Tyler Smith, the No. 19 player in the Rivals75 for the class of 2005, will lead his Giles Co. team against 2006 elite prospect Brandon Wright’s Brentwood Academy team in a highly anticipated match up of the two defending state champions at Belmont University’s new arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
Giles Co. captured the Division I AA crown last year in Tennessee, while Brentwood Academy won the Division II title. Tennessee has three classifications in Division I and one classification in the financial aid giving Division II.
Tonight will be the first time that Smith and Wright have played on the same court together.
Smith, a 6-foot-7, 210-pound small forward is averaging 22 points and 7 rebounds for the 12-5 Giles Co. out of Pulaski, Tennessee.
“We didn’t start out too good, but now we are starting to click,” said Smith. “I am looking forward to the game, but we are going to take it as another game. My last two games haven’t been really good, but I will be ready Tuesday.”
Right now Smith is focused on winning another state championship. He did, however, provide RivalsHoops.com with a list of schools that were strongly recruiting him and that he had an interest in.
“I am still open, but the schools run from Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, NC State, Tennessee- of course, Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama, Wisconsin, and oh yeh- UCLA.”
When asked if there were any schools that he liked in particular, Smith noted three that he definitely wanted to visit.
“I like Kansas pretty well. I want to visit there, and I for sure want to visit UCLA. I am already really familiar with Tennessee, so I don’t know if I will take an official there.”
Smith said he was not certain exactly who had officially offered him, saying that his father Billy Smith handled the conversations with all the coaches.
“I will tell you this,” said Billy Smith. “Tyler has offers from all of them. They all want him to come and play for them, from UCLA to Miami, from the west to the east, from the north to the south. I just don’t want to name schools at this point. Tyler is still a teenager, and I want him to concentrate on school and his basketball and enjoy being young.”
Brentwood Academy enters the game with a record of 12-2 and coming off an overtime loss to Battle Ground Academy of Franklin, Tennessee.
They just didn’t guard us,” said Coach George Pitts of Brentwood Academy. “If their man didn’t have the ball he was inside the paint. They kept three or four guys on Brandon. Brandon finished with 14 points, 19 rebounds, and 10 blocks, but we shot 12 of 47 as a team.”
Wright, a 6-foot-9, 190-pound power forward with the versatility to play all five positions on the court, is averaging 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 blocks on the year.
Coach Pitts, who has scouted Giles Co., had this observation of Tyler Smith.
“He is very athletic, an open floor type player, very explosive,” he said. “I’m not sure how good he shoots it, though.”