Just last week, we wrote about incoming freshman Kendall Smith’s desire to challenge for the starting point guard job next year. But it’s not going to be easy, as his main competition is just as determined to take the reins in 2013-14.
Juco transfer DeVille Smith is also set on winning the job, and his experience would appear to give him the inside track.
A Mississippi native, DeVille Smith originally committed to Mississippi State as part of the Class of 2011. He played one promising season there (13.0 minutes per game, 4.2 points, 1.9 assists) before transferring to Southwest Mississippi Community College, where he posted 16.0 points and 4.9 assists per game this season.
I reached out to DeVille recently to ask him about his game, his decision to commit to UNLV, and his desire to lead the Rebels in this edition of Recruit Q&A.
Recruit Q&A with DeVille Smith
RunRebs: Now that the season is over, how are you feeling about committing to UNLV?
DeVille Smith: I’m feeling good about the situation. I feel the same way as when I committed, and I’m just preparing myself so when I get down there, I’m ready.
RunRebs: What was the biggest factor in choosing UNLV?
DeVille Smith: I would say the atmosphere. On my visit, the atmosphere at the game was great. I really loved that.
RunRebs: How do you feel about the way UNLV finished the season?
DeVille Smith: I feel like they’re almost right there. I think they should have won (against Cal). They lost the game, but I think they played hard and I liked the intensity. As a team, I think they’re right there.
RunRebs: How did your year at Southwest Mississippi help you?
DeVille Smith: I feel like I really have calmed down more this year. I just focused on hoops, and things like that. On and off the court, it’s been a good experience for me.
RunRebs: How did you improve your game in the past year?
DeVille Smith: I improved finishing with contact. I take a lot of contact going to the rim, and I’m not the biggest player out there, so it’s important for me to finish those plays.
RunRebs: How do you feel you’ll fit into the Rebels’ system?
DeVille Smith: I think I’ll fit into that system great, because I like to run a lot. Creating early offense, getting open looks for other guys, I’ll be able to do that.
RunRebs: Do you feel you’ll be ready for big minutes next year?
DeVille Smith: Yes sir. I think I can compete right away, because I’ve got experience playing at that level already. I want to come in and really just trust my game and help the team out and keep us together.
RunRebs: Have the UNLV coaches indicated what type of role you’ll be playing?
DeVille Smith: They told me that they want me to come in and start next year. They said they want me to take the starting position because I have experience and they need someone that has already done it on this level. They want me to bring the team together, so we’re all helping each other out on the court.
RunRebs: What are your plans for the summer?
DeVille Smith: Right now I’m trying to get my associate’s degree. After that, I’m going to go back home to Jackson, Mississippi, and work out until June. Then I’ll be in Las Vegas.
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