An interview with Lanny Smith, PG, Hightower HS

"I'm a creator. A pure point guard who thinks pass first and looks to get everyone involved. At the same time if they need my offensive I can score as well. I definitely enjoy playing the role of creator." - Lanny Smith

SK - How you doing? Welcome to the Cougar Family!
LS - I'm doing good. I'm relieved that it's over.

SK - Was the recruiting process stressful for you?
LS – Yeah, it gets pretty hectic with all the phone calls, the pressure and everything else. I'm glad that I've made my decision and I'm very happy and comfortable with it.

SK - It's a long time, three months in fact, until signing day. Do you think you'll have to deal with the other schools that recruited you (Baylor, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas) calling you still trying to change your mind?
LS - I've talked to some college coaches and they said they're ethical and won't try to sway a guy once he's committed. I hope that's the case with me because I'm happy with my decision.

SK _ How would you describe your game?
LS - I'm a creator. A pure point guard who thinks pass first and looks to get everyone involved. At the same time if they need my offensive I can score as well. I definitely enjoy playing the role of creator.

SK - How tall are you now?
LS - I'm 6-2, 170. I did have my physical the other day and they said that by looking at my growth plates that I'm not finished (growing).

SK - Maybe you'll end up like Magic!
LS - I wish! That would be pretty cool.

SK - Let's talk a little bit about last season. You had one of the top teams in Texas. How was that like?
LS - It was a lot of fun. It was my job to get everyone involved and make sure they got their touches. This year will be a little different, as I'll need to be more assertive on offensive and look for my shot more.

SK - How do you think this year's Hightower team will compare to last's?
LS - I think we'll surprise a lot of people. They're already counting us out because we lost a number of good players. I think though, that our overall team speed will be better and we still have some quality players. It should be fun.

SK - You played this summer with the Houston Superstars. How did the summer circuit go?
LS - It had a lot of ups and downs. I started playing AAU ball several years ago so it's not really new to me but this year more and more I saw the business side of it and it was kind of disappointing to see some of the things that go on under the table, so to speak.

SK - Are there a lot of people who try to worm and weasel their way into the summer basketball scene with their hands out?
LS - Yeah. It's kind of sad really but I guess its part of the business.

SK - What camp or tournament was the most fun?
LS - I'd probably say the ABCD.

SK - That's the one where you get split up and put on a team of players from around the country. Is it fun to play with guys you never play with?
LS - The ABCD can be fun but there's almost no team ball there. If a guy gets it he's going to jack it up. It's hard when you're a point guard and your trying to create opportunities for guys and all everyone wants to do is shoot. The guys are used to being "the man" so they expect to score almost every time down the floor. To get noticed you have to go away from your game, if you're a point guard like me, and end up forcing shots. Toward the end of the camp we came together and played as a team better.

SK - How are you doing school-wise? Everything going well?
LS - I'm doing well. I have a 3.4 GPA and scored a 1080 on my SAT. In fact, school starts tomorrow. It will be nice going in with my decision already made.

SK - Let's talk about UH. When did they start recruiting you?
LS - I'd say probably around the time district play started last year. At first they came out to see Ced (Fears) and I didn't think they were looking at me but then they really started recruiting me.

SK - Was there any one thing Ray said to you about the UH program that caught your attention?
LS - I think it was more of a combination of things. The opportunity to play right away, and a chance to play in front of my family and friends. Coach Ray told me I'd have an opportunity to build a program and get UH back to the posterity that it should be at. All those things were a factor in my decision. I just liked the coaches and the system they run.

SK - You've had an opportunity to play ball at the AAC with the current players on the team and with the new guys who are coming in. Did you like playing with your future teammates?
LS - Oh yes. All of those guys play hard all of the time and they never like to lose at anything. With good players like them who work hard it won't be long before Houston is at the top of C-USA. It will be a lot of fun playing with them next year.

SK - Anything you'd like to say to the Cougar fans out there?
LS - Get ready because we're on the rise! With the guys we have in the program and the guys who will come in we'll be back to the place where Houston is supposed to be!

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