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OLD GOLD FREE PRESS
Purdue Men's Basketball Recruiting

Bobby Smith

	School and Year (1997-98)	Maine Central Institute, ME - 5th year
					East Chicago Central
	Height and Weight		6'2" 195lbs
	Position			Point Guard
	96-97 Ratings			#50 (HS), TOP25 (PS)
        97-98 Ratings                   #5 Prep (HS)
	Academically Eligible		GPA ok, lacks credits
	Status				Villanova

Player Summary · Player News · Game Stats · Season Stats · Honors · IHSAA Schedule

Player Summary

Bobby Smith is a transfer from Chicago Carver (and a few schools before that) and played his first year of high school basketball last year at East Chicago Central. He was declared academically ineligible to play his freshman year at Carver, although his coach said that he was good enough to start as a freshman. His strengths include defense and penetration, and he is a good passer. Weaknesses would have to be academics, although he hasn't had the most stable life so far. He now lives with his sister after the death of his grandmother last year and promises to improve his academics out of respect for his grandmother. His uncle also helped raise him, but was killed the same evening that his grandmother died of a heart attack. The rumors flying around about this kid include that he's the next Isiah Thomas, and that he nearly led Carver to an upset of Kevin Garnett's Chicago Farragut team (also included Ronnie Fields) in the Chicago city tournament. The latter would have been particularly tough for him to do since he was ineligible all year. The Hoosier Basketball Handbook has Smith listed as a future star, and he was named by Lake County's The Time to their all area team. Smith along with EC Central teammate Willie Davis attended Purdue's Midnight Magic in October.

