Evaluating Adam Smith to Virginia Tech

New head  coach James Johnson’s first task has been to hold the Virginia Tech roster together. Unfortunately – as is typically the case with coaching changes – he hasn’t been that successful. Dorian Finney-Smith is transferring, and Montrezl Harrell has pulled out of his commitment. Another intriguing player is Allan Chaney who has apparently been cleared to play by doctors. There’s a lot of history there though, so don’t be surprised if he elects to play somewhere else (if VT even clears him).

One bit of good news for the Hokies did come across the wires yesterday. UNC-Wilmington sophomore Adam Smith is transferring to Blacksburg.

Most of the news stories begin something like this:

Smith started 29 games for the Seahawks as a freshman and was second on the team with a 13.7-point scoring average. He did some of his best work in the biggest games, scoring 32 against Wake Forest and 23 against Maryland.

So clearly, the diminutive Smith (5-11) can light it up. But, looking a bit deeper at the data, this is primarily a case of volume.

Smith took 30.1% of his team’s shots when he was on the floor. To put that into perspective, not even AD Vassallo or Malcolm Delaney let that many shots fly. And for Smith the shots didn’t really go down. He made 33% of his 3s and 42% of his 2s. He did knock down 82% of his FTs, so clearly the stroke is there. Also encouraging was his very low turnover rate, which was lower than every Hokie not named Erick Green.

It’s not uncommon for freshman to be inneficient with their shots. And even through shooting everything in sight, Smith still had a solid offensive rating of 100.8. That’s not great, but not bad either. It’s average. And for a freshman, average is good.

Now Smith will have to sit out a year. It’s tough for 5-11 2-guards to make an impact at the high major level, but if he can knock down the 3s with more regularity, this will be an excellent 1st recruit for coach Johnson.