In desperate need for 3-point shooting help, Georgia Tech has found a near-ideal solution in the market of graduate transfers.
Former Virginia Tech guard Adam Smith, a 6-foot-1 guard from Jonesboro and Fayette County High, will join the Yellow Jackets as a graduate transfer, according to a person familiar with the situation. Smith, who began his career at UNC-Wilmington and then played two seasons at Virginia Tech, will be immediately eligible to play his one remaining season of eligibility.
Smith led the Hokies in scoring with 13.4 points per game and made 42.4 percent of his 3-point attempts. Tech made 26.7 percent of its 3-point attempts, which was 343rd out of 345 Division I teams. Had Smith averaged the required 2.5 3-point baskets per game to qualify for consideration - with 81 makes, he needed only two more - he would have ranked 16th in the country in 3-point field-goal percentage.
Having a viable outside threat likely would serve most effectively in coach Brian Gregory's offense, which has suffered in multiple ways from its inability to make 3-point attempts. First, the lack of scoring has rendered the Jackets one of the least efficient offenses in the ACC. Second, opponents have not been required to tend to Tech's outside shooters, making scoring close to the basket more challenging. Third, the volume of misses has provided opponents with easy scoring opportunities in transition.
If Smith can stretch defenses, it will likely provide more open shots for post players such as Charles Mitchell and Nick Jacobs, an Alabama transfer who will be eligible this season.
Tech was entertaining another visitor Thursday, former Providence forward Tyler Harris. Harris helped the Friars to back-to-back NCAA tournaments but saw his minutes drop from his sophomore to junior seasons. He averaged 9.9 points and 4.4 rebounds this past season. Harris also is looking to attend his third school, having begun his career at N.C. State.
That coaches are recruiting Harris means that guard Chris Bolden, who was suspended for six games at the end of the season for a violation of the school's student-athlete conduct policy, will not be returning for his senior season. Before Smith committed to Tech, Gregory only had one available scholarship to offer. Following the season, Bolden was held out of the team's offseason workouts and Gregory said that he was in a "holding pattern."
Gregory continues his active role in the transfer market, which has exploded in college basketball in recent years. Smith will be the ninth transfer that he has received since his hire in March 2011.