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January 8, 2010

Ex-Walbrook star Roscoe Smith picks UConn

Former Walbrook forward Roscoe Smith will play his college basketball in the Big East. roscoe-smith.jpg

The 6-foot-8 senior, who now attends Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., committed to Connecticut on Friday. He selected the Huskies over Duke and Georgetown.

“He has had a great feeling about UConn all along,” said Kelvin Bridgers, Smith’s former coach at Walbrook. “You’re talking about a top university where you can pick and choose academic programs of a high caliber. You’re talking about gentlemen who played the wing [at UConn], guys like Rudy Gay, Rip Hamilton, Caron Butler, Ben Gordon, Ray Allen. Just those names alone give you an idea about the ability of [Huskies coach] Jim Calhoun to develop players of Roscoe’s prototype and position.”

Smith is the second Baltimore native to join UConn’s 2010 recruiting class. Former Lake Clifton power forward Cleveland Melvin, who is currently doing a post-grad year at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., committed to the Huskies in November.

A two-time Baltimore Sun All-Metro selection, Smith averaged 21.4 points and 11 rebounds per game as a junior. He led the Warriors to a 22-4 record and the Class 4A state semifinals last season.

“Roscoe can just flat-out shoot the cover off the ball,” Bridgers said. “In the pro-style offense [UConn] runs, they like a big wing player who can stroke the basketball and get to the rim. He’s a guy that can score from anywhere on the floor ... and he can match up with big guys with an arm reach of a 7-footer. So he can post you up, he can shoot the 3 and he can get to the rim.”

Bridgers, who coached Smith for three years at Walbrook, now works as an assistant principal at Bluford Drew Jemison, an all-boys charter middle school next to The Dome in East Baltimore. Bridgers said he fully supported and encouraged Smith’s transfer to Oak Hill, and felt the same way about his decision to commit to UConn.

“Jim Calhoun puts his best players on the floor,” Bridgers said. “We respect how he develops his players. If Roscoe comes in ready to play, he’s going to be in position to see the floor. When a type of program like UConn gives you an opportunity, you can’t pass it up. ... [Smith] has always kept a cool head and had parents who helped him, which is part of the reason why he had the success he had at Walbrook. He has continued that success at Oak Hill and I’m sure he’s going to continue that at UConn as well.”

Baltimore Sun photo of Roscoe Smith by Elizabeth Malby / July 17, 2008

Check out video highlights of Smith at Oak Hill here.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:14 PM | | Comments (11)
Categories: Local recruiting


very sad. sigh. I just don't know what happened.

It's gonna be worse when Ross comes in here with Duke and beats us to a pulp.

I know that it has been written a million times on these posts, but why can't we get these Baltimore kids? Yes, I know we got Mosley. But that is a rarity,particularly when you look at the number of great in-state players that go to top programs. If Maryland could recruit decently in-state, they would be in the top 15 every year.

Tough to see another Baltimore-based top talent commit elsewhere, but Smith never was truly interested in staying local and going to Maryland anyway (if he really wanted to stay local AND play in the BIg East, he could have readily done so at Georgetown). He's had Duke, UNC, et al. on him since his sophomore season. Truth be told, had he been offered by UNC, I believe that's where he would have gone. The Barnes signing effectively eliminated that opportunity for him. Notwithstanding Calhoun's oft-questionable recruting tactics, I wish Smith well with his decision.

This is an awesome co mmitment.Roscoe is the typical Uconn Forward and Im confident that he will excel at the next level. With great coaching and conditioning Roscoe will be among the top players from the 2010 class when its said and done.Im sure that he will gain an efficient basketball I.Q. throughout his Sr.yr at Oak Hill and be a true Fr. Standout at Uconn. Roscoe may not be a one and done, but he will be a Lottery Pick when he declares for the NBA will Stanley Robinson

Again, everyone will complain about another "local" kid that goes elsewhere. Lets start clarifying whats meant by "local"...these kids from Baltimore and PG county that head to places like Oak Hill dont have any loyalty to the state of MD. They are going to go to the school that presents them the best opportunity to further their career, whether that be in H.S. or college. There is nothing wrong with that, but people need to quit believing they will or should stay "local" just because this is where they are from. It's no coincidence that kids like Keith Booth, Juan Dixon, and Sean Mosley, who spent their entire H.S. career playing in Baltimore choose to play at MD, while kids like Durant, Anthony, and Smith, who headed off to Oak Hill or Montrose, instead of playing for their home schools, go elesewhere to college.

