Posted On: 08/2/19 4:49 PM
One of my favorite things about scouting and writing is being able to watch kids blossom throughout the years, seeing them improve as time goes on and seeing them get the recognition and offers they deserve. In my backyard of Richmond, there may not be a single player in the rising senior class that I’ve been able to see that more than with Trinity Episcopal big man Burke Smith.
The 6’10” Smith was a freshman on the state championship team in 2016 but didn’t play much, he broke the starting lineup as a sophomore but wasn’t a main option with now ODU sophomore Jason Wade and UNC freshman Armando Bacot on the team, but last year is where you really saw him take off with the 1-2 punch of nationally ranked Henry Coleman and Smith, a formidable duo in the front court.
This summer, the stretch four/five man has seen his recruitment take off, as he holds 15 offers from a number of mid major schools from all across the country. I was able to catch up with him a few weeks ago and ask him about his recruitment, which he was wide open about.
When asked about a time table, Smith said he’d like to have his decision made sooner, rather than later.
“As you said, I’ve been getting a lot of offers so that’s definitely the biggest plus,” Smith said. “I’m just trying to keep playing through the summer, but after that start to figure things out because I kind of want to commit early, I’m not trying to play the waiting game.”
While he has a ton of offers to consider, Smith is not trying to have his decision distract his team or held over him during his senior season. He has a host of schools all promising him different things, but Smith said it’s all going to come down to where he feels the most comfortable at.
“I’m going to be looking for what schools I have the best connections with, both the coaches and the players after I take officials,” he said. “The academics and facilities are going to be some of the other things it boils down to.”
While Smith has took some unofficial visits to some local schools, he hasn’t took any officials yet, but it’s something that he plans on doing. When asked his plans, he says he wants to take at least four official visits, if not the entire five the NCAA allots for him, and wants to take them in the fall if possible.
While he doesn’t have any dates set in stone, he did mention Ohio University and Rice University as schools that have been very consistent with him and will definitely make his list in September. From a recent tweet by Phenom Hoops Reporter Keion Robinson, Smith also mentioned Boise State as a school he wants to visit, although to my knowledge they have not officially offered him.
The big man has proved himself as one of the most skilled and best shooting bigs on the east coast, and while coaches are impressed with that he knows that there’s a physical component he needs to continue to work on.
“Most of them say I bring a unique skill set to the table, but the thing they’re going to really add on to my game is the body part of it. Right now I know I’m not there, but when I start to get in the college weight room I could add up to the 30 pounds of muscle in my first year there and that’s going to be huge.”
As far as what he’s expecting his senior year, there’s a reason he wants to get his commitment out of the way so he can focus on trying to get a championship in his last go around.
“My goals for the season, I think we’re going to have a really good team, so the focus is only going to be on winning as many games as possible and trying to get to that state championship. We’re going to have a lot of scoring options and a really good team so I think we can get there. For myself, I just want to continue to build on everything. I’m going to be the only guy on the team who’s been on the team since my freshman year so I just need to be a leader and keep on building up.”
One of the most improved players in the state is now getting his just dues, and with his teammate Henry Coleman holding offers from almost everyone in the country there’s going to be a lot of traveling this fall for the two of them and there will be a lot of coaches and media attention on Trinity Episcopal even before the season starts.