Peak recruiting time is winding down for Division II teams including Cal State San Bernardino. Coyotes coach Jeff Oliver always seems to come up with some gems and that seemed to be the case this year when he looked to have USC’s Donte Smith in the fold.
Smith, a product of Diamond Ranch, was the No. 1 junior college point guard in the country when he came out of Mt. SAC two years ago. He went to USC last year but played only sparingly and was looking for more PT elsewhere and signed with the Coyotes.
Then USC gets in trouble for the O.J. Mayo debacle. The Trojans top players opted to declare for the NBA draft. Its marquee recruits bail. And the school isn’t signing anyone because who wants to go to a program that will likely be on probation.
So the Trojans come back to Smith begging and pleading for him to return and he obliges.
Oliver thought he still had a chance at landing Smith when Tim Floyd bailed and the Trojans were coachless but it appears Smith is still set on going back.
But the ever-resourceful Oliver was able to land a couple other point guards.
He also landed 6-9 forward Bryan LeDuc, who was the leading scorer last year at Division I Pacific and will be a perfect complement to returning big man Brandon Brown.
The Coyotes might have been better with Smith but they are still going to be very good and should again compete for CCAA and West Region titles.