Van Buren's Smith Talks About Razorback Offer
It took a little bit of time for the big-time offers to start rolling in for Van Buren junior Mitchell Smith, but the rush is now underway.
Smith (6-10, 200) has recently added offers from Arkansas, Oklahoma State and Creighton to go along with earlier ones from Arkansas-Fort Smith and Ouachita Baptist.
“I have been talking to Vanderbilt, Iowa State and Mississippi State and I think they are all getting close to offering as well,” Smith said. “It's been a very exciting time.”
Smith's offer from Arkansas - one he had been hoping for about a year - came from Razorback head coach Mike Anderson in early November after he came up for an exhibition game with Central Oklahoma on Nov. 7.
“Coach Anderson invited my coach (Randy Lloyd) and I up for the exhibition with Central Oklahoma and after it was over with he sit me down and said that he would like for me to be a Razorback and wanted to know if I was interested in that,” Smith said. “I said yes, but I wanted to just take some time and be sure and really kind of concentrate on my season right now.
“But, don't get me wrong – this is a big one for me,” Smith said. “I really like what they are doing up there, I really like the coaching staff and I am very excited about getting the offer, something that I have always wanted.”
Smith, who averaged 14.6 points and 7.1 rebounds as a sophomore last season, is a skilled big man who played this spring and summer for the Arkansas Wings' 16-and-under AAU team.
“I think I got a lot better this summer and think I have gotten even better in the off-season,” Smith said. “I feel like I shoot the ball a lot better now and defenses are going to have to account for me stepping out and being able to make shots and not just defend me in the post.
“I do think that I need to become a better ball handler and defensive player and those are things that I am working on to get better at,” Smith said. “But I believe I go into this season as a much better player than I was last season.”
Smith, whose dad was a soccer player at Georgia Tech, moved to Arkansas from Macon, Ga., in 2007.
Van Buren will get its season underway on Nov. 21 against Subiaco Academy with a date set with two-time defending state champion North Little Rock in the Arkansas Challenge on Dec. 20 on the Charging Wildcats' home court.
“I am really looking forward to that game because it will show us just what we are good at, just what we need to work on and what we need to do to get to the point to where we can meet them in the state final,” Smith said. “That is what we really where we would like to be at the end of this season.”
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