Matta Lands First Recruit At Xavier

Every college coach who has taken a new position never forgets his first recruit. For Thad Matta, forward Angelo Smith of Lawrence North fills that role at Xavier. Smith recently made a commitment to the Musketeers.

Matta Lands First Atlantic 10 Recruit

Angelo Smith, a 210-pound forward, from Lawrence (IN) North recently committed to Xavier. In doing so, the 6-7 Smith became Matta's first recruit in his new job.

Smith understands the significance. "It's as important to me as it him to him," Smith told BlueChipHoops. "That's the main thing he was talking about with me. He's been watching me for a good year. When he told me that I was the first recruit, that really hit me hard."

Prior to committing to Xavier, Smith had received interest from a number of schools including Bowling Green, Butler, Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana State, Cleveland State and Southern Illinois. Butler and Indiana State had pre-July offers on the table.

"I've known coach Matta from when he recruited my at Butler. But when he got to Xavier, he recruited me even harder. The relationship that I have with coach Matta and coach Groce was key from the get-go."

Smith, a standout with the Indy Warriors, is a little bit of an unknown commodity on the national scene. That's actually good news for Xavier because Matta has a reputation for spotting talent. Joel Cornette and Thomas Jackson are just a few names on Matta's resume of players who he helped identify early and later assisted Butler in its success in the NCAA Tournament.

Last year, Smith nearly averaged a double double at Lawrence North. "I had my breakout season. We made the state semis and lost by two or three points." Smith accounted for 12 points and nearly 10 boards a game.

"[Coach Matta] wants me to play a combo forward position. He wants me to shoot the jump shot and eventually get my 3-point shot down. Shoot more, that's cool with me."

Smith will attend a Five-Star session this summer and will also travel with the Indy Warriors to the Kentucky Hoopsfest and adidas Big Time. This weekend, he'll play in the Hoosier Shootout.

Look for xavier to sign a point guard and get a little bigger up front with this year's recruiting class.

Photo courtesy Xavier sports information

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