Blue Devils Earn Third Commitment in 2004

Head coach Gail Goestenkors and the Blue Devil staff continues to roll along in the class of 2004. Monday night the Dukies earned their third commitment from the senior class as Riverdale Baptist High School standout Wanisha Smith gave a verbal commitment.

Smith, who is generally regarded as a top 15 prospect in a very strong class, chose Duke over other finalists Maryland and Notre Dame. She had visited Duke officially during the weekend of the men's program's Blue-White scrimmage on October 26th.

As a junior at Riverdale Baptist the 5-foot-11 Smith averaged 21.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and four assists en route to earning a number of local and national honors including First Team All Metro (D.C), and Third Team All-American (Street and Smith)

Prior to her junior season and moving to Washington, Smith was able to make a national name for herself in Ohio where she achieved national recognition with big performances at the Nike All-American Camp, Adidas Top Ten Camp, and the USA Olympic Development Festival.

After completing her senior season at Riverdale, Smith will enroll at Duke and immediately compete for playing time at the point guard position according to most analysts thanks to her crisp passing, strong defense, and ability to break defenders down as she penetrates into the lane.

TDD asked respected women's analyst Rob Clough for his opinions on Smith:

"Wanisha Smith is a classic combo guard and a consensus top-15 player," said Clough. "I saw her play at the Deep South Classic last May, and though I wasn't scouting her specifically, she did stand out. Here's what I said at the time:

"I saw a showdown between two of the top 30 players in the country: guards Sparkle Davis and Wanisha Smith. Davis is from Atlanta and has already committed to Auburn, while Smith moved from Ohio to Washington, DC. Davis did not look like a top prospect in this game, missing most of her shots badly. On the other hand, Smith was smooth and in control. She wasn't a great shooter, but dominated the game action thanks to her penetration, defense and passing."

"Smith, a native Ohioan who recently moved to Washington DC, is an old friend and AAU teammate of current Duke frosh Brittany Hunter. When Alexis Hornbuckle committed to Tennessee, Duke went looking for another prospect whose skills were similar to Alana Beard's. Luckily, Wanisha was interested right away, and Duke's close proximity to the DC area proved to be an additional draw. With Beard and Vicki Krapohl graduating, a lot of playing time will be available in the backcourt. Smith will back up both Lindsey Harding and Jessica Foley in the backcourt, and will specialize in slashing to the basket. She will complement fellow frosh Laura Kurz, a 2-3 who is a fine shooter & rebounder who moves well without the ball. Wanisha played well this past summer and elevated her stock in a class that has more talent than any in recent memory. Her commitment was absolutely crucial for Duke, and she should be a big-time player."

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