Bulldog Maroon & White

a Mississippi State sports blog

MSU Bulldog Basketball Gets A Commit From Shaunessy Smith

Posted by Kyle Weidie on September 24, 2008

With news from the Clarion-Ledger Mississippi State Sports Blog, Noxubee County’s Shaunessy Smith has made a non-binding, oral commitment to play basketball for Mississippi State University.

This is great news for Rick Stansbury’s program. For one, he’s getting a player to stay in-state. At times, it’s gone unnoticed that while at MSU, Stansbury has done an excellent job at keeping Mississippi talent from going across state lines.

The 6’6″ Smith is ranked as a 4-star recruit, and the 23rd best shooting guard prospect in the nation by Scout.com. He received interest from the likes of Ole Miss, Baylor, Kentucky, Cincinnati, UAB, Iowa, Oklahoma, Clemson, and USC, which recently raised some concern from Bulldog fans when they hosted Smith on a visit to their Southern California campus, during the USC-Ohio State football game no less.

ESPN U’s Basketball Recruiting (provided by Scouts Inc.) has this to say about Shaunessy Smith:

Shaunessy Smith is perhaps the most under-the-radar, high talent player in the Class of 2009. He has incredible athletic abilities and very advanced guard skills. He actually can play both guard positions but will predominantly be at the second or off-guard position because of his excellent shooting and high scoring ability. As a junior, Smith was an All-State performer and averaged nearly 30 ppg., despite playing all season with a torn ligament in his right hip. In early May he had surgery to repair his hip and missed all of the summer basketball events. As a result very few have seen him play.

‘Under the radar’ sound familiar? Yes, Scotty Hopson was under-the-radar when he made his non-binding, oral commitment to Mississippi State, before opting for Bruce Pearl and the University of Tennessee instead.

Could Smith garner national recognition and spurn the Bulldogs just as Hopson did? Not so fast. Smith plays ball in Macon, Mississippi, a hop, skip, and a jump (less than an hour drive) from Mississippi State’s campus in Starkville. So Smith has undoubtedly taken many ‘unofficial’ trips to Starkville on his own accord to get familiar with his possible future teammates.

T.J. “Brown” Billups is Smith’s Coach at Noxubee County. Billups, if you remember, played basketball for five years at Mississippi State (1996-2001, red-shirted his second year), his last three years under Head Coach Rick Stansbury.

Rest assured Bulldog fans as the chances of seeing Shaunessy in maroon & white are pretty good. Good luck to Smith in his senior year, we’ll be keeping an eye on his development.

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