Smith on UNC's Radar

North Carolina cast a wide net in its new point guard search, with the latest contact reaching out to Twin Falls, Idaho.

Inside Carolina confirmed that UNC assistant coach C.B. McGrath contacted the College of Southern Idaho coaching staff last week to inquire about Darius Smith and Pierre Jackson.

Smith, a 6-foot-2 native of Chicago who started his college career at UConn, said he hasn't had any direct contact with Carolina but was told by his coach that the Heels were interested in him.

"I've only really heard bits and pieces," Smith said. "I think one of my coaches said they were going to be coming out one of these weekends if they have time. But I haven't spoken to anybody yet."

Though he hasn't had direct contact with UNC, Smith is excited about the prospects of a possible recruitment.

"Carolina is definitely a school I would be interested in," Smith said. "That's a big-time program. There's a lot of tradition behind that program. For most kids that is probably a dream come true."

Smith is averaging 8.7 points, 5.4 assists and five rebounds per game for the 22-3 Eagles. He said he's still in the early part of his recruitment and doesn't have a list yet, saying he'd heard from schools in the ACC, Big 12 and Big 10.

"I'm wide open. I'm looking for the best fit for me," Smith said. "I don't want to name names because I don't want to leave anybody out."

Smith is no stranger to the world of big-time recruiting. He played in 19 games for UConn in 2010, averaging just over four minutes per contest before deciding to transfer.

"I went the JuCo route because I was looking for the best fit for me. That's all it was," Smith said. "There wasn't anything bad about that program. I was trying to make a decision that was going to benefit me in the future."

With one round of high-major basketball already under his belt, Smith said he feels more prepared to excel this time around.

"Coming in straight out of high school you're still young and you don't know a lot of things," Smith said. "But after going through a major program, I know the ropes a little better. I have a lot of mentors that help out right now."

Smith describes himself as a good leader who can fill a stat sheet.

"I do all the little things," Smith said. "You might not realize I'm scoring that much but I get a lot of put backs, steals. I'm a rebounding guard and I play both ends of the floor."

Smith sees himself as a balanced player and said he doesn't just try to work on one aspect of his game. He tries to better himself across the board.

"As a point guard, what don't you want to keep working on?" Smith said.

With just two years of eligibility left, Smith has a difficult decision in front of him. After stops at two different colleges, Smith said he's ready for a permanent home and is looking for a school where he has a good relationship with the coach and will get an opportunity to play. But, he added, he doesn't necessarily have to start in order to be happy.

"The perfect situation for me is where I can help them and they can help me," Smith said. "It really wouldn't matter to me as long as I'm playing. As long as I get a chance to prove myself -- that's all I need."

Southern Idaho is poised to make a deep run in the post-season this year which will likely take up most of Smith's focus. But he said he'd like to make a list in the next two months and finalize his decision before the end of the school year so he can transition right into summer school.

As for Carolina, Smith is playing it by ear.

"I really don't know what to expect. I'm just taking it as it comes," Smith said. "If the coach puts me on the phone with them or tells me they're coming up, I'm obviously going to be looking forward to it."

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