Friday, May 24, 2013

News and Notes: Friday Edition

Above, A Date in Cornell Basketball History, a 1951-1952 media guide.  Below, news and notes for Friday...

  • Jeff Foote (Cornell '10) is out with an injury to his back but his Zalgiris (Lithuania) team opens the semifinals series of the Eastern European VTB league today against Lokomotiv of Russia.  Lokomotiv features players such as former San Antonio Spur/NY Knick, Derrick Brown (Xavier) as well as other former U.S. college stars, Nick Calathas (Florida), Jim Baron (Rhode Island) and Richard Hendrix (Alabama).  Zalgiris is currently ranked No. 5 in Europe.
  • Purdue head coach, Matt Painter, told the Chicago Sun Times that Errick Peck “could play a big guard or an undersized four” next season.
Blue Ridge's Smith signs with Cornell
Whether he was dishing out an assist on the basketball court, or playing one-on-one coverage against a wide receiver on the football field, Darryl Smith has just about seen it all during his time at the Blue Ridge School.
Smith has experienced exhilarating highs, such as the basketball team’s run to the state championship game in 2011 and the football team’s state title in 2012. In addition, the senior is a member of the Blue Ridge track team, and recently won the 100-meter dash at the VIC meet. He’s also seen some disappointments, including the Barons basketball team missing the playoffs for the first time since 2006. Throughout all of the athletic triumphs and defeats, one thing has always remained consistent during Smith’s time at the Blue Ridge; the word "student" has always come before athlete.
The Chesapeake native arrived at Blue Ridge at the start of the 2010-11 school year, and immediately embraced the intimate school setting. The small class sizes and one-on-one time with instructors allowed Smith to reach his full academic potential.
"My parents instilled the importance of academics from an early age," Smith said. "They said that in high school that if I maintained a good GPA, I would get into a great college. Ever since then, I kept up my grades."
Smith’s impressive GPA and skills on the basketball court helped the senior gain the attention of several Ivy League schools. This week, Smith officially put an end the recruiting process by deciding to continue his athletic and academic career at Cornell University.
"During the process I was looking for a school that would challenge me academically, and I wanted to play at a high level for basketball," Smith said. "Cornell fits both descriptions and it feels great to finally make it official."
Smith selected the Big Red over several Ivy League suitors, as well as Vermont, Northeastern and the University of New Orleans.
After being part of a Blue Ridge basketball team that won a combined 46 games during his sophomore and junior seasons, Smith’s senior year proved to be a completely different experience. Due to graduation and a heavy attrition rate, the team was left with just four scholarship players from the previous year. The Barons’ issues got further complicated in the middle of the season, as injuries left the team with just eight healthy players. Smith took on a leadership role from the point guard position, nearly playing the entire game on several occasions. The senior guided the inexperienced Barons throughout the campaign, serving as a leader both on and off the court.
"It was a rebuilding year after having a few important key guys leave," Smith said of the 2013 team. "This year I just had to step in and help Coach [Bill] Ramsey out and help the players out by showing them how things had to be done."
Smith averaged 14.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, and four assists this past season as the Barons finished with a 7-13 record.
Smith will enter a program under the direction of former University of Virginia assistant coach Bill Courtney. He plans on majoring in communications upon arriving at Cornell.

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