charlottesville.

As a senior at Blue Ridge, Smith posted 14.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game.  When seeing him play in December 2012, Big Shots Basketball Recruiting Service described Smith as "explosive."

The Cornell Basketball Blog spoke with one of Smith's coaches, Tony Squire of the Richmond Squire Basketball Club.  Squire specifically noted that Smith fielded offers from Cornell, Yale, Brown and Dartmouth, as well as Vermont, Northeastern and New Orleans while receiving interest from Georgia Tech, Appalachian State and Radford before choosing to enroll at Cornell.  Other schools associated with Smith's recruitment included Penn, Stanford, Virginia, Harvard, and GeorgeWashington.

"He'll be a great, great ambassador for Cornell," noted Squire.  "I've known Darryl since he was 13.  He's a very selfless guy and is 'always about the team.'"

When asked about Smith's style of play and attributes, Squire stressed athleticism and Smith's strength.  (Similarly, another source compared Smith to "Errick Peck in a guard's body.")  Squire explained, "He really loves to set up his teammates, but he can play either point guard or the 2-guard. Cornell's getting two positions out of him."  Offensively, he noted of Smith, "He's a great, great athlete, has a very good handle, quick, can get to the rack.. oh yeah, can finish with a dunk too...can create his own shot."  When asked about his shooting ability, Squire said of Smith, "He's got a pretty good jump shot and nice stroke [but needs more consistency]," and emphasized that Smith's strength is the open court and attacking the rim.  Defensively, Squire said of Smith, "He never takes a play off."  The biggest area of needed improvement was described as "He really needs to become more vocal" and stressed the need for overall "consistency."

(updated 5/21/13)


Anonymous said...

Solid pickup. Welcome to Cornell!

That took a long time to sort out admissions and financial aid, given that he verbally committed months ago.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

You have to wait for those standardized test scores to come in.

And huge late pick-up.

Hearing All Ivy potential and ROY potential.

Anonymous said...

I like that he can drive to the hoop at two speeds, which is something Devin struggles to do (all out, all the time). He seems to play under control, which, combined with his athleticism, could make him a very good Ivy player.

Anonymous said...

we officially have a log-jam of guards.

We cannot win playing 3 and 4 guard lineups. A lot of people are gonna be riiiidin' the pine

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

The only definitively returning guards are Scelfo, Cherry, Mischler and Cressler.

Of that group, Scelfo is a senior.

Cressler could be playing SF next year.

And of that group, none are true/pure point guards.

Cornell had to get some point guards and needed them badly.

Would hardly call this a log-jam, in any sense of the term.

Sinuk said...

Big time acquisition this late. Welcome to the Red.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

A reader pointed out that I forgot Jake Matthews. He's another returning senior guard, along with G/F Jamal Cherry.

Anonymous said...

Curious as to how you'd rank the three incoming guards. I've got a limited idea based on the videos of these kids.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

All three of the freshmen guards will get a fair chance to play and the coaches like all of them. And all three had at least one full scholarship to play Division I. So, none of these guys are walk-on/academic booster types. These guys are players.

With the above disclaimer--- will say the following:

Darryl Smith is a major late pick-up. Could be the best "unknown" guard to enter the Ivy since Sean McGonagil. (When I say "unknown"--- I mean unknown to fans and to the major recruiting services)

Smith wanted Ivy League all along and attended a very high academic boarding school.

He is an excellent 2-way player-- excels on both ends and can play either guard spot. He's fast, strong, can drive and shoot and distribute. He's had excellent coaching and played in a great league.

If there is really any knock on him, it is consistency. He can have a big game, then disappear another game. To an extent, streaky. But he is rookie of the year material. Could have a big, big freshman year.

Considering Cornell did not land Julian Jacobs or Kevin Johnson, the Big Red are pretty damn excited to have Darryl on board.

They offered a while back, but admissions/f.aid kept the commitment on hold for months.

Robert Hatter may not be a big time scorer, but he is a smart player and can be a really steady/solid Ivy League point guard. He had some nice offers, so there are quite a few programs that think he can play.

In the Ivy, you need high character kids with all the grief these kids have to deal with (long weekends, bus trips, demanding academics etc). Robert is a hard worker and a high character guy. He also has solid athleticism and could develop into a really nice combo/point guard in the Ivy. Could be in the rotation as a frosh, depending on returning personnel. Could compete with Darryl for starting PG.

Dez Fleming is also a combo guard. He comes in as the least heralded of the group, but he is good. And could find his way into the rotation.

These three freshmen were needed to bolster the backcourt.

Three of Cornell's returning guards are seniors this year (Sclefo, Matthews, and J.Cherry). Cancer's future is uncertain, leaving the Big Red with only Cressler, Cherry and Mischler as sophs thru junior guards.

Anonymous said...

Hatter is a lefty and defensive genius. Solid game to game and LEADER on the floor. He has been in the big games under pressure from EYBL to Las Vegas games. The incoming freshman appear more energetic cant wait to see who Cornell puts on the floor.

Anonymous said...

Hatter is a lefty and defensive genius. Solid game to game and LEADER on the floor. He has been in the big games under pressure from EYBL to Las Vegas games. The incoming freshman appear more energetic cant wait to see who Cornell puts on the floor.