Smart makes impression on Blackwell

Shaka Smart is working hard on the recruiting trail, and one of his major targets is Braxton Blackwell.

Four-star forward Braxton Blackwell is one of the more unique players in the class of 2016. His game doesn’t fit into the mold of one of the traditional positions, but he still is very effective. Now Blackwell is deep into the recruiting process and had a trio of in-home visits last week, including one with Shaka Smart.

At around 6-foot-7 and 205 pounds, Blackwell is a tough matchup for defenders, and he showed that this past weekend in the adidas Gauntlet while running with the Atlanta Celtics.

“The spring is going well,” said Blackwell. “I didn’t have as good a weekend in Dallas as I could have. I thought I played terrible, so I got in the gym and worked out a lot, and I am looking forward to playing better from here on out.”

He continued, “I have worked on my offensive game to be more assertive. People say I have an all-around game, but I have worked hard to shoot the ball better and be more aggressive as a scorer.”

Recruiting wise there is a very long list of schools after Blackwell, but a trio did make an in-home visit with him at the end of the open contact period.

“There have been a lot of schools watching, but recently I had three in-home visits,” said Blackwell. “Texas with Shaka Smart, Florida with Billy Donovan, and Vanderbilt with Kevin Stallings all came in for visits this past week.”

About Texas, Blackwell said, “Coach Smart has been there for two or three weeks, and it sounded like he knew everything about Texas. He did a great job of telling me how the university is as a whole, not just with basketball.”

Blackwell continued about the Longhorns, “He also told me about the culture he tries to create with his teams, and that reminds me of my high school team, so I liked that visit a lot.”

For now Blackwell is in no hurry to make a decision, but he also doesn’t want to drag out his timeline.

“I want to get my decision out of the way, but I am going to take my time,” said Blackwell. “When I commit, I am not going to de-commit because that isn’t the right thing to do. After the summer I will narrow down my list, take my five official visits, and then pick a school.”

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