Capel zeroing in on Juco point guard

There's no question Oklahoma head coach Jeff Capel (pictured) is looking to sign a point guard this spring, and one prospect he has shifted his focus to is Mt. San Antonio's (California) Donte Smith. See inside as Smith talks about his interest in Oklahoma.

Donte Smith, PG, 5'11, 195, Mt. San Antonio C.C., Calif.

JH: I understand you put on a show at junior college sophomore showcase on the West Coast recently?

DS: "It was like a showcase of some kind, and I played well. In one game I had eight 3's. In the first game I played in, we won by about 50. I had 18 points and seven assists. In the second game, I had 30 and about six assists."

JH: From what I've read, everybody felt you were the best point guard at the showcase. What did you think?

DS: "Yeah, you could say that. I like to stay humble, but if I didn't tell you the truth then this interview wouldn't be right. I was the best point guard there and I was told I was the best player there."

JH: Did you feel that you proved yourself to some people?

DS: "Yeah, because there are a lot of people who didn't even see me this year."

JH: The last time we talked you were working on getting a waiver form the NCAA that would allow you to play at a D-1 college next year. You were .002 points short of being eligible for D-1 out of high schoo,l and you have since asked the NCAA to grant you a waiver to gain eligibility. How is that process coming along?

DS: " Oklahoma is helping me work on this. They have been working on this since last week and it is looking good right now. I just have to wait and see."

JH: So you think things are going to workout for you and you will be able to play D-1 next year?

DS: "Yeah, I really do. My mom was very sick my senior year and that is why I just missed by .002 of a point of being eligible. My mom has called the NCAA and talked to Oklahoma about it and we think things are going to work out."

JH: What are your thoughts on Oklahoma at this time?

DS: "It is real good. I talked to the head coach Jeff Capel and I am ready to sign to be honest."

JH: What has Oklahoma told you?

DS: "They tell me they want me. Coach Capel said he liked me and said he has seen the tapes on me. He is going to come out and watch me next week. I am just hoping this waiver goes through real quick."

JH: Who else is calling you at this time?

DS: "Boise State called me today. The Arkansas coach that was recruiting me this year got fired, or the head coach got fired. The coach who was recruiting me at Arkansas (Oronde Taliferro) told me he is going to Oklahoma. He said he is going to be the new assistant coach at Oklahoma. He just called me two days ago and told me."

JH: How does that make you feel that Oklahoma appears to want you in their program?

DS: "That is my dream. I pray to God that it works out because I really want to play college basketball at Oklahoma."

JH: What is the latest you have heard on your waiver situation?

DS: "They say they are working on it right now. I know my mom has talked to the administration at OU and the NCAA, and she was told that we should know something in two weeks. She told them about her health issues and how they affected me senior year. She was told that there was a good chance that it would work out."


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