Providence Bolsters Frontcourt with Commitment from 2015 Quadree Smith

The Providence front court certainly has gotten bigger, even if it isn’t much taller. 6’8 250 pound Quadree Smith visited Friartown over the weekend and gave a commitment to Ed Cooley on Wednesday. The commitment was delayed while the Friar compliance staff combed through Smith’s transcript, per a source with knowledge of the situation. Originally a member of the class of 2014, Smith did a post graduate year at IMG Academy in Florida this past year after graduating from his local public school, Potomac. The Maryland native had committed to UNC-Greensboro in November of 2013 but never signed a National Letter of Intent. He decommitted in January 2014. Associate head coach Andre LaFleur is the Providence coach that made first contact with Smith.

Smith is undersized in terms of height at just 6’8 but he is a wide body who has gotten into better shape in the last year or so and has produced at every stop. His ESPN scouting report calls him “a business man in the lane” and says he “has no identity crisis” about embracing his role as a big man. While he will likely always be a below-the-rim player, he has good hands and has been productive against high level competition at Paul IV, Potomac and IMG Academy. while also running with Team Takeover on the Nike EYBL circuit.

At Paul IV — where he spent sophomore year to mid-January of his senior year — he practiced everyday against Georgetown commit Marcus Derrickson. The two actually have very similar body types. He was part of the 2012 Virginia Independent School State Championship team at Paul IV and also won the 2A Maryland State Championship in his senior season at Potomac. At IMG Academy he played on the post graduate national team and routinely played tough competition. The IMG team lost to NEPSAC powerhouse Brewster Academy in the finals of the National Prep Championship. Smith also recently traveled to China for 3 weeks in April to play in the International Youth Basketball tournament and told me he faced “7-footers galore” while playing teams from China, Croatia and elsewhere.

Smith’s coach at Paul IV, Glenn Farello, called Smith “one of my favorite kids.” Farello continued, “Q is a great kid who has a tremendous feel for the game and has a strong work ethic. He is a warrior in the paint and is a great teammate. He’s very coachable and is a fierce competitor. I think his best basketball is ahead of him.” Farello said Smith was “always with a smile on his face – the type of player that would stop in my office just to say hello.”

Does Smith believe he can play in the Big East next season?

“Yes I do, without a doubt in my mind. People forget I played against top competition in high school and AAU [with] Team Takeover [on the Nike] EYBL [circuit] for 3 years…Wherever I go I give 120 percent to my team and we win. I have always been the underdog [and] proven people wrong…the problem with college basketball is its too political — hype vs production…I don’t base my life or my career on some dude giving me stars or rank…I’m about production not hype.”

On how his visit to Providence went: “The coaching staff is great and the kids I got along with very well. I believe we can get it done.”

Adding someone with Smith’s size to the middle gives Cooley some additional beef to pair with Ben Bentil. It remains to be seen if this will have an impact on the other 2015 big man that Providence has been targeting in JC Reyes. Reyes, at 6’10, would provide more length and shot-blocking ability while Smith is a space eater with a high basketball IQ so they could both come in and play solid minutes right away. Reyes visited Providence on June 10th, according to a tweet from UndercoverFriar. Providence has 1 open scholarship for 2015-16 and they still don’t have anyone taller than 6’8 on their roster.

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