Current Player News

3-19-98...Bobby SMith has accepted a scholarship offer from Villanova. 2-19-98...The new short list for Bobby Smith includes West Virginia, UNLV, Maryland and Villanova, according to Hoop Scoop. 12-29-97...Checking in with Bobby Smith at MCI finds him fresh off his attempts at both the SAT and ACT. Smith still needs a year's worth of academic credits along with a sufficient score on a standardized test to qualify. He is currently carrying a "B" average. Schools in the hunt for Smith include Kentucky, West Virginia, Michigan, Minnesota and Cincinnati. Purdue is still being mentioned, but with Maynard Lewis coming in and no available scholarships, Purdue would be a longshot unless there was either movement in the guards or a free scholarship. However, two juco big men are already lined up for any avaliable scholarship. Kentucky was leading until Rick Pitino left for the NBA. Now it is wide open. Other schools showing recent interest are Maryland and Oklahoma State. 3-31-97...Several new revelations regarding Bobby Smith have come to the surface. Smith has transferred to Gary Roosevelt to get away from distractions and finish up his final year of high school in Indiana. The move was recommended by his guardian James Dye. At the completion of the school year, he is scheduled to play AAU ball for a New York based AAU squad. Following summer competition, Smith will enroll in Maine Central Institute and play for coach Max Good. Bobby isn't only getting good advice from his guardian, but also from EC Central coach John Todd. "It's a lot more than just playing the game," Todd said. "Talent just takes you so far. I tell him again and again, the game is a vehicle that gets you an opportunity to get an education." As for where Smith might play ball, "Kentucky is probably my main option," Smith said. Dye says that Purdue and Cincy are also in the mix, as are a total of "11 of the top 25 universities". Dye stated that 8 of those 11 are very actively recruiting Smith. 2-21-97...A scouting report from the Merrillville vs. East Chicago game..."Merrillivlle ranked #1 in the Region and EC #2 - great game; EC won in 2OTs. Jamaal Davis played well (19 pts), but was hounded all night by Willie Davis (6-7 and pursued by PU) who probably played the game of his career. But most impressive was Bobby Smith, 6-2 guard (also pursued by Purdue) - lightning quick, great penetrator and excellent assist man (20 points). He just played in the flow of the game till crunch time, and then almost took over. A couple penetrating layups right at Jamaal - who is the best shot blocker in the Region - incredibly put the ball softly off the glass. The kid is the real deal. Frank Kendrick probably also thinks so as he was there too - drove up in an ice storm to see the game." (scouting report by Dave Foster) 01-18-97...Bobby Smith has hit game winning shots before, and he is good at it. So naturally, with 4 seconds remaining on the clock and EC Central down by one, you get the ball into the hands of the go-to guy. Smith got the ball, drove the length of the court, and hit a layup right before the buzzer. Or was it right after the buzzer? "I don't know" was the comment from the ref, so after conferring with the timekeeper the shot was ruled too late and Lafayette Jeff was handed the 67-66 victory. "It was good," said Smith, "we're 11-0. Some guys are saying we got screwed, but I'm saying how can you get screwed when you won?" Coach Todd agreed. So did the Jeff AD after reviewing tape. "So they think they pulled one over on us," Smith said. "This just makes us a better team, and that's the last thing anyone wanted, a better East Chicago team. We'll be back." EC Central will get their shot at revenge if both teams make it to the Lafayette semistate game. 12-20-96...Bobby Smith is used to scoring a game winning shot, but on Friday night it was sophomore Rick Wright in the role of hero, courtesy a Smith assist. With 8 seconds left, Smith drove the length of the the court and drove down the lane collapsing the defense. This left Wright wide open on the perimeter, who took the Smith pass and finger-rolled in the winning bucket. The NW Times #1 team in the region, won the squeaker by the score of 51-49. As he usually does, Coach Todd was not at a loss for criticism for his players. "We won the game on athletic ability," said Todd, "not on basketball ability. We didn't play smart at all. We played hard. They played smart." Smith along with Ajagbe Gillis led EC Central with 11 points each. There was a lot of talk about the officiating. EC finished the game with 20 fouls and Lake Central had 21. Not only were the coaches at a loss for words as to why the game was being called so closely, so was the crowd. In a juvenile show of disgust, a full bottle of sports drink was thrown onto the court with about 3 minutes remaining in the second half. "It was disgusting," said Todd on the incident. "That's as bad a thing that I have seen in years." EC Central (5-0, 2-0) was whistled for 14 of their 20 fouls in the first half. "During timeouts our kids kept saying 'We're getting fouled, we're getting fouled,'" Todd said. "It's like when babies whine to get a new bottle. We just have to learn to adjust." So what will be the focus of Todd's Saturday practice? "We have to stop believing we are the best team in the universe," said Todd. 7-17-96...I talked with the coach of EC Central today, John Todd. Coach Todd is a no nonsense guy that speaks his mind. It was refreshing to talk to a coach that wasn't sugar-coating his players. It was evident he remains dissappointed with the play of EC Central, a team that went 12-13 last year, losing as many games in one season as he had over the entire three seasons prior. One of the reasons Central suffered last year was due to a first year player named Bobby Smith. There is no doubt that the Carver transfer has talent, but last season was his first playing organized basketball and it took him a while to develop a chemistry with his fellow players. "I've heard all the rumors about what (Smith) did at Carver, but they're just not true," said Todd about Smith playing like Isiah Thomas, as one popular rumor suggested. "He didn't even play. He's had a rough life so far." A result of that rough life has been his high school academic progress. Smith will be a senior as far as basketball is concerned, but is a junior academically. "He's not a bad student at all," said Todd, "but I think he only had 2 credits when he transferred in last year. He's up to around 24 now and he needs 40 to graduate." So what about the rumor that Smith will be headed to prep school? "He'll be back here next year," Todd added, "then who knows." Talking a little about Smith's basketball skills, Coach Todd sees plenty of room for improvement. Smith's best game is when he is speeding up and down the court making things happen. He possesses "all the skills" according to Todd, but needs more experience. Sound defensively, he is great in one-on-one situations. He also is the hardest worker on the team, a main reason why his coach believes he will make a great player. Weaknesses, according to Coach Todd, are his shooting and his offensive decision-making. "He's a poor shooter right now," said Todd. "If he wants to play Division 1, he's going to have to put in some work. He just doesn't shoot well." Smith is likely to play at the point in college because of his size but could develop into a skilled combo guard if his outside shooting improves. Coach Todd didn't know about schools Smith might be looking at at this point, but did say there were letters on his desk received just today from Colorado, Xavier, and Western Kentucky. "Once that hype starts, it's hard to keep track," joked Todd. 7-4-96...Bobby Smith made the NBA Coaches Association Camp First Team and was named most outstanding point guard at the camp in Princeton last month. A relative unknown along side a majority of the top 50 seniors-to-be coming into the camp, Smith left on the minds of most recruiters and coaches in attendance. Recruiters were most impressed with his quick move to the basket, calling him "quiet, but explosive". 4-27-96...Smith averaged 21 ppg playing for the Gary SYF Players-17 team in the 3rd annual Spiece Run 'N Slam. He played a mixture of point and wing guard, depending on when point guard Donte Jones was in the game. The offensive punch of the team came from the perimeter, as teammate Willie Davis was inconsistent in the middle. Smith is a legitimate division one prospect and was one of the best playing guards in the tourney. He has good moves, with a decent outside shot. A majority of his points in the Cincy game came near the end when he took control of the scoring. His slashing moves are hard to defend, and frequently resulted in 2 from the line. He also has good control, converting a couple of three-point plays. Smith played the majority of the game and still looked fresh at the end. Defensively he could use some work pressuring his opponents. The SYF Players went 2-1 in pool play and were eliminated in the first round of the tournament Saturday night. 1-20-96...Rejoining the team following a suspension, Smith dazzled the crowd (which reportedly included Frank Kendrick) with great moves and outside shooting. He finished with 28 points. 1-12-96...Bobby Smith has been suspended from the East Chicago basketball team due to disciplinary reasons. He is scheduled to resume play on January 20. No further information is available at this time.

