Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pat Smith Commits to the Big Red

Cornell received a verbal commitment for the class of 2014 from Pat Smith (Archbishop Wood HS) Warminster, PA, 6-5, F.

The commitment was reported on

Smith was named First Team All Catholic League for his senior year.  He also was named Second Team All State AAA by the Associated Press in Pennsylvania as well as Third Team All City by City of Basketball Love.  As a senior, Smith was also selected First Team all area by The Intelligencer and was also named the newspaper's Player of the Year.  Smith was the 2013 Player of the Year by the Courier Times as a junior, but was beat out this season.  He was however named First Team all area by the Courier Times for his senior year which noted, "First-team All-Philadelphia Catholic League  selection who was the Golden Team Player of the Year in 2012-13 .. Made the PCL’s honors list three times in a remarkable career ... Named second-team all-state after averaging 17 points per game ... Broke 1,000-point plateau in late January ... Will play at Cornell."  Meanwhile, The Intelligencer on its First Team designation noted of Smith, "Second-team All-Philadelphia Catholic League ... Three-time All-Catholic, second-team PIAA Class AAA all-state ... Four-year starter averaged 17 points a game as a senior ... Will play at Cornell University" and writes on the Player of the Year honors:
It was a different sort of season at Archbishop Wood and for the Vikings’ top player, three-year All-Philadelphia Catholic League guard/forward Pat Smith.
“It was a big adjustment from Coach (Jack) Walsh to Coach (John) Mosco,” Smith said. “We played a lot of good teams, and I think it helped get the seniors ready for college. We played at a high level against some great teams.”
For first-year coach Mosco, previously an assistant at PCL and state power Neumann-Goretti, he knew how good Smith was before he took the job, but there were things he didn’t know about player.
“He’s a lot tougher,” Mosco said. “He does some of the dirty work. He’s wasn’t just a prima donna scorer.”
Smith, who averaged 17 points per game and was a second-team All-PCL pick, was named the All-Intelligencer Player of the Year for the recently concluded season.
“He’s a quiet leader,” said Mosco, whose team went 11-12 and lost in the first round of the Philadelphia Catholic League playoffs.
“He really led by example. He took the coaching change in stride. He’s a real winner, worries about winning, not a selfish player at all.
“He’s not the kind of player who’s worried about getting points. I asked him to do a lot of different things, and I think that showed in his game.”
In the Smith era, the Vikings’ program took strides to being more competitive in the Catholic League, but was unable to get over the hump into the elite stratosphere of the likes of Neumann-Goretti, Roman Catholic, Archbishop Carroll, La Salle or St. Joseph’s Prep.
“There’s nothing like the Catholic League,” Smith said. “It’s the top league in the state. I’ll never forget playing after school down at the Prep on a Friday afternoon, or at Neumann on a Sunday.
“We’ll always have that experience. No, we never got over the hump, but I think we all became better basketball players.”
Smith is headed to Cornell University and the Ivy League after he graduates from Wood in June. Mosco, for one, thinks it’s a good fit.
“He’s got the work ethic,” Mosco said. “I saw the way he took to coaching. He always listened and he’ll do whatever it takes to get on the court.
“When he’s with other Division I players, he knows he has to lift, get stronger and get quicker.”
As far as the Wood program, Smith thinks it’s in good hands as Mosco prepares for his second season.
“I think Coach Mosco, with a year under his belt, has the lay of the ground,” he said. “I knows there’s new kids coming to workouts. There’s a lot of talent coming in. Hopefully, they’re going to keep (the program at a high level).”

As a junior, Smith was named the Bucks County Courier Times 2012-2013 Boys Basketball Player of the Year.  The Courier Times also placed him on the All Golden Team.  He was also tabbed to the All Intell Team by The Intelligencer.

