Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
2013 guard Kendall Smith has landed on the recruiting radar after a strong start his senior year
Since the beginning of the AAU summer evaluation period, the Gonzaga coaching staff has had its eyes out for a potential point guard to add to the 2013 class. While it isn't a guarantee the staff will fill that spot, one prospect that recently landed on the radar is Kendall Smith of Deer Valley high school.
Smith is coming off an AAU season playing with the Oakland Soldiers, one of the elite programs in the country. Since he was surrounded by so many high-level teammates, Smith didn't have quite as many opportunities to step into the spotlight.
"When I played during the summer with the Soldiers, the coach didn't need me to do the kind of things I am doing. I was playing with guys like Aaron Gordon and Jabari (Bird), so I wasn't looking to score as much."
Now that he is back playing with his high school team, Smith has shown the ability to completely takeover a game, highlighted by a 48-point performance early in the season.
"I always knew I had this in me," Smith explained. "Now that I am with my high school, they need me to score and need me to be a leader. Being in this role, it has kind of expanded my game."
Despite showing the ability to score, the 2013 recruit admits he is comfortable in a variety of different roles.
"I'm kind of a glue guy," said Kendall. "If a school needs me to score, I can do that. If they need me to distribute, I can do that as well. I'm at my best in transition and I work well off of ball screens."
It was after the previously mentioned 48-point effort that Kendall started hearing from Gonzaga and a host of other schools.
"When I started hearing from Gonzaga was probably a couple of days after the 48-point game," the 2013 guard revealed. "I actually started talking to Coach Daniels through Coach Webb, who I know from AAU when I was younger, and he has a good relationship with Coach Daniels. We have been texting a lot and he seems like a really down to earth guy. They were supposed to come watch me, but I ended up being on an official visit."
Even prior the contact from the coaching staff, Gonzaga was a school that had peaked Kendall's interest.
"I just watched them (Gonzaga) the other night," said Smith. "They were always a school that I was very interested in and I am very excited about taking a visit there if that is what the coaches want."
Since the start of his high school season, the Deer Valley star has taken his first official visit and received offers from some solid programs.
"The only visit I took was to Hofstra, but I am taking a visit to UNLV this Wednesday," Kendall explained. "I am open to everyone right now and I don't want to push anybody away. UNLV, Arizona St and Wyoming have offered recently."
With the spring signing period still months away, Kendall is still evaluating all options in the recruiting process. However, he does admit to having a select group he is focused on.
"Since the signing period is so far from now, I am in no rush. I would have to say UNLV, Arizona St, Gonzaga, UCLA and Connecticut are who I am really looking at."