After missing the entire AAU season, Shaunessy Smith is itching to get back onto the hardwood. The 6-foot-6 wing from Noxubee County (Miss.) High School is also itching to get out on the visit trail.
A torn ligament in his hip, kept Smith out all travel period. But the injury, now healed, didn't keep the coaches away. In fact, Smith says, it just made the coaches come even harder.
"It really didn't' change my recruitment too much. Coaches still called," he said.
The calls have now lead to visits. Smith has concrete plans to visit Southern Cal (Sept. 12) and Baylor (Oct. 11) officially. Smith said he hopes to visit Memphis, Clemson and Jacksonville as well, he said.
"With USC, I think they have a good program going. Coach Floyd coached in the NBA and that's a good thing for me because I want to play for something that can get me prepared for the league," Smith said. "With Baylor, their offense is built around their guards and they said they can use me in that."
The draw of staying close to home is also something that is weighing on his mind, he says.
"I'd rather go out of state and play. I mean, I guess I might decide to stay at home. Mississippi State has been recruiting me since day one," he said.
Smith said he would like to make his decision after his visits and then sign in the fall in order to get back on the court in November and show why he's such a coveted prospect.
"It was real hard not being out there. It got to the point where I didn't want to even travel with the team," he said. "I didn't want to be around it if I wasn't playing. I'm real motivated now to get out there just to show what I missed during the summer."