The wait is over.
Former Flint Northern guard Shaquille Smith seems poised to be an impact player in his sophomore season at Mott. Smith, one of the top players in the Saginaw Valley as a senior at Northern, played only a bit part on Mott’s 35-1 national championship team last season. Since then, according to his coach, Steve Schmidt, Smith went to work in the gym and the weight room.
The result? Significant playing time and an opportunity to make an impact.
Saturday night in Mott’s win over Grand Rapids, Smith logged important minutes at point guard proving that Schmidt has much more confidence in his ballhandling and decision-making ability. Midway through the second half against Grand Rapids, Smith beat his man on an explosive drive to the basket, floated to the bucket and was hard-fouled on his up-and-under. Smith finished with the foul, something he didn’t do very often as a freshman.
Smith’s hard work has earned him a spot on the bench closer to Coach Schmidt and an opportunity to back up standout high school guard from Flint, Ahasuerus McDonald. With the designs Schmidt has on playing “40-minutes of hell”-style defense, there’s no such thing as having too many capable guards.
Mott’s starting lineup against Grand Rapids:G – Ahasuerus McDonald G – Malik Albert F – Devin Foster F- Chavis Mattison F- Fred Mattison