Meet Darius Smith

The state of Illinois has an abundance of outstanding guards in its Class of 2009 but the one player who might be getting overlooked the most is Chicago Marshall High School's Darius Smith.

Does Smith feel he has been slightly overlooked? "Yeah, I kind of do but I just play to get better," he said. "I just want to show the coaches that I play hard and that I can play at a high level."

The 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard currently has offers from DePaul, Marquette, Minnesota, Bradley, Loyola (Chi.), Iowa State, and Oregon State. "Minnesota and Bradley are recruiting me the hardest," said Smith. "I would say Bradley has been on me the longest and they have been at all my games."

One school that has started pursuing Smith on a consistent basis of late is Iowa State. "Ever since they started to recruit me they have been there," he said. "They were at a lot of my games later in the summer."

Darius has been in communication with Iowa State assistant coach Daniyal Robinson. "Coach Robinson's a good guy and we talk probably every two weeks," said Smith. "He told me that Iowa State would be good for me and I fit their style. He feels they have a strong supportive staff."

Iowa State is likely to get a visit from Smith this fall. "They are definitely a school that I will likely visit. I might show up for a football game," he said. "Minnesota and Bradley will probably be getting a visit also."

Smith is a strong offensive player but is also known as outstanding defensive player. "I play hard and aggressive which helps me shut down the man I'm guarding," he said. "I feel that rubs off on the other players to try and do the same."

Darius has experienced a tremendous amount of winning while at Marshall as his school finished in third place in state his first two years and then this past year he was a major factor in leading them to the Class 3A state championship averaging 19 points, 6 steals, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds. "It was incredible winning the championship," said Smith. "After two third place finishes we had a chip on our shoulder. I definitely want to win one more this year."

Smith feels his visits will be important and that his decision on his future college destination will be made this fall. "I'm looking at the players, coaching staff, and the whole environment. That's going to become my home away from home," he said. "I feel I'll make my decision before my high school season starts. I just want to go out there and play and not have to worry about coaches calling when I'm trying to do my homework."

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