Starting his career at Georgia State for two seasons before transferring to Bethune-Cookman, the 6-8 ½, 215 Smith is now headed to the Plains and he said he can’t wait to test himself against the best of the best.
“I’m looking forward to it a lot,” Smith told Inside the Auburn Tigers. “Just me thinking about that, I can’t wait. I’m just preparing myself. I’m going to work as hard as I can this summer to get my body right for that kind of competition. I have been watching it since I have been growing up and I’m glad I’m a part of it now.”
One of the things that Smith is anxious to do is begin working with Auburn Associate Head Coach Chuck Person on improving his overall game. Already a prolific shot blocker and a strong rebounder, Smith said he’s ready to work on shooting the basketball with Person, the leading scorer in AU history.
“I think it’s going to benefit me a lot,” Smith said. “I already have the defensive tangibles. I’m very long and I love blocking shots. I pride myself on defense. Being able to be an offensive threat I think that’s just going to put my game over the top. With Chuck being able to help me with that, why would I not come to Auburn?”
Smith will join Horace Spencer inside for the Tigers along with Trayvon Reed and incoming freshman Anfernee McLemore. While Auburn had a definite need for help on the interior, Smith said for him it was just a matter of the fit because he was prepared to compete wherever he decided to play as a senior.
“It definitely made a difference,” he said of the need for help at Auburn. “I’m not really afraid of competing because even if they had other bigs I felt like that would benefit me because you would get better in practice. I see the need for a defensive player on the inside and I think I can bring that to the team.”
Saying that he will arrive in Auburn on May 18th “ready to work,” the power noted that he’s excited about the pieces coming back for the Tigers and the new additions to the program. With a goal of playing in the postseason he said all that’s left now is to make it happen.
“I only have one year left so it’s all or nothing for me,” Smith said. “I’m trying my hardest to win a championship or at least make it to the tournament and make some noise. I’m just trying to help Bruce Pearl get this program back in order.”