Smith’s move from Paul VI comes as a surprise after the 6-foot-7 senior forward started the last two seasons for the nationally ranked Panthers.
Smith told The Post on Monday that he was unhappy with his role in Paul VI’s offense this year, particularly after Thursday’s overtime loss to O’Connell.
“Last year I was one of the stars on the team, but the way I was being used this year and the number of touches I was getting made me feel like I was a freshman or sophomore all over again,” Smith said. “It was a tough decision, but I think it’s the best thing for me.”
Smith said he also felt pressured by the Paul VI coaches to commit early to UNC-Greensboro in November. The senior said he initially had hoped to play out his senior season and sign to a college in April but changed his course after talks with his high school coaches.
“I wanted to wait but the coaches told me that I needed to commit then because other players were visiting Greensboro and could take my spot,” Smith said. “I’m still committed to Greensboro and very interested in going there, but I also want to weigh all my options more and look at other offers, too, before signing somewhere.”
Paul VI Coach Glenn Farello strongly denied those claims Monday.
“It’s 100 percent not true,” Farello said. “I’ve had over 60 college players and never pressured anyone to sign anywhere. I would never pressure any player to sign to a school.”
Farello noted that Smith has been one of his best and brightest players since transferring from Carroll to Paul VI prior to his sophomore year. Smith averaged nine points and emerged as one of the area’s top rebounders as a junior last year, earning All-Met honorable mention honors. Through 12 games this season, Smith was averaging 7.6 points for the nationally ranked Panthers.
“I’ve enjoyed coaching Q and watching him develop as a player and young man,” Farello said. “We wish him nothing but the best.”
Smith did not play for Paul VI in Saturday’s game against McNamara. After discussing the situation on Sunday among family, Smith withdrew from Paul VI and Smith’s father called Potomac (Md.) Coach Renard Johnson about enrolling his son at the Oxon Hill-based school. Smith practiced with the Wolverines for the first time on Monday afternoon.
In Smith, Potomac gains a strong post presence who can rack up points and rebounds using his sound footwork and agility. Smith has already built a rapport with Wolverines All-Met swingman Dion Wiley from their summers playing on Team Takeover’s AAU team. Now they will compete alongside one another in No. 13 Potomac’s quest to improve upon last year’s finish as the Maryland 3A state runner-up.
Before committing to UNC-Greensboro, Smith held about 20 offers from Drexel, Florida Gulf Coast, St. Joseph’s, Tennessee and Towson, among others.
Recruit Watch: The latest offers, signings and commitments