And what is it about playing for Maryland that prevents these talented players from furthering their careers? Are the baskets smaller at Comcast? Perhaps the rims are 11' feet high instead of 10'. Maybe they don't think they can beat out the likes of Dino Gregory, Cliff Tucker, or Adrian Bowie.

to shreds, the multiple Ryan's, and others out there claiming the demise of MD basketball and calling for the end of Gary, your following of the Terps must have begun around 99-00, or somewhere in that range. The statements you all make show a true lack of appreciation for what it is to be a MD fan. See, you have delusions of MD being a blue blood basketball school, on par w/ the Carolinas and Kentuckys, but what you fail to understand is that MD has been, and always will be, an underdog. That national championship did not, and in no way was going to change that, despite what you believed. To be a MD fan, you have to embrace the roll of rooting for the underdog- if not, go get a Carolina jersey. Appreciate the ACC and its power structure. Go back to Lefty's yrs here....he embraced the underdog role. Bitched and complained about the ACC's bias toward the state of Carolina- won an ACC tournament and claimed he was going to drive all through Carolina with the trophy on the hood of his car. Enter Gary in the 90's- again, gets tough minded kids not good enough for Carolina or Duke, and competes with them. Ultimately wins a championship, but as much as you all wanted it to, or think it should have, it doesnt make MD any different. Look, great players didn't start leaving the area 5 yrs ago...on a short list, Reggie Williams, Mugsy Bogues, Johnny Dawkins, Danny Ferry, Duane Ferrell, Rodney Monroe, Dennis Scott...and these are the ones of the top of my head. Go on and do a search from the 80's and 90's.

What is it there shreds that prevents them form furthering their careers- absolutely nothing---they want to go somewhere where they will be coddled and embraced. Get to do their thing for a yr or two and head off, once again for greener pastures. You can whine and complain, the rest of us will continue rooting for the players that want to be Terps. The ones that understand what Md basketball has always been, and will be

I've been a MD fan since I was old enough to watch the games. I remember being shocked when Bias died.
But, from when Gary took over, in 1989, they had that home non-con record of 120-1. The 1 loss was to Coppin St. in 89. That ended in 2004 I believe. So, I don't get your timelines.

You're right. When I was reading my "What it takes to be a Terp fan" agreement forms I must've missed the part where "settling for mediocrity" was a requirement to be a "true Maryland fan". No that you've pointed it out to me I've found it. It's line 786, right below the part that says "true fans must turn a blind eye to the shortcomings of current coach".

Ryan, I didn't make any reference to timelines. As for that non-conference record, I believe they also lost to Umass and Florida in that timeframe. regarding Bias, you may be shocked to recall that Md's record in the ACC was 6-8 his senior yr- mediocre at best, I presume. Maybe thats why Lefty got fired.

As for shreds, did you get to the part where it said fair weather fans need to turn in their fan card?? when you make statements about "settling for mediocrity" or "turning a blind eye" it really implies that you have the power to do somehting about it. Get over it- you calling for Gary's head isnt going to make him go away. See, I'm not happy when MD losses to CAA teams, finishes sub-.500 in the ACC and has to win a couple ACC tourney games in hopes of getting in, but some msg board rant isn't going to change anything. Fortunately for us, that hasn't happened too often the past 20yrs. At least we're not NC state, UVA, Clemson, GaTech or FSU fans.


i think the fan base, ex shreds and ryan (note not another ryan...just ryan) is really diff and unfortunately not in a good way. i'm convinced that no matter how good or bad the teams are, some people will just always complain; on monday am you probably wake up mad just cause you have to go to work. so before sunday ends, make sure you post something bad about the md programs. where in the world is the class that jack heise had? shreds and ryan might not know him...look him up... he was a md athlete and a class fan...its called support, good times and bad. he makes you complainers look silly with your comments

the fans with class and character seem to be dwindling. honestly, i cannot recall 1 positive comment you (ryan and shreds) have written...think about it.

heading into 2010, i feel good about the fact, better then i have for the past few years.

so, have a good day

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

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