Smith was also placed Honorable Mention All City by the Philadelphia Daily News' Ted Silary and was an All-Philadelphia Catholic League selection.  He averaged 16.3 points and 4 rebounds per game while shooting 42 percent from 3-point range and 50 percent from the field.  Smith put together the strong junior season despite the sudden loss of his father.  Just weeks before the loss of his father, he set a school record with a 42 point performance.  (Click here for highlights of Smith)  See also Smith's profile on

The Cornell Basketball Blog spoke with Smith's coach at Archbishop Wood, John Mosco.  He noted, "Pat is a real student of the game... Yeah his strength is shooting... he's so long [at 6'5"] he can rise up and shoot over people.  He is great at finding spacing.  We are going to work with him to expand on his dribble use and pump fakes.... we are [also] asking him this year to rebound and create more for his teammates and become more of a complete player."

With respect to his recruitment, Mosco noted that Smith had offers from Marist, Binghamton, University of Maryland-Baltimore County and Lafayette.  "Binghamton was pushing real hard."  He also noted that NJIT and Bryant recently entered the recruiting picture and were pushing for campus visits.  Meanwhile, since Smith did not attend many camps over the summer (he did attend the Penn Elite Camp) or play on the major AAU circuit, several Ivies and Patriots wanted to see more of him, including Pernn, Brown, Holy Cross and Colgate.  Delaware, and Davidson were also involved in his recruitment at earlier points in the process.  Cornell assistant, Mike Blaine was the lead recruiter at Cornell for Smith.

Hoop Scoop ranks Smith as 8th Team All Philadelphia Area while another site ranks Smith as the No. 9 prospect in the Philadelphia area for the Class of 2014.

City of Basketball Love evaluated Smith as follows:
Scouting Report
He is one of the best shooters in the area and has unlimited range. He plays with a confidence about him and always thinks his shot is going in. He uses screens extremely well and gets his shot off really quick. Smith also plays as hard as anyone in Philadelphia. He is a tremendous competitor that will do whatever it takes to win. If you pay attention to him this summer, keep the following stats on him: how many times he dives on the floor, and how often he wins the 50/50 ball for his teammates. Ultimate team player that needs to improve his handle and continue to work on his one-dribble pull-up as teams adjust to his deadly jumper on the perimeter. Because of his shooting ability, Smith will get looks from some mid-major schools but should be a great Ivy or Patriot league player if that is what he chooses.

(May 23, 2013): CoBL saw Smith play at the NEBL, a high school summer league in Northeast Philadelphia:

Archbishop Wood wing Pat Smith poured in 19 points in a 64-34 win over Friere, doing the majority of his damage early and hitting often from the perimeter. He said he’s been hearing a lot lately from Holy Cross + Brown, both of which he’s visited over the last few weeks. He’s planning visits to Cornell and Maryland-Baltimore County (one of his offers), and is also hearing quite often from Penn.

(April 26, 2013): CoBL saw Smith play at the Philly Hoop Group Jam Fest, where he claimed offers from Binghamton, Lafayette and UMBC:

Smith, a junior from Archbishop Wood, had quite a few college coaches in the building there to see him play, and he didn’t disappoint. The 6-foot-5, 180-pound wing dropped a game-high 23 points, dove on the floor for a number of loose balls and played hard on both ends of the floor. His biggest asset is his shooting, usually pulling up after a dribble or two to knock down the long jumper.

“That’s my go-to move,” he said of the pull-up jumper, “but I know I’ve got to build around it because during the game you saw guys pick up on that, they played me differently.
Once Smith committed to Cornell, City of Basketball Love wrote:
It was the school Pat Smith had been waiting on an offer from his entire recruitment. Once Cornell offered, there was no more waiting on his college decision.

The sharpshooting Archbishop Wood wing committed to play for the Big Red in 2014-15, ending his recruitment the day he was accepted to the northern New York state Ivy League institution.

“They called me, they said everything’s working out with admissions, I had a spot on the team, and I committed,” he told CoBL.

After checking with his family, of course.

“I actually told them I would get back to them,” he said. “Then I told my family and they were all like ‘Pat, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, you need to jump on this,’ and I completely agreed, so I decided to commit.”

