Ray Smith

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Arizona freshman Ray Smith suffers torn ACL

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Arizona suffered a devastating loss late this week as freshman small forward Ray Smith suffered a torn ACL, the school announced. The 6-foot-8 Smith was regarded as a five-star prospect coming out of high school and the Las Vegas native was drawing strong reviews for his play with the Wildcats this fall.

Smith tore the ACL in his right knee this week, which is significant since he tore the ACL in his left knee during the July live evaluation period in the summer of 2014. The torn ACL suffered in high school forced Smith to miss his senior year at Las Vegas High School, but he recovered strongly enough where many believed he would be a major contributor for the Wildcats this season. Without Smith, Arizona has some questions on the wing and it will be interesting to see who they turn to for their new lineup.

“Ray Smith is one of the most talented young players that has ever entered our program,” Arizona head coach Sean Miller said in the school’s release. “The news of his injury is incredibly disappointing on several levels. However, the togetherness of our program is one of our strengths. Our great fans, former and current players, our medical and coaching staffs along with Ray’s family look forward to the challenges of helping him reach all of his goals and dreams. His journey in getting to the top of the mountain might be different, but I have tremendous belief that he will get there with this type of support, his amazing determination to succeed and the love of the game of basketball that he possesses. Today, Ray Smith remains one of the most talented young players we have ever had at Arizona and that has not changed.”

For now, the Wildcats will just have to move on without their talented freshmen wing, as members of the team have started to show public signs of support.

Freshman wing Ray Smith healthy and ready to go for Arizona

2014 NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp
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Arizona will have a very different roster from last season in terms of players receiving regular minutes and one of the new players expected to compete for early minutes is freshman wing Ray Smith. A talented 6-foot-8 wing from Las Vegas, Smith tore his ACL during the July live evaluation period during the summer of 2014, costing him his senior season of high school basketball.

But Smith worked hard during rehab and is ready to enter college basketball completely healthy, according to head coach Sean Miller. In an interview with Bruce Pascoe, Miller explained how hard Smith worked to be in a position to play right away for the Wildcats:

“Ray’s cleared for everything right now. Him and his dad did an incredible job going from last summer when he sustained the injury to being patient and yet super aggressive in the rehabilitation process. And he came to us at a really good place. We were really careful the first couple of months that he was here to make sure his strength level in both legs was good. …

“He loves the game. He’s really talented. When I look at him, he reminds me in some ways of a bouncier Solomon Hill in that he’s 6-8, he has a great skill level shooting, he’s a very creative, unselfish passer and he’s fluid in transition. We have high hopes for him. He can play small forward, and like all the guys who play small forward for us, sometimes we play them at the four.”

Miller goes into detail about other players on the Arizona roster, including other newcomers, in Pascoe’s full interview, but it’s especially good to see that Smith is back to full strength. Regarded as a five-star prospect, Smith was kind of a forgotten player in the Class of 2015 since he hasn’t played much in the past year, but he has a chance to open some eyes with his play early if he’s completely ready to go.

Five-star shooting guard Allonzo Trier commits to Arizona

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Five-star shooting guard Allonzo Trier has committed to Sean Miller and Arizona on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports.

Evan Daniels of Scout.com first reported the commitment, immediately followed by a tweet from Jeff Goodman of ESPN.

The 6-foot-4 Trier is rated as the No. 12 overall player in the Class of 2015, by Rivals. He is the third five-star recruit to commit to the Wildcats, joining guard Justin Simon and wing Ray Smith. That class will also include Boston College transfer Ryan Anderson, who will use his last season of eligibility during the 2015-2016 season.

MORE: Justin Simon to make impact on both ends of floor Ray Smith calls ACL tear ‘a blessing’

Trier has been in the spotlight since he was 13-years-old, appearing on the cover of New York Times Magazine. The phenom turned into the top scorer in the Nike EYBL this summer. During the Peach Jam, he averaged 30.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game for his team, Athletes First. Earlier in the summer he was the starting guard for USA Basketball U18 team, which won gold in the FIBA Americas Championships. Miller was one of Billy Donovan’s assistants on that coaching staff.

Since 2011, Miller has landed 10 five-star commits, according to Rivals. This current class could end up being an important one for his program. Wings Stanley Johnson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are projected first rounders in early mock drafts. Kaleb Tarczewski and Brandon Ashley are pegged as second round picks. Point guard T.J. McConnell is also a senior.

Trier will play for powerhouse Findlay Prep (Nevada) this upcoming season.

Arizona commit Ray Smith calls ACL tear ‘a blessing’

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Two weeks ago, Ray Smith, a top 10 player in the Class of 2015, committed to Arizona. He originally planned to make that announcement on Sunday evening, telling Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star that he believed his team, Dream Vision, would be in the adidas Super 64 final. And what better way to cap off your summer than a live college announcement on ESPNU?