Single Game Statistics

DATE FG FGA FT FTA 3PM 3PA RB AS ST PTS ---------------------------------------------------- 01-20-96 28 Won vs. Gary Roosevelt 04-26-96 4 6 0 14 Won 68- Torrence 63 04-27-96 9 4 30 Won 90- Columbus 70 04-27-96 8 9 2 27 Lost 73- Cincy AAU 83 04-27-96 5 3 0 13 Lost 66- Ohio Future 73 12-20-96 4 3 5 0 11 Won 51- Lake Central 49 12-28-96 7 0 0 1 8 15 Won 66- An. Highland 57 01-04-97 6 2 3 1 3 15 Won 62- Mishawaka 56 01-04-97 6 1 3 1 4 14 Won 60- Elkhart Cent 49 01-10-97 6 2 2 0 3 14 Won 81- Gavit 56 01-18-97 4 9 7 7 0 8 15 Lost 66- Laf. Jeff 67 01-24-97 8 16 3 4 3 4 2 22 Won 66- G. Roosevelt 54 01-25-97 10 4 7 2 7 26 Lost 66- Crown Point 67 01-31-97 5 4 7 1 15 Won 67- Gary West 62 02-01-97 5 7 8 2 19 Won 71- Gary Wirt 51 02-07-97 5 12 8 10 1 4 18 Won 78- Andrean 66 02-21-97 20 Won 64- Mer'ville 55 2OT 02-25-97 9 Lost 67- 72 Hammond

Season to Date Statistics

Season thru PPG FG% FT% 3P% RPG APG SPG BPG RECORD RANK ---------------------------------------------------------------- 95-96 season 15.1 5.1 01-27-97 16.2 .610 .650 .440 5.4 12-2 #15 (IN) 96-97 season 17.1 .615 4.8 7.2 3.2 17-3 #11 (IN)

Awards and Honors

96-97 season Street & Smith Underclassman All-American Indiana All-State Honorable Mention (Associated Press) 95-96 season Spiece Run 'N Slam All-Tourney Team

1996-97 Season Schedule for EC Central

Date Day Time Opponent ---- --- ---- -------------------- 11/16/96 SAT W 6:30p SB Adams Jamboree (SB Clay, LaPorte, Huntington North, EC Central) 11/29-30 FRI WW 6:30p East Chicago Thanksgiving Holiday Classic (Andrean, Simeon, Gary Roosevelt, EC Central) 12/13/96 FRI W 7:00p Michigan City 12/14/96 SAT W 7:30p @ Bishop Noll 12/20/96 FRI W 7:30p @ Lake Central 12/21/96 SAT W 7:00p South Bend Clay 12/28/96 SAT W 7:30p @ Anderson Highland 01/04/97 SAT WW Elkhart Classic 01/10/97 FRI W 7:30p Hammond Gavit 01/18/97 SAT L 7:30p @ Lafayette Jeff 01/24/97 FRI W 7:30p @ Gary Roosevelt 01/25/97 SAT L 7:30p @ Crown Point 01/31/97 FRI W 7:30p Gary West 02/01/97 SAT W 7:30p Gary Wirt 02/07/97 FRI W 7:70p Andrean 02/08/97 SAT W 2:00p Indianapolis Broad Ripple 02/14/97 FRI W 7:30p Gary Wallace 02/21/97 FRI W 7:30p @ Merrillville 02/27/97 THR L 6:00p Sectionals (@ Home vs Hammond)

As news organizations move their stories to an archive, some of the links listed above may become inactive

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