Smith sees stock soar

Over the past several years, New Jersey-based AAU program Team Izod/Sports U has been one of the top travel teams in the Northeast. This year is no exception, with a roster loaded with Division 1 talent spanning the spectrum, from low major to elite high-major. One player on Sports U who has impressed this spring is 2014 point guard Tarin Smith.

On Tuesday, Hawk Hill Hardwood caught up with Tarin Smith, a 6'1 point guard from New Jersey powerhouse St. Anthony. Smith spoke about his spring, his recruitment, and his recent visit to Saint Joseph's.

At St. Anthony, Smith had two high-major guards in front of him on the depth chart, in Temple-bound point guard Josh Brown and Oregon State-bound shooting guard Hallice Cooke. The April Live Period was an opportunity for Smith to step out of their shadows and into the spotlight.

"I played pretty well during April," Smith said of his play at the Pitt and Philly Jam Fests during the April Live Periods. "I was active on defensive and got into the lane offensively," he continued. "My mantra is just to play aggressive."

At St. Anthony, Smith played alongside two high-major guards, and is coached by the legendary Bob Hurley Sr. Tarin explained that April's tournaments "gave me more chance to show what I can do."

Tarin seized that opportunity, and earned over a dozen offers thanks to his strong point guard play over the two weekends in April. He listed fifteen offers to Hawk Hill Hardwood: "UPenn, Brown, LIU, Towson, Detroit, Monmouth, Southern Alabama, Princeton, St. Joe's, La Salle, Robert Morris, Buffalo, Bucknell, Wagner, and Delaware." In addition to those offers, Tarin explained that he also had interest from "UMass and Creighton."

Over this past weekend, he made an unofficial visit to St. Joe's. "I went to St. Joe's on Saturday and spent time with Coach Martelli and Coach Duda," Smith stated. "Coach Duda took me to the film room and broke down film with me and showed me how I could fit in," Smith continued. "I'm really looking at St. Joe's."

In addition to St. Joe's, Tarin has also taken an unofficial visit to the University of Delaware. He will be taking a visit to Holy Cross in the near future as well. "Most of the schools that have offered are trying to get me on visits," he added.

Alongside the likes of Jared Nickens, Quadri Moore, and Wade Baldwin, Tarin Smith more than proved his worth as a Division 1 prospect during April. This weekend, Sports U is traveling to Virginia for the Hoop Group Southern Jam Fest. The July Live Periods are also fast approaching. With over a dozen offers in his pocket, Tarin Smith will look to continue to elevate his stock in front of college coaches during July. It's very difficult to win at the college level without a steady point guard, which is exactly why college coaches will continue to flock to see Tarin Smith.

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