HUNTSVILLE – Head coach Jason Hooten and the Sam Houston State men’s basketball team made a key addition to their squad earlier this week, signing Butler Community College’s RJ Smith for the upcoming 2018-19 season.
Hooten’s Bearkats have won at least 20 games in four of the last five seasons and are coming off a 21-15 campaign in 2017-18, advancing to both the semifinals of the Southland Conference Tournament and the postseason CIT.
RJ Smith • 6-5 • 220 • Olathe, Kan. • North HS / Butler CC / Oral Roberts
Smth originally attended Oral Roberts out of Olathe North HS in the Kansas City area, redshirting as a true freshman before transferring to Butler Community College where he turned in a brilliant campaign in 2017-18.
“We are extremely excited about having RJ for three years,” Hooten said. “His versatility at 6-5, 220, is something we were really needing with the loss of Chris (Galbreath) and Jamal (Williams). RJ will also bring some added rebounding and toughness to the team.”
He comes to Huntsville with three years of eligibility remaining after earning second team all-league honors in the Kanas Jayhawk Community College Conference this year. Smith averaged 13.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in 30 starts for the Grizzlies, both marks that were second on the team. He also hit 46.9 percent of his shots from the floor and 31.2 percent from beyond the arc, in addition to 72.1 percent from the foul line.
A versatile forward, Smith had six double-doubles on the year, including a 23-point, 20-rebound night against Pratt CC while also turning in a season high of 24 points against Allen County CC.
Prior to both Butler CC and ORU, Smith was a standout at Olathe North HS where he was both an all-state and all-district selection in addition to being an honor roll student. He was listed as a two-star recruit by VerbalCommits.com and helped lead his prep team to the state tournament as a junior.
That season he averaged 16 points, nine rebounds and three steals per game and hit the game-wining shot in the sub-state championship game. Smith was also named to the Hayes City Shootout and Ralph Miller Classic all-tournament teams and was the Metro Sports Athlete of the Week.