"I think patience really paid off," Keatts said. "They were one of the schools that came in from the beginning and stayed there. Iowa was patient when he didn't make a decision like everybody wanted. They developed a great relationship with the kid and it paid off."
Smith, a 6-foot-6 small forward, averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds for powerful Hargrave. An athletic specimen who prior to this year had been known more for his slashing than shooting, Smith worked on his weakness and rounded out his game under Keatts. Now, he's a reliable shooter.
"I'll tell you what, the kid is probably one of the most hard working kids I've ever had. He stayed in the gym and lived there. He worked on what people said he couldn't do. You'd find him off to the side doing form shooting. He invested in his game to improve his outside shot because that was a negative and a knock on him when he got to Hargrave."
The commitment is a key one for Iowa. Not only did the Hawkeyes win a recruiting war of attrition, they landed the premier wing player in post graduate basketball, a former Scout.com Top 50 player coming out of high school and a young man who could pay immediate dividends in Iowa City.
"I think Tyler's going in with a realistic goal. His plan is to come in and try to fit in on the team and contribute any way he can. The one thing about Tyler is that he's a great teammate. The kid is relentless and he refuses to lose and he'll fight. I think he's going to help elevate their game to another level."