Smith Plays It Close To Vest

Darius Smith holds all the cards. He's the best unsigned combo guard on the board. What will the next few weeks bring to his recruitment?

The best available combo guard – from what we can gather – is Chicago Marshall's 6-foot-2 Darius Smith. Strong as an athlete and experienced as a competitor, there's a race behind the scenes to lock him up.

Smith, who has been reserved and poker faced about his recruiting, hasn't said much since his season recently ended. His coach, Henry Cotton, recently lent insight into the situation.

"He's taking his time to think about it now," Cotton said. "During the season he wanted to wait until after the season. During the season, we saw when someone showed up but we weren't doing phone calls or anything like that."

Smith has three visits remaining. Last fall, he tripped to George Washington and Minnesota but neither is part of the equation now. "They've signed people," Cotton said. "They aren't in the mix."

Word of the street is that Smith is down to four schools and wants to take his final three visits. "I think he's got it down (to four) but at this point he's told me he's at four but hasn't told me who they are."

Coaches are allowed to come in and conduct home visits with Smith over the next two weeks. Cotton said that's going to be big with Smith. "We're waiting to see who has the time to jump on a plane and meet his mom since he can't go out and visit at this point."

So, which schools are in the mix? Pure speculation at this stage surrounds Arizona State and Marquette. DePaul has recruited him, according to the family, but staying home doesn't seem like a priority. Connecticut has been in town and Duke reached out last month. We've listed Cincinnati, Indiana, Bradley and Kentucky with him in the past.

The reality is, few if any observers are sure exactly who he's targeting and the next two weeks appear to be important to his process.

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