Courtesy Texas A&M Sports Information
Smith Has 'Unfinished Business' in Seattle
Kevin Pelton, stormbasketball.com | April 8, 2010
Barely two weeks ago, Tanisha Smith's collegiate career came to an end at Bank of America Arena on the University of Washington campus. Now, Smith is headed back to Seattle after being selected by the Storm in the second round of Thursday's WNBA Draft.
"My head was all over the place," said Smith by phone from Texas A&M University. "I heard so many different things, but Seattle was one of the teams that was talked about with me and the coaches at A&M. It's just a plus. I wish my mom was here to celebrate it with me, but she's all the way in Kansas City. I think it's going to be great. I have some unfinished business in Seattle anyway."
That's referring to the heartbreaking manner in which the Aggies saw their hopes of a trip to the Final Four extinguished by an underdog Gonzaga team playing in front of what amounted to a home crowd. But Smith played well with Storm Director of Player Development and Scouting Jenny Boucek in the crowd, coming within an assist of a triple-double in Texas A&M's opening-round win over Portland State and scoring 17 points against the Bulldogs in a 72-71 loss that wasn't decided until the final buzzer.
Smith had an impressive two-year career at A&M after playing one year apiece at Arkansas and junior college Arkansas-Fort Smith. She was the Big 12's Newcomer of the Year in 2008-09 and an all-conference First Team selection as a senior, averaging 15.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Smith sees herself bringing a variety of skills to the Storm.
"I'm a long wing," she said. "I can shoot the three, I can defend, I can penetrate and kick or I can do different things that the coach needs me to do. If he wants me to do something different, that's what I'll work on. Right now, I think my greatest skill is penetrating and looking for open shooters. I think that's one thing I can bring."
In particular, the defensive mentality at Texas A&M under Head Coach Gary Blair and Associate Head Coach Vic Schaefer has improved Smith's skills at that end of the floor and should prepare her nicely for playing for defensive-minded Storm Head Coach Brian Agler.
"It's just like A&M with Coach Schaefer and Coach Blair," said Smith. "You had to do things on defense to get the offense going."
Nothing is guaranteed to Smith as a second-round pick, but her athleticism and size on the wing will help her during what figures to be a competitive training camp. Agler indicated that Smith has a legitimate chance to make the team.
"I'm ready to get there and get things rolling," said Smith, who wants to make some better memories in Seattle.