The University of Dayton basketball program already has one top-150 national recruit in the fold in Chicago combo guard Kyle Davis, and the Flyers added another Friday in New York City point guard Dayshon “Scoochie” Smith.
The 6-foot-1 Davis is rated No. 109 among seniors on the Rivals.com list, while the 6-2 Smith is No. 121. It’s the first time since at least 1998 when Rivals started that UD has landed two top-150 players in the same recruiting class.
Among schools offering Smith scholarships were Illinois, Penn State, Wichita State, Duquesne, Rhode Island and Richmond, according to Rivals.
“It just came down to where the best decision was, where the best opportunity was,” Smith said. “It doesn’t really matter about the Big Ten or BCS conferences because the Atlantic 10 is on the rise. It’s also one of the best conferences in the NCAA.”
Asked how UD coach Archie Miller reacted to the news, Smith said: “He was happy. He knew I was making a decision (Friday), and he asked me what it was. I let him know it was Flyer Nation. He was real excited. He said he was going to throw a party.”
After his New York City high school shut its doors, Smith transferred to Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut and averaged 17 points and six assists last season.
“He chose the right level where he can really excel and also develop by being on the court,” said Shandue McNeill, Smith’s coach on the AAU New York Lightning. “He could have played at a higher level, at the highest level, but I think it was a matter of Dayton giving him an opportunity to get on the court and grow while he’s playing.”
“He’s a tremendous leader. He’s very crafty. And he’s going to help Dayton in a variety of ways – he can dribble, shoot and pass at an extremely high level.”
Brian Snow, a recruiting analyst for Scout.com, said Smith has a common trait among New York City point guards: tenacity.
“A lot of kids from New York City, they’re tough. And Scooch is no different,” he said. “Maybe he’s not like Kemba Walker (a former Connecticut star) or Tu Holloway (Xavier) in that regard. He doesn’t want to rip your heart out, per se. But he’s still got that toughness to him, the intestinal fortitude. And for a city kid, there’s usually no stage too big.”
McNeil added: “The one difference that separates Scoochie from a typical New York City guard is he can shoot the ball. He can make shots at a high level.”