Conversation with Ken Smith

The father of Michigan's new basbetball commitment <B>Jerret Smith</B> gave me a call earlier (Wed.) today to discuss his son's decision.

It's old news now but it's nonetheless sweet … Jerret Smith will be a Wolverine! Those who have followed my coverage of this young man over the past few months might think I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but he is the quintessential point guard. He has a great feel for the game and sees the court like few other floor leaders his age. As I said in my Jerret Smith scouting report earlier this year, "Jerret is excellent at getting the ball up in transition. But, what was most surprising was his ability to get the ball up court for secondary break opportunities when the primary transition was taken away." I have been just as impressed by Jerret's toughness. I've seen him put forth valiant efforts on two separate occasions despite having significant injuries. Those traits some very exciting possibilities in Michigan's future.

I spoke earlier today with Jerret's father, Ken, about his son's college choice. After an excellent visit last week he had given Jerret some time and space to make the decision. "Just like I told you last week when I let him make the call on whether to play on a bad ankle at the Nike Memorial Day Classic, I'm giving him room to start making some of these decisions," Ken said. He has pretty much known where he wanted to go for a while. We helped him gather information and he sat down and made his own choice, then he informed the coaches. I just found out about it myself at about 3:00," Ken exclaimed.



As is the case with most parents, Ken was quite happy that Jerret chose to play college hoops in the area. "By him going to Michigan it gives us the opportunity to watch him play and to help him make the transition from high school. That will be an easier adjustment for him now."

There have been many debates amongst those who follow recruiting regarding whether it is better to decide early in the process or decide later. In my opinion neither answer is a panacea. Some kids need to take all of their trips to make a decision. Others may have never left the city that they live in and simply want to take advantage of the opportunity to travel. On the other hand, some kids figure out where they want to go a little faster. Deciding early eliminates the diversion of recruiting and allows them to focus on more pertinent things. It all boils down to what's best for the individual. Deciding now just happens to be the best situation for Jerret. "As far as I'm concerned, making a decision right now gives him the opportunity to concentrate on school for the next few years, as well as continue to improve on his game," Ken said. "It takes away all of the distractions. We have a lot of people coming at us now calling and reporting things without ever even talking to us. Getting this done now eliminates going through 2 more years of that. Plus, if you know where you want to go, I don't see the use in wasting a bunch of people's money."

The decision may have been a lot harder if not for the impression the coaching staff made on the Smith family. Like we've heard so many times before, Amaker and company established a rapport with the family that made them extremely comfortable. "I was just really impressed with the coaching staff. They made me feel comfortable with sending my son to them. I'm confident that they will stress the academic side of things as much as they do the basketball. They really come across as genuinely good people that a parent can trust."

I would like to thank Ken for his indulgence. We'll have more from Jerret later.

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