Hoops Recruiting: Smith Plans OSU Visit

Tracy Smith is your typical teenager – at least when it comes to eating foods like French fries and pizza. But the 6-foot-8, 230-pound power forward is anything but your typical teenager on the basketball court. GoPokes.com caught up with Smith on Tuesday afternoon and visited with him about a variety of topics, including last week's in-home visit from Cowboy head coach Sean Sutton.

Sutton and Cowboy assistant coach Kyle Keller made the trip to Durham, N.C., last week to visit with Smith, who is ranked as the 45th best prospect in the nation and the No. 13 power forward by Scout.com.

"It went real good," said Smith, a senior at Mt. Zion Christian Academy in Durham, N.C. "I enjoyed talking to Coach Sutton and Coach Keller."

What was the most important thing he learned about Oklahoma State during his visit with the Cowboy coaches? "I think it was probably how much they stress the players getting their degrees and graduating," Smith said. "That's important to me."

Smith said he plans to find out more about OSU when he makes an official visit to Stillwater the weekend of Oct. 20-22, when the Cowboys are hosting a handful of the nation's top prospects. Also scheduled to visit that weekend are small forward James Anderson (6-6, 190) of Junction City, Ark., power forward Mamadou Diarra (6-10, 240) of Simi Valley (Stonebridge Prep), Calif., point guard Jai Lucas (5-10, 155) of Houston (Bellaire), Texas, and guard Nick Sidorakis (6-5, 175) of Jenks, Okla.

Smith had ballooned up to 280 pounds at this time a year ago – prior to starting the basketball season – and had a decision to make. "Coach kept telling me I was overweight but I didn't believe him until I couldn't get up and down the court," said Smith, who went on a low carb diet and began drinking lots of water.

"I quit eating chicken, French fries, pizza ... all that unhealthy stuff, and began working out. I was still eating chicken but it was baked and grilled instead of fried," Smith said."I started weighing myself every single day, and I started seeing how much better I could get off my feet, how much better I was jumping."

Smith averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds a game last season at Mt. Zion, but really turned the heads of college coaches this summer, especially at the ABCD Camp where he was one of the top players. He was named one of the camp's top 10 players by Scout.com, and named to participate in the ABCD All-Star game in which he finished with 22 points and eight rebounds to earn MVP honors.

"It was my third year to play in the ABCD," he said. "My first year I did good but then my second year I didn't play good because I had too much weight on me. This last year I was one of the top players. I was out to redeem myself after that second year."

Smith compares his game to that of Phoenix Suns All-Star Shawn Marion. "I like the way he plays," Smith says. "He can get rebounds, he can take people off the dribble and he can post people up, and that's the way I play."

Smith is also considering North Carolina State, and said he plans to make a decision prior to the early November signing period.

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