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   Welcome to TSLMail #33 - Friday, May 31, 2002
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   Tech Sports News

Men's Basketball Recruiting: 6-10 Deonte Smith Headed to Tech

The Hokie men's basketball team has a big recruiting class coming in this fall, and it recently got bigger with the addition of 6-10, 250-pound Deonte Smith, from Petersburg, VA, by way of Mt. Zion Christian Academy in North Carolina.

If you're caught totally off guard by that news, you're not alone. Smith started his high school career at Petersburg High School and finished it at Mt. Zion this past season, and his commitment to Tech was never publicized. Doug Doughty had noted in a few columns last fall that the Hokies were recruiting Smith, but there was no mention of Smith ever committing to the Hokies.

We found out about it when a contact told us that Smith's AAU coach, Tony Squire, broke the news of his academic qualification on, saying that Smith had qualified and would be attending Tech in the fall.

That got us scrambling to find some information on Smith, and that proved to be harder than finding the proverbial needle in the haystack. Internet searches turned up very little information on him, and a phone call to Mt. Zion produced only an answering machine message that said they were closed for the summer.

So we searched out Reggie McFarland, one of Smith's AAU coaches, for comment. We were able to get in touch with "Coach Mac" late last night, and he talked Smith up as a player who blossomed late and could turn out to be a steal for the Hokies.

"He's a legitimate 6-10, strong, runs the floor well. He's a late bloomer," Coach Mac told us. "In high school, his freshman and sophomore years [at Petersburg], he didn't play much. They had a couple good, big kids. He left after his junior year and went down to Mt. Zion, and he came back, and he's a lot better."

Offensively, Coach Mac says that Smith is strictly a low-post player. "He can shoot the 15-footer, but he's more of a post-up guy, you know, a big body, nice drop-step, a couple of Olajuwan moves, a little shake and bake here, go back the other way and knock it down. He's dunking more now than he used to. He's turning into a man, he's a beast. With his upswing and some progression, he could be a pro. He's a big, strong kid. He's going to be a nice, strong power player for them."

McFarland wasn't sure what Smith's stats were this past year at Mt. Zion, whose most famous alum is NBA star Tracy McGrady. "They [Mt. Zion] have got some guys who can play," Coach Mac said, implying that with all the talent on their team, no one player is going to stand out. "I think even Tracy didn't have big numbers when he was there."

At one time, back in late 2000, Smith had committed to George Washington, but he changed his mind to eventually commit to the Hokies. "A lot of people got on him late -- Carolina, West Virginia," McFarland noted.

When asked how soon he thinks Smith can contribute at Tech, McFarland answered, "He's going to play. He's got to play. Ricky (Stokes) don't have nothing like that. Deonte's a legitimate 6-10 and he's already decently strong, and he'll get stronger in a good weight-training program. He used to take him forever to run the floor, but now he's running the floor. I think he's got a legitimate shot to play in the League."

Smith joins a large -- to say the least -- class of incoming freshmen and transfers for the Hokies, some of whom could have an immediate impact (Smith, 6-5 PG Markus Sailes, 6-4 2G Shawn Harris, and 6-6 PF Fabian Davis could all see significant playing time early) and others who may take time to develop (6-9 F Allen Calloway, 6-9 F Philip McCandies, 7-3 C Luke Minor, and 6-6 F Winston Robinson, who will prep at FUMA next year).

We'll have more information on the recruiting class that everyone hopes can take the Hokies to the Big East Tournament and beyond in next month's TSL Extra.

Will Stewart
General Manager and Managing Editor

  TSL Sponsor: Advance Auto Parts

NHRA ticket giveaway from Advance Auto Parts!

TSL sponsor Advance Auto Parts is giving away a pair of tickets to NHRA drag racing events in Chicago (the weekend of June 1-2) and Columbus, Ohio (the weekend of June 15-16). You can enter to win the tickets on their web site (just click the link and click over to "Win Tickets - NHRA Nationals" at the bottom right of their web site). 

Advance Auto Parts is TSL's first sponsor and has been on board for months now. We're very pleased to be associated with such a great organization, and remember, for all your auto parts and accessories needs, please check out Advance Auto. 

Advance Auto has a great on-line store (visit it below), or if you would prefer to visit one of their physical locations, you can use the cool "Store Locator" function on their web site to find the location nearest you. 

Thanks again to Advance Auto, and be sure to let them know how much you appreciate their sponsorship of TSL by giving them your auto parts and accessories business! Updates From the Past Week

Football News and Articles:
South End Zone Construction Update & Pics - by Will Stewart, 5/29/02
The latest pictures, contributed by message board poster ChapelHill Hokie, show that the basic exterior concrete structure of the South end zone expansion is in place. (Pics include artist's conception of full stadium!)

Virginia Tech and the AP Poll - by Tom Stecher, 5/28/02
Looking at the history of Virginia Tech and the Associated Press (AP) poll, it is incredible how far Tech has come under Frank Beamer. However, there are also some disappointing points as well.

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