Unfortunately, Smith’s summer came to a sudden end when he torn his ACL. The 6-foot-7 wing has taken everything in stride since the injury, he told Pascoe.

“I go through days. Things happen. People die. People get hurt. You look every week, and there’s a kid who tore his ACL,” he said. “A lot of people say ‘Why me?’ But my question is, why not me? What have I done that’s so special to not get this to happen to myself? I look at it as a blessing. Once I get through it, I’ll have a story of how I dealt with the obstacle of a torn ACL, how I stayed positive and how I can be a role model for people who tore their ACL or might tear their ACL.”

Pretty impressive statements from a 17-year-old, and a positive sign for the Wildcats.

Smith is one of two five-star recruits Sean Miller has in his Class of 2015, along with shooting guard Justin Simon. Smith, who shot up the recruiting boards with his play on the grassroots circuit, could play a big role in the 2015-2016 season for the Wildcats. Forwards Stanley Johnson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson could both end up being first round picks in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Smith had surgery on his knee last week, according to Pascoe.

adidas Unrivaled Day 1: Brandon Ingram gets the best of Jaylen Brown, Ray Smith hurts his knee

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CHICAGO — Although the inagural adidas Unrivaled camp began at the Quest Multiplex in Chicago a day after Reebok and LeBron on Thursday, there were still plenty of talented players and coaches on display throughout the day.

The camp has a nice setup for the players in which they do two hours of drills in the morning, break for lunch, play two sessions of games in the afternoon, break for dinner and then close out the evening with two more sessions of games.

With each player running in two games a day, and getting plenty of time to rest, legs hopefully won’t look as tired as a typical camp setting as adidas Unrivaled gets into the weekend.

Brandon Ingram shines in matchup with Jaylen Brown: Camp games opened on Thursday with an intriguing matchup of elite small forwards as North Carolina native Brandon Ingram and his team matched up against Georgia native Jaylen Brown and his squad.

The two top-25 Class of 2015 prospects rarely defended each other, but the long and lanky 6-foot-8 Ingram soundly outplayed the No. 3 ranked Brown as Ingram’s team won in a romp.

Playing in front of head coaches like Kentucky’s John Calipari, Florida’s Billy Donovan, North Carolina State’s Mark Gottfried and a host of other high-major assistant coaches, Ingram went 8-for-9 from the field as he confidently scored from all three levels of the floor.

Ingram especially did damage from the left side of the floor, as he scored through traffic, hit a mid-range jumper off of a curl and also knocked in a three-pointer. The knock on Ingram has always been his willingness to play with and against physicality, but a second-half post-up against a smaller opponent that led to a dunk was refreshing to see.

Brown, on the other hand, didn’t play well but he wasn’t exactly bad either. The 6-foot-7 power wing was 2-for-10 from the field with four turnovers, but he played an okay overall floor game that included getting his big men involved on post touches, making passes up the floor to push tempo and also operating out of the mid-post when he realized his shot wasn’t falling.

It didn’t help Brown’s cause that the rest of his team came out flat, either.

Ingram is the story, though. He’s playing with a lot of confidence right now and seems looser than he was in the spring. Ingram told NBCSports.com that Kentucky and Kansas have recently shown interest while Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Louisville also remain active with scholarship offers and interest. Ingram said he would like to see the campuses of the aforementioned schools and I’ll have more on his recruitment later.

Ray Smith goes down with a concerning knee injury: July was going to be a very big showcase for recent top-10 Class of 2015 small forward Ray Smith. The Las Vegas native recently vaulted into five-star status as the bluebloods of college basketball were trailing his every move in Chicago.

But the thoughts of college recruiting, and basketball in general, were put on hold during the night session of games on Thursday when the 6-foot-7 Smith went down untouched while clutching his knee.

While working an in-and-out dribble to go past a defender, Smith planted his foot and his knee just gave way as he lost the ball and instantly collapsed to the ground. The injury looked scary, and Smith had to be carried off the floor and into the back-room medical area, but adidas officials told NBCSports.com that they were cautiously optimistic that the injury wasn’t serious.

For his part, Smith took to Twitter to try to stay positive after the injury, but I would be surprised if he played at the rest of the Unrivaled camp.

You hate to see any player get hurt and hopefully Smith can get healthy and return to playing basketball soon.

Get to know Ray Smith, one of the fastest-rising prospects nationally (VIDEO)

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One of the biggest risers in the Rivals Class of 2015 was Las Vegas wing Ray Smith.

A 6-foot-8 wing, Smith’s recruitment has blown up over the last year, as he’s gone from an under-the-radar prospect from Las Vegas to the best wing in the country this side of Jaylen Brown.

And his development isn’t over yet, as there is still plenty of room for him to develop his perimeter stroke, his in-between game and his ability to put the ball on the floor.

Here’s another example of what I’m talking about: