Smith impressed on official visit

Ray Smith took his official visit to Arizona this past weekend. Read on to see what he thought of it, what the coaches told him, and more.

Five-star small forward Ray Smith visited Arizona this weekend for the annual Red-Blue game. He has been to Tucson many times, but this trip was especially great for the Arizona commit.

“My visit was great," Smith said. "I was able to see how I am going to be living out there. I also got a greater scene of the Arizona basketball tradition over the weekend, it’s still crazy to me how a scrimmage can sell out and have the stadium rocking.

“This is going to sound funny, but I was also really pumped to see the college dorms. I haven’t been able to get a look, so that was fun. Justin and I both toured some of them.”

In addition to touring campus facilities, Smith was able to spend ample time with the coaching staff to talk about this year’s current roster and the tentative plans for next year.

“Coach Miller basically said that this year’s team has a lot of talented players,” Smith said. “He said Rondae and Stanley are two guys that are potentially leaving after the season, so I need to come in ready to play. I’m mentally prepared, now all I need to do is get there physically.”

Smith continues to get completely healthy after his torn ACL and is moving in the right direction.

“The doctor says I’m a little ahead of my recovery schedule,” he said. “My injured leg is pretty much at the level of strength as my other leg. Now, I just have to wait for my new ACL to fuse, which takes about five months, but I am getting stronger everyday.”

In addition to Smith, Arizona brought in Justin Simon and Caleb Swanigan this past weekend. The three spent time together and got to know each other a little more.

“Caleb is an unbelievable guy, we had a great time,” Smith said. “He’s a little quiet, but I guess that’s how some people are. He did open up a little more as the weekend went on.

“We really just talked about how exciting the weekend was. Justin and I talked to Caleb about Arizona and how great the program is. We also told him a little bit about why we picked Arizona.”

Smith feels that Arizona and the weekend visit left a good impression on Swanigan and that the five-star center left Tucson impressed.

“Honestly, I think he left Arizona excited,” Smith said. “He was amazed by the basketball vibe around Tucson and how the fans knew who he was even though he isn’t committed to Arizona.

“I want to play with a player like Caleb. He’s a hard worker, he wants to win and he’s going to push everyone around him to get better. It fits the Coach Miller style of play.”

After everything wrapped up, Smith was able to take a step back, reflect on the experience, and truly appreciate the weekend.

“The fans are one of the best parts about Arizona,” said Smith. “Anytime a gym is packed full for a team scrimmage, it goes to show how true the fans are, not something you find everywhere.”

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