Cole Smith first big piece in what will be good recruiting class

By Doug Fitzgerald published April 22, 2008

What promises to be a very exciting recruiting class for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs men's basketball program got its first big piece Tuesday.

Mountain Lions men's basketball coach Russ Caton announced the signing of junior college transfer Cole Smith to a national letter of intent.

Smith will come to UCCS as a junior, having played his first two seasons at Otero Junior College. As a sophomore, Smith averaged 16 points and 6.9 rebounds per game while shooting 57 percent from the field. He led the Rattlers in scoring, rebounding, free throw attempts, free throws made and field goal percentage.

"He brings the size and strength to our program that we needed more of last year," said Caton. "He's a physical post player who runs well and can get to the foul line."

His former coach, Houston Reed, cited Smith's physicality and pointed out that the Burlington High School graduate shot 232 free throws in 30 games, an average of 7.73 per game. Smith finished his junior college career as Otero's 11th all-time leading scorer, which is impressive because the school has produced many NCAA Division I transfers.

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