SPOTLIGHT: G Ronnie Smith [MEDIA:20319]

The Vandals went in search of a point guard recruit this off-season, and found a gem in McDonald's All-American candidate <b>Ronnie Smith</b> from Dallas, Texas. Many thanks to South Oak Cliff High School Head Basketball Coach, <b>James Mays</b>, for sending some pictures of Ronnie in action and signing his National Letter of Intent to Idaho.

Player Profile: Ronnie Smith
School: South Oak Cliff High School
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Height: 5-11
Weight: 165 pounds

2001-2002 Season Stats
19.5 per game
5 per game
4 per game
2.48 per game (#2 in Conference, #12 in Texas 4A)
82.61% (#2 in conference)

BIO: 2002 MVP, District 11-4A, G
1st Team, All-District 4A
2001 1st Team, All-District 11-4A, G
2000 Sophomore of the Year, South Oak Cliff High School

(Courtesy Coach Mays)
In addition to his ability to put points on the board, Ronnie will be counted on to play aggressive defense at Idaho.
If there is one position on the court that typically takes time to develop effectively, its point guard. Because of the impact of this position in the college game (and in Idaho's scheme in particular), it is the one position Head Coach Leonard Perry has recruited out of high school in each of his last 2 recruiting classes.

Among the most critical elements in this year's recruiting class was to improve our ability to hit from the perimeter, and our overall skill level at the 1, 2, and 3 guard spots. Statistically, this year's guards are an outstanding group comprised of 2 junior college transfers in Delvin Spruel and Dwayne Williams, and Texas High School standout Ronnie Smith of South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas.

A McDonald's All-American candidate, District MVP, 2-Time All-District guard, and Offensive Player of the Year honoree, Ronnie brings a nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic combined with outstanding shooting skills and explosive speed that allows him to play tight man-to-man defense. He'll need to draw on all of these assets to pick up the change in speed and skills at the college level, but the raw talent is there to be a leader on the court at the Division 1 level. Now its a matter of time, hard work, and dedication.

(Courtesy Coach Mays)
Signing National Letter of Intent to play at Idaho.
From left: Ronnie Smith Sr., Ronnie Smith Jr., Ms. Billie Thomas (Ronnie's mother).
As a junior in high school last year he was the 24th ranked basketball prospect in the talent laden state of Texas. He followed that up this year with a performance that landed him District MVP honors while guiding his team to a 27-7 record overall, an undefeated record in league play (13-0), a final 4A state ranking of No.3 (5A is the biggest designation), and lost in the regional playoffs to eventual 4A state champion Dallas Lincoln. For those that don't follow high school basketball, Lincoln (40-0) ended the season the No. 1 high school basketball team in the nation in USA Today's final season ranking, with 3 teams overall from Texas making the list.

"The University of Idaho is getting a steal," says South Oak Cliff High School basketball Head Coach James Mays. "Ronnie has a great attitude both on and off the court, and he's a very approachable young man. There were alot of high profile players in the state this year, and Ronnie was right up there with the best of them."

Ronnie is a complete package basketball player: Offense, defense, dedication, and a team player with a great attitude. He's exemplary of the type of player, and the type of person, that Idaho Head Coach Leonard Perry has been rebuilding this program around, and someone we definitely look forward to watching in the years ahead.

Welcome to The Palouse!

Read more:

Official UI Press Release on Ronnie's signing.

(Courtesy Coach Mays)
From left: Coach Love, Ronnie Smith Sr., Ronnie Smith Jr., Ms. Thomas,
SOCHS Head Coach James C. Mays II.

ALL Vandals Top Stories