Coppin State junior guard Sterling Smith is expected to graduate this spring and become one of the nation’s most desirable graduate transfers.
According to a report from Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun, the 6-foot-4 Smith already visited Wake Forest and Rutgers this week and he’s scheduled to visit Pitt and Louisville next week.
While the Eagles only finished 8-23 on the 2014-15 season, Smith was a major bright spot, as he averaged 13.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game in his junior season. Also a 3-point marksman, Smith was 76-for-182 (41 percent) from long distance this past season, and that component of his game makes him especially attractive to bigger programs in need of shooters.
“I’m a shooter, basically,” Smith said to Markus. “I want to go to a winning program and to a team that can use my talents for shooting.”
While the four schools receiving visits from Smith appear to be the frontrunners, he’s heard from “between 20 and 30 schools,” since he decided to transfer.
After spending 28 seasons at Coppin State as the school’s head coach, Ron “Fang” Mitchell’s tenure will be coming to an end as reported by the Baltimore Sun. During his time at the school Mitchell put together a record of 429 wins and 417 losses, leading the Eagles to four NCAA tournament appearances.
The most memorable of those appearances came in 1997, when the 15th-seeded Eagles upset No. 2 South Carolina in the first round. Coppin State would lose to Texas by one point in the second round, the closest a 15-seed had come to reaching the Sweet 16 before FGCU accomplished that feat a season ago.
From 1993 to 1998 Mitchell led the Eagles to five 20-win seasons, with the outlier being a 19-win campaign in 1995-96. Since the end of that six-season stretch Coppin State has won 18 games in a season just once (2003-04), and the program has finished at or above the .500 mark once in the last decade (2010-11).
Coppin State finished the 2013-14 season with a 12-20 record, going 7-9 in MEAC play.
h/t CBS Sports