To this day, Quadree Smith still doesn’t know how UNC-Greensboro Coach Wes Miller got his cell phone number.
The Paul VI forward had just finished scoring 13 points and pulling down 19 rebounds to lead the Panthers to a thrilling double-overtime victory against national power Oak Hill last December. As coaches and fans lauded Smith for his breakout showing, a number with a 336 area code popped up on his phone.
“The only school that called me that day was Coach Miller and UNC-G,” Smith recalled. “He called that night and offered me my first scholarship. After that, everything started to pick up.”
But even as Smith shot up the recruit rankings thanks to a strong junior season and showing on the AAU circuit with Team Takeover, he never forgot that first phone call.
The connection between Smith and the Spartans program was confirmed during an official visit last month, leading the Paul VI senior to commit to UNC-Greensboro on Wednesday night.
“When I went down there, it felt like family with the way the coaching staff and players took me, and when I left, the only thing I could think about was me going to UNC-Greensboro,” said Smith, who took official visits to Drexel, Kent State and St. Peter’s in the following weeks. “That was the place I felt most comfortable.”
The honorable mention All-Met forward averaged nine points and a team-high 13 rebounds for the Panthers last year. Smith’s strong season marked another step in a development that’s seen him drop 30-plus pounds in the last three years and become one of the area’s most dominant big men.
Using his 6-foot-7, 265-pound frame, Smith can clear out room in the paint to collect rebounds and get easy baskets near the rim. He also has a soft touch from the outside and has the footwork necessary to play perimeter defense.
“I’ve been working on my game to bring more energy and rebounding and to play with more confidence while improving my shooting,” Smith said. “Coach Miller said they are recruiting me for the [power forward] position but if they see a mismatch, I can be interchangeable at the [center] spot.”
Smith is the second Paul VI player to commit to a Division I program this fall, following fellow Panthers forward Marcus Derrickson, who pledged to play at Georgetown last month.
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