Seven-footer Smits is strong on Tigers

04/30/2014 12:26 AM

04/30/2014 12:27 AM

7-0 center Derrik Smits of Zionsville, IN is the son of former NBA star Rik Smits. On top of that, his high school produced current Boston Celtics coach Brad Stephens who owns the programs single game scoring record. So, Smits has a high level of basketball in his genes and in his surroundings. And he may eventually transfer all of that to Clemson.

"Clemson and Derrick have a real positive connection," said Smits' coach Shaun Busick. "He loves Clemson. He's been there twice. He's wide open on his recruitment but he has sincere interest in Clemson. But it's early in the process."

Busick said Clemson coaches were in last fall to check in on Smits and he feels the Tigers will have staying power in this recruiting story.

"I would guess, yes, that Clemson will be in it all the way," Busick said. "I have talked to Derrik about it and he told me he really likes Clemson. But he really likes Butler and Xavier. It's premature to say there's a favorite." Purdue, Notre Dame and Saint Louis are three others showing interest.

Last season Smits averaged nearly 11 points and 4 rebounds per game. "He's a decent athlete with good hands and he runs well," his coach said. "He has the potential to be a pro. He has a very high IQ for the game."

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