A scoreless Russell Smith is hard to envision. After posting almost 25 points a pop in the merciless CHSAA as a junior, the Brooklyn native roared out with a 44-point performance in a win over league rival Bishop Loughlin on Jan. 9th.
With a slick handle, shot-creating ability, and an arsenal of runners and floaters that Smith has been tweaking, it was the type of showing that locals have become accustomed to.
College coaches have begun to trickle into Queens to get a look.
Virginia assistant Steve Seymour recently evaluated Smith, and according to the player's father, Russell Smith, Sr., Louisville will come in on Monday.
Smith decided before the school year that he would do a postgraduate year in 2009-2010 at the South Kent (Conn.) School to gain strength and hone his game. He remains faithful to that plan.
"I feel I have to polish up my playing (against) high major players and polish up my point guard skills," said Smith. "And polish up my strength." Smith has not yet cut a lengthy list down.
"I know for sure that St. John's, George Mason, DePaul, Providence, Rhode Island, Iona, and I think UVa (have offered)," said Smith, who also lists Virginia Tech, Stanford, South Carolina, Jacksonville, Manhattan, and UConn. "The rest of the schools have shown high interest."
Smith recently received phone calls from Connecticut and Notre Dame, according to his father, while Syracuse has also expressed preliminary interest.
Smith does not have any favorites. He has not taken any official visits, and will wait until after the high school season to consider where to visit.
"I'm just going to South Kent next year," said Smith. "That all I know (about my recruitment)."
A decision could come after the summer at the earliest, according to Smith. At the moment the always-challenging CHSAA schedule awaits, and beyond that a long, hot July.
"It's still early (with the recruitment)," said Russell Smith, Sr. "He's got the rest of the summer with AAU (with the New York Gauchos). At the end of the day, we want the best situation for him."