Biancardi Likes Saint Louis Commit

Paul Biancardi helped recruit Jonathan Smith while he was an assistant coach at Saint Louis University earlier this summer. So Biancardi, who left that position to become the National Recruiting Director for ESPN Scouts, Inc., was pleased to see his former school pick up a commitment from Smith this week.

A former assistant coach at Ohio State and Boston College and former head coach at Wright State, Biancardi said the 6-foot-7 combo forward from Grove City (Ohio) High School outside of Columbus was one of the top sleepers in that state.

"There's four things I like about him," Biancardi said, "One, he's a extremely hard worker, which if you have talent and athletic ability and you work hard, you're upside is that much greater. Two, his athleticism. Three, his versatility. Four, his skill level for his size is good right now, but playing for Coach (Rick) Majerus, that will improve ten-fold."

Biancardi said Smith is the kind of player Majerus, his former boss, will love.

"It's a terrific get" for SLU," Biancardi said. "He enhances the program tremendously because of his size and athletic ability and versatility. He's a Majerus-type worker. Jon Smith loves the game."

The former coach acknowledged that Smith, who weighs approximately 185 pounds, needs to get stronger. But Biancardi said working with the Billikens' strength and conditioning coach in the school's state-of-the-art weight room at the new Chaifetz Arena would help take care of that concern.

Smith averaged 17 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots per game as a junior at Grove City while playing either center or power forward.

Biancardi said the Ohio native is a power forward who will be able to play small forward for the Billikens because of his athleticism and versatility.

The former Saint Louis U. assistant coach said Smith should be one of the top freshmen athletes in the Atlantic 10 conference next season.

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