Vegas: Offers pick up for Smith

LAS VEGAS — July has been known to make and break players, and for Zach Smith this month is a make.

Zach Smith doesn't have eye-popping skills. He doesn't handle it or shoot it as well as some of his peers, and at times he can blend in more than he should. But the senior power forward does boast some very tangible attributes, including a very solid frame and a big-time stride.

And stride matters. Smith has the kind of gait that suggests he'll be able to shift into a higher gear once he enters the greater intensity of college basketball. And because he has the type of body that can add muscle, he should be able to incorporate a power element that he presently lacks.

For months, Smith has been considered a high mid-major prospect. And those programs continue to pursue him, but in recent days more major conference powers are joining the pursuit.

"After GASO (Great American Shootout), I've gotten offers from Marquette, TCU, Nebraska and Creighton, " Smith said. "From before, I had St. Bonaventure and Washington State. They (WSU) are recruiting me real hard."

Smith's inconsistent productivity may partially be attributable to a sprained wrist he suffered just over a week ago. Nevertheless, his raw talent is evident and coaches don't appear to be deterred.

But while we view him as a power forward, Smith sees himself as a wing and said that coaches are recruiting him to play on the perimeter.

"They all tell me I'm a three, but I know I have to improve my shooting consistency and ball-handling, too," he said.

The next step is to create a solid list and set up visits. Smith said he's not ready to make that leap just yet, but that he has a different geographical preference compared with most teenagers.

"To be honest, I don't want to be too close to home," he said with laugh. "Close is fine, just not too close."

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