Garland Lakeview Centennial guard Zhaire Smith made an official visit to Texas Tech beginning Thursday night through Sunday morning as one of Tech's top remaining targets of the 2017 recruiting class. The 6-4, 180-pound athletic wing, who averaged 20 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3 assists last season, reportedly told the Dallas Morning News late Monday night he's narrowed his list of 15 offers down to Texas Tech and Texas and will be announcing his decision 1:30 p.m. Thursday at school.
Here's what Smith had to say about his official to Tech:
Zhaire, I guess just first off obviously you made an official visit to Texas Tech over the weekend. How would you describe how it went overall?
Smith: The overall visit was great. I liked the campus and the whole town. Everything is not too far, you can go from place A to B real quick.
That's true. Pretty much everything is 15 minutes away at most.
Smith: Yes, sir.
Well, you mentioned the town. I know a lot of people who come in from the Metroplex, I'm from the Metroplex myself, but when you first come in I think most people are surprised that Lubbock is maybe a little bigger than what they have heard.
Did you have that impression or no?
Smith: Yes, sir. Everybody kept telling me nothing's out there, it's kind of small, but yeah I was impressed. It's actually big and nice.
You got in town Thursday night, is that right?
Smith: Yes, sir I did. I stayed in The Overton.
Nice, that's a pretty sweet hotel, there.
Smith: It is.
So, Friday did you meet with some of the coaches? Just take me through some of the things you did on the visit?
Smith: On Friday I met with the coaches, academic advisers and then I went to the baseball game and had a good time there and ate. On Saturday it was pretty much the same thing. I met with other people and then I went to the spring football game. Then I chilled with the players around 8 p.m. on that night. Then I left on Sunday after eating breakfast.
What were some of the highlights? What part of the trip stood out to you?
Smith: Just hanging out with the players. I had a great time with them. We had a great bonding while eating together with the coaches and Jarrett (Culver) and Joshua (Webster).
So you met with some of the other recruits then, some of the actual signees from the class?
How did you hit it off with them and did you know them before the visit?
Smith: I knew Jarrett pretty much just from summer ball, but I never met Joshua until the visit.
Did you see some of the facilities, did they talk to you about that and what were your impressions?
Smith: Oh yes. I went to the weight room, the practice gym and the big gym, even though there was about to be a concert. The gym is really nice--it's big. The weight room is nice. The weight room coach (John Reilly), he has a lot of energy, a high motor, high character.
What were some of the things the coaches were telling you during the visit and what was the feel with the coaches during the visit?
Smith: They said how they need me and how I could make a great impact on Texas Tech basketball.
Did they say how they see you fitting in? I know coach Beard likes to say he doesn't see a 1, 2 or 3, but did he talk about where exactly how you'd fit into the program?
Smith: Yeah, you're right. He said he don't see me as a 1,2, 3, 4 or 5. He just sees me as a guard position and making plays.
Then, you said hung out with some of the recruits, but did you get to hang out with any of the current players?
Smith: Yes I did. Justin Gray was my host so I hung out with him and Keenan Evans and Zach Smith.
You said you went to the baseball and spring football games. What were your thoughts about the fanbase and just the events?
Smith: I can see they're very supportive for all sports so yeah, that's really nice to have a fanbase like that.
Alright, well Zhaire is there anything I'm missing about the visit, Texas Tech or your recruitment overall?
Smith: No sir, I just had a great time. I couldn't ask for nothing better.