“All good things must come to end.”
And without so much as a press conference or a public goodbye, Jason Smith’s collegiate career has likely come to end at CSU.
Whatever the cause or reason, the Jason Smith Era (2004-2007) will be remembered as a time of unfulfilled potential and unrealized dreams.
From his first game against Regis, when his 13 points were good for second in scoring for the Rams, all the way to finishing this season with eight double-doubles, Smith has made his presence on the court. That being said, the one thing more important than individual effort is getting the win.
While Smith is not to blame for his team’s inability to live up to expectations, it should be mentioned that the Rams were 44-43 with him in the game and failed to play in a single postseason game in Smith’s three seasons.
Smith has been compared to a wide array of pro players from the upper-end projections Keith Van Horn (if he develops a consistent outside shot) to Zaza Pachulia (needs to gain weight, but not bad) to D-League all-star and former Mountain West standout Louis Amundson (CSU fans sure hope not).
Looking past where Smith will be next year and in the future years, CSU basketball will not be the same without Smith. J-Smooth, as teammates, announcers, and fans affectionately called him, brought something unique to Moby Arena. He brought hope.
Hope that CSU could become a school future NBAers want to attend. Hope that the basketball team could have annual March excitement. Hope that CSU became relevant nationally in men’s basketball.
Unfortunately for CSU fans, the hope produced by Smith will most likely be gone next year.
Not that the previous three years of hope produced the results CSU fans craved or his return would guarantee success, but having the Kersey native return to the Fort would surely be better than him leave.
When it comes down to it, no team on any level can replace a player like Jason Smith. CSU is better for having him for three years than it would have been without him.
With the arrival of a young personable head coach on campus, Tim Miles, a new hope arises to help soothe the loss of Smith, however no one can replace the on-the-court prowess of J-Smooth
Sports Editor Mike Donovan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Potential teams in Jason Smith’s future
The Boston Celtics- With the second pick in the second round, the Celtics would jump at the chance to take Smith if he was still available. Smith would have a better chance to make the Celtics than any other team drafting in the second round due to their lack of depth.
The Philadelphia 76ers- The Sixers have the Dallas Mavericks’ first round pick and will be looking to solidify a frontcourt that has Rodney Carney, Bobby Jones, and Alan Henderson as its backups.
The Phoenix Suns- The only team with multiple picks in the 20-29 range, the Suns will probably have two chances to add Smith to this top-heavy run-and-gun team. Smith could also benefit from the same workout regime that turned a lanky 19-year old Amare Stoudemire into a muscular NBA All-star.
The San Antonio Spurs- With a late first round pick and an early second round pick, the Spurs will be able to multiple players who have high basketball IQ’s, something Smith will be able to provide.