Mitchell Smith, 6-10 Power Forward, Van Buren, Arkansas
We've talked about Mitchell Smith before, in Friday's Commitment Watch post, as well as the August Recruiting Catch-Up post. Smith is a bit of a project in that he's on the slight side at around 205 lbs right now, and for a 6-10 forward, that's not much. He's an unranked 3-star Power Forward who is a fluid athlete and plays in a big position of need for the Tigers.
There are a lot of reasons to like this signing, because it does fit right in where the stated recruiting philosophy Kim Anderson has talked about in the press. Smith is a kid that was born in Texas and was brought to Arkansas with a family move, so he's got the "middle of the country" part, he's a kid who has great size and the potential to add some weight and become a big time player over the course of 4 years. He'll also provide continuity and help the program grow into what Kim Anderson envisions it to be.
|Van Buren, AR (Van Buren HS)||6'10 / 205|
**photo credit: Vonda Norwood**
Smith and I traded a few messages after his commitment. Here he is on why he chose Mizzou:
I was just really impressed with the school when I came down here. The coaches and players made me feel very welcomed. And the atmosphere of Columbia was something I couldn't pass up. I knew I needed to be here.
On how Mizzou can help him get ready for the jump from High School to the SEC:
I think they'll get me a lot bigger and improve my skill, not just close to the basket, but also perimeter threat.
On how Mizzou plans to use him in the offensive game plan and if the coaches expect him to contribute right away:
I think they'll use me like Jakeenan [Gant]. I'll post up, but then I'll move out and shoot. And yes sir he [Coach Anderson] said I can have a big contribution right when I get there.
On who his guides were, and how they were able to help him make his decision:
Terrence Phillips and K.J. [Walton], both freshman. But we got along real well, down to earth guys. Made me feel very welcomed like I was apart of the team already.
Thanks to Mitchell for taking some time to answer my questions after such a big announcement.
So with the first commitment in the bag, it will be interesting to see where things fall from here. We've told you all along that Mizzou plans on taking 3 in the 2016 class. They definitely need another big if possible. At this stage however, they very easily could take the wing they're looking for and Smith, and then sit tight until the spring to see how this year goes, and see if they are going to lost an additional player off the roster.
It's also very possible that Mizzou isn't done for the day today...
Willie Jackson, Mitchell Smith and the Porter boys visiting Mizzou. First two are on officials. pic.twitter.com/ceXAW9B011— Brian Austin (@btaustin) September 19, 2015
Now don't get your hopes up about a Porter, but Jackson could be next up.