According to a late Sunday night tweet from ESPN recruiting analyst Paul Biancardi, Marquette freshman point guard Reggie Smith is rumored to be transferring out of the program. With the first semester wrapped up, this is when most mid-season transfers occur in college basketball. If this rumor is indeed true, it really does not hurt Marquette that much with the start of Big East play on the horizon.
UPDATE (10:20 a.m.): Marquette has confirmed that Smith is transferring.
By: David Kay
Despite starting five games during non-conference play, Smith had dropped to third on the point guard pecking order behind Dwight Buycks and Junior Cadougan. Smith, who has missed the past two games due to illness, was averaging a minuscule 1.4 points per game and logged a total of seven minutes in the Golden Eagles’ three marquee match-ups against Duke, Gonzaga, and Wisconsin so he did not figure to see the floor much once Big East play tips-off. Buzz Williams also has other options at that position with Darius Johnson-Odom being able to run the point and freshman Vander Blue seeing some minutes at the one near the end of MU’s most recent game against Mississippi Valley State.
TSB contributor Paul Schmidt can now tell me, “I told you so.” He has been hating on Smith since covering him during his senior year at Thornton High School. To be honest, I cannot blame Schmidt.
While the six-foot Smith is a tremendous athlete and showed signs of potentially being a great on-the-ball defender, he seemed to lack the basketball IQ to be a true floor leader especially in the highly-competitive Big East. Smith had as many assists as turnovers for the Golden Eagles but then again, he was only eight games into his collegiate career so you never know how his development could turn out.
I did hear rumblings within the Marquette circle while sitting baseline next to the team’s bench during their annual rivalry game with the Badgers that Smith had a label of being a bit soft which does not fit with Buzz’s demand for having tough players on his roster.
As for the future, Smith’s possible transfer is not a major loss. Buycks is a senior but Cadougan will still have two years of eligibility remaining while 6-0 Derrick Wilson from The Hotchkiss School is already signed for the 2011 class having picked Marquette over the likes of Stanford, Notre Dame, and Georgia Tech. Plus, DJO and Blue will still be in uniform next season and do not forget about current walk-on Dave Singleton who is sitting out this year after transferring from High Point University. There would also be a second scholarship available for next season so another point guard could added.
This latest report does bring up a bit of a concern about Buzz’s recruiting as Smith would be the fourth player to transfer out of the program in the past year and a half joining Brett Roseboro (St. Bonaventure), Jeronne Maymon (Tennessee), and Youssoupha Mbao (Marshall). That list does not include Devonte Newbill who was released from his commitment prior to the start of the season and is averaging 9.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while starting at Southern Miss. Is Buzz mis-identifying recruits during the process? It is something to think about.
Whatever the case may be with Smith’s rumored transfer, hopefully it is in his best interest as well as Marquette’s.
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor for The Washington Times Communities. You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.Follow paulmbanks