As you’ve likely heard by now, Oklahoma State has gained the services of Cal State Northridge transfer Kendall Smith for next season.
The former ESPN 100 player is transferring in after the best season of his career. However, one of the biggest questions about any player who had success in a lower tier conference, Ala the Big West, is how will he complete in a Power 5 conference like the Big 12.
As far as playing schools from the top conferences in the country it’s fair to say that Smith doesn’t have a whole lot of experience. However he has done well against Power 5 schools when he’s played them.
Last season Smith and the Cal State Northridge Matadors played three Power 5 teams. Let’s take a look at how Smith did against these teams:
UCLA: Smith had 21 points and went 8-14 from the field and 1-3 from the 3-point line. Smith also went 4-5 from the charity stripe. He also had four rebounds, four assists, and five steals.
Stanford: Smith had 17 points and went 4-10 from the field and 1-3 from the 3-point line. From the charity stripe, Smith went 8-10. He also grabbed six rebounds and handed out two assists.
Texas A&M: Against the Aggies, Smith scored 7 points and went 3-9 from the field and 1-5 from the 3-point line. He also tallied three rebounds and four assists.
In all he averaged 15 points on 45% shooting, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists against Power 5 competition.
Smith sat out the first nine games of the season after transferring from UNLV and did not play any Power 5 teams.
He did face one NCAA Tournament team in Hawaii, where in two games he averaged 14 points on 34% shooting, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists.
In his second season at UNLV Smith only played two games before deciding to transfer to CSUN.
In his freshman season at UNLV, Smith faced four teams out of Power 5 conferences.
Arizona State: Smith scored 13 points on 5-12 shooting, including 0-1 from the 3-point line. He was 3-4 from the charity stripe, plus had three rebounds and four assists
Illinois: Smith only had four points after shooting 2-5 from the field and not attempting any threes or free throws. He also had three rebounds and four assists.
Arizona: Smith scored six points after going 3-5 from the field and dished out only one assist. He did not attempt any threes or free throws or grab any rebounds.
Mississippi State: Smith had one point he earned at the charity stripe after going 0-1 from the field. Plus he only had one assist and zero rebounds.
So against Power 5 competition his freshman year, Smith averaged six points on 43% shooting, 1.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists.
I’m not going to hold his freshman season against him. It’s obvious by his increase in numbers last season that he has improved. Plus, while Smith doesn’t have tons of experience against the “big boys”, he did well last season against talented teams like UCLA, who made it to the Sweet 16.
Obviously he is going to be a valuable asset, and will have more talent around him at Oklahoma State than he did at CSNU, which should help his numbers.