Adam Finkelstein follows up today on ESPN's basketball recruiting blog with more thoughts on TCU's commitment yesterday from Hotchkiss (Conn.) guard Clyde Smith, saying the Houston native is undervalued on the national level.
The full entry can be found here. Below is an excerpt:
It’s a potentially-big commitment for TCU on a few different fronts. First and foremost, I believe Smith was widely underestimated on the national level.
After being away from home for the better part of the last two years, Smith lost his grandmother in the first week of this July’s live period. Needless to say he wasn’t himself for the rest of the month, so coaches and evaluators alike saw a player who was just a shade of his true self.
But for those who have seen Smith consistently over the last two years, they know he's a pure playmaker who can create offense for himself and his teammates. Ironically, he has the reputation for being an inconsistent shooter, but it is his shot-making that has come most naturally to him while he has worked hard to improve his body, athleticism, and dribble-drive game.
The bottom line is that he has become stronger, more explosive, and developed into a truly versatile and dangerous offensive player.
Secondly, in terms of his intangibles and mental approach to the game, Smith has that “it” factor. He plays with unrelenting confidence and takes a back seat to no one, in mind or body.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, Smith has a chip on his shoulder now. While he visited TCU and Iowa this fall, the vast majority of the high-major schools that had recruited him for the last two years fell off after this summer. Presumably, he feels undervalued and probably a little disrespected by the way the process played out. One thing he certainly isn’t feeling is a lack of confidence though, and now that he’s played his way into the Big 12, he’s likely to use the last three months as motivation to prove his doubters wrong.