If rising senior Ray Smith has proved anything during his run through grassroots basketball so far, he has proved that he belongs with the nation's elite prospects.
Ranked No. 32 in the class of 2015, the 6-foot-7 small forward from Las Vegas (Calif.) High will be making a move to five-star status when the rankings get updated later in June.
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Smith's rise has been steady and consistent but lately he's really changed his approach and been much more active.
"It's definitely my mind set," said Smith when asked why his game has taken off. "I'm being a lot more aggressive. Every time you get it you have to think to score it and that's what I'm trying to do. If I can't, I am making the right pass and being a good team player.
"I'm getting to the basket, the one dribble and pull-up jumpers are better."
Not only does Smith have very good size for the wing, he is a high end athlete with outstanding agility and balance. His ball handling is much improved and while he has to get stronger, he is playing more physically and looking to expand his game.
"I'm working on my back to the basket game," said Smith. "I want to get that right hook, that left hook and turnarounds."
On the recruiting front Smith has a top 10 of Arizona, Arizona State, California, Georgetown, Louisville, Oregon, Texas, UCLA, USC and Wake Forest. He says that there could be another cut to his list after July and he's hoping to visit UCLA and Georgetown during June.
Whether he cuts his list again or not, Smith is planning to sign in November and he isn't surprised by the attention.
"It doesn't surprise me," Smith told Rivals.com. "When you are 6-foot-8, 6-foot-7 athletic and can dribble the ball people will like you. I'm very thankful for it all."
Finally, Smith is part of a class of a Vegas class of 2015 that could produce three home grown top 15 players with him plus big men Stephen Zimmerman and Chase Jeter. They talk some trash to each other, but mostly Smith is glad to part of a trio that could down in Vegas hoops history.
"We trash talk all the time, all the time," said Smith. "But we don't really talk about who is better because I play a totally different position. They go at it really hard with each other and I talk some crap to them about how they can't shoot or they can't do this.
"Definitely it could go down in history for our city. We don't really have as many players from Vegas who are really from Vegas so it could be big."
Eric Bossi is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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