New Gopher Brandon Smith talks to GoldenSports.Net

Brandon Smith, a 6-5 shooting guard/small forward from Minneapolis (MN) Patrick Henry who committed to Minnesota in August, signed his letter of intent with the Gophers today to become the first player from the Minneapolis City Conference to sign with the Gophers since John Thomas. GoldenSports.Net attended the press conference and talked to Smith about his recruitment and the upcoming season.

Most fans a year ago would have thought that you would be headed to Marquette, Oklahoma or Iowa State. What happened to make you realize that Minnesota was the place for you?
"I think it was the interest level. They showed a lot of interest in the past year that I felt comfortable with. They showed interest to the point that they were at every practice, at every summer game, so I really liked that and took that into consideration."
Head coach Larry McKenzie has credited new assistant Jim Molinari with helping Minnesota's case in your recruitment. What did he do to help you decide on Minnesota?
"His defensive intensity is similar to how we play at Henry. I felt that change too. That helped me make my decision as well."
What type of things did you work on during the summer and this fall to get ready to move up to that next level?
I'm just trying to improve every aspect of my game. The main thing is my outside shooting. I need to improve on that more. It's coming along great in the past few weeks. I've been working on that every morning. Getting stronger. I plan on working on every aspect of my game.
What are your expectations individually and team-wise for the season?
My expectations, individually, is to lead my team. To be the best leader I can be. As far as scoring, rebounding, passing, everything. Being a team leader. Team goal, number one is to win state. The fifth title (in school history). That is what is in my heart. That is my main focus right now and I plan on doing that.
I know that you are an excellent student. Have you thought about a possible major yet?
"I'm leaning towards majoring in business management. I feel like I'd like to own my own business someday.

Gopher Illustrated Top Stories