Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Basketball: End-of-year capsules, No. 2
By Pedro Moura
Over the next two weeks, we're going over the 10 scholarship basketball players who were on USC's 2010-2011 roster -- one by one, Monday-Friday -- and recap their accomplishments in the now-completed season, no matter how big or how small. We began Monday with rising redshirt junior forward Aaron Fuller.
Second up is rising redshirt sophomore Evan Smith.
Smith, a 6-foot-7, 225-pound forward, missed the entire 2010-2011 season after undergoing surgery in December to fix a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He had experienced problems with the same shoulder during his freshman season -- missing the final three months of the season -- but elected not to have surgery in the offseason.
Smith stayed involved with the team during his rehab practices and was consistently standing on the sidelines or working on a stationary bicycle during practices. He also made road trips with the team during the season.
At some point, USC coach Kevin O'Neill is going to need Smith -- the only USC recruit in the class of 2009 who actually signed with the school -- to play a part in the team's rotation, and that point could very well come next season, when USC loses three seniors and quite possibly junior Nikola Vucevic to the NBA draft.
In the eight games he did play in as a freshman, Smith looked far behind on defense but displayed some semblance of an outside shot and ran the floor well. O'Neill had thought of him as a potential backup at the power forward spot this past season prior to his injury, so that could be an eventual landing spot for him next year when he does get healthy.
That's it for today. Tomorrow is freshman forward Curtis Washington.