Just two days after it was reported that he’d suffered a torn ACL in his left knee at the adidas Unrivaled Camp in Chicago, elite 6-foot-8 small forward Ray Smith announced that he’s ended his recruitment to commit to Arizona. Smith did so via his Twitter account, picking the Wildcats over Arizona State, California, Georgetown, Louisville, Oregon, Texas, UCLA, USC and Wake Forest.
Smith was one of the most productive prospects of the spring, building on a junior season at Las Vegas High School in which he posted averages of 24.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game. It was expected that the five-star forward would continue on that path this month before suffering the knee injury on Thursday.
Smith is the second verbal commitment in Arizona’s 2015 class, joining combo guard Justin Simon, and the fact that Smith plays the three is important for the Wildcats moving forward. Why? Because also on the wing for Arizona are sophomore Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and freshman Stanley Johnson, with the former considering leaving school early during the spring and the latter being one of the best newcomers in the country.
If head coach Sean Miller were to lose one (or both) of those two at the end of the 2014-15 season, Smith’s addition will be even more important than it already is.