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.
After putting together a spring that made him one of the Class of 2015’s best prospects, 6-foot-8 forward Ray Smith suffered a significant setback on Thursday afternoon at the adidas Unrivaled Camp in Chicago. Smith suffered a knee injury during that session, and on Friday it was reported that he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
The Las Vegas native put together an excellent season at Las Vegas High School last season, posting averages of 24.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.0 steals according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. However with this injury, Smith’s father believes that an appearance during his senior year of high school is doubtful.
“As of today I would say he’s not going to play the high school basketball season,” Bobby Smith said. “If he comes back, it would be toward the end of the playoffs.”
The good news is that the elder Smith is also quoted in the Review-Journal that the programs still recruiting Ray plan to remain in the fold and no offers have been pulled. With the advances made medically when it comes to repairing a torn ACL that comes as no surprise, especially when considering how talented Smith is.
Arizona, Arizona State, California, Georgetown, Louisville, Oregon, Texas, UCLA, USC and Wake Forest are the ten schools vying for Smith’s services, with the five-star prospect revealing that list in May.