Smith said that Cornell assistant Mike Blaine had been recruiting him hard all spring, and a visit up to the campus in late June sealed what his choice would be. As is the case with every Ivy League school, due to their not extending athletic scholarships, Smith first had to get into the University before he could be officially offered a spot on the team.

Once that happened, there really wasn’t much to debate.

“They were number one on my list…if I ever got an offer from there I just wanted to end my recruitment and commit right away,” he said. “I just fell in love with the campus, had great talks with the coaching staff; I felt like it was the right situation for me.”

While his junior season at Wood was by all means a successful one on the court–he averaged a team-high 14.9 ppg, leading his team to a 14-10 overall record–it was an extraordinarily trying one off of it. In January, his father Brian passed away of a heart attack at the age of 59.

“It’s kind of a funny story, but during my dad’s funeral, I told [his friends] that Cornell was looking at me a bit,” Smith said. “They said ‘Cornell, that’s the spot, your dad would have loved you to go there.

“So I feel like he would have been really proud of me.”

Wood coach John Mosco has only gotten a few opportunities to get to know Smith since taking the head coaching job at Wood last week, but he knows plenty about what type of player he is from coaching against him while an assistant at Neumann-Goretti.

“They’re getting a very good shooter, a great student-athlete and a great kid,” Mosco said. “They’re getting somebody that’s going to go out there and go to war for them, and help them win a lot of games.”

At 6-foot-5 and 180 pounds, Smith has a wiry frame that he’ll certainly need to bulk up in order to deal with the physicality he’ll face at the next level. And while his shooting is already good enough to do some serious damage in the Ivy Leagues, his new coach knows it’s about expanding his offensive arsenal to the point where he’ll get the opportunities to show off his 3-point abilities.

“I think he has to expand his game, shooting off the dribble and moving without the ball,” Mosco said. “I think for the next level he needs to rebound more and get a little more physical.”

Smith is Cornell’s first commitment for the Class of 2014.

Coach Ian Simon Says:
Smith is one of the best shooters in the area and has unlimited range. He plays with a confidence about him and always thinks his shot is going in; he uses screens extremely well and gets his shot off really quickly. Smith also plays as hard as anyone in Philadelphia, he is a tremendous competitor that will do whatever it takes to win. If you pay close attention to him during a game, keep the following stats on him: how many times he dives on the floor and how often he wins the 50/50 ball for his teammates. Ultimate team player that needs to improve his handle and continue to work on his one-dribble pull-up as teams adjust to his deadly jumper on the perimeter. Because of his shooting ability, Smith should be a great Ivy League player.


Anonymous said...

Seems very similar to Cressler; if he has that kind of game, no one here will be complaining!

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Yeah... a bit Cressler, a bit Wittman.

End game is that Cornell needs shooters.

Nolan is the best shooter on the team. Dom is a senior. And Robert and JoJo (other pure shooters), might be a year or two away from helping (we'll see).

So Pat gives Cornell another credible stretch wing that can play either the 2 or the 3. And he has a nice pull-up game. He doesn't rely only on screens.

Anonymous said...

This kid is from my old high school. Don't know him but it was wild to see this article. Best of luck to him.

Anonymous said...

So CBB says we're possibly landing the "highest rated" kid of the Courtney era. I'll refrain from holding my breath...

Anonymous said...

Looks like Stucky Mosely cut us from his list of schools. Columbia and Brown are on his short list.

Glad we got on the board with Pat Smith, but we need to add to this class quickly. Looks like kids are committing faster this year than in years past.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Despite reports, we did not have an offer to Stuckey. We backed out. Our guys were on campus this past weekend.

He's a shooter, not an uber athlete and Pat Smith can do everything he does well.

Anonymous said...

Any word on the "highest rated" recruit under BC that's considering Cornell?

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

There were actually two kids on campus this weekend both with high level offers, one a top 200 kid. Visits went great. Don't know if they will commit.

Anonymous said...

This kid can straight up fukin play, hes got the heart of a lion