Smith earns Skyhawks’ sixth freshman honor
Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011 12:02 am
It is the second career award for Smith, as the Russellville, Ala., native also brought home the honor on Dec. 27. Teammates Mike Liabo (Nov. 29 and Dec. 6) and Troy King (Dec. 13 and Jan. 17) account for UT Martin’s other weekly awards this season.
Smith began the week with a 15-point, nine-rebound and four-assist effort in the Skyhawks’ 78-69 comeback victory at SIU Edwardsville last week. His rebound and assist totals were a team high, while he also set a new career-best mark for field goals made (six) against the Cougars. Down the stretch, he scored six straight points for UT Martin in a span of 1:21 with under five minutes to play to help the Skyhawks ice their fourth straight victory.
On Saturday at Murray State, Smith poured in 17 points while handing out a team-high three assists to lead the Skyhawks. In that game, he was a perfect 3-for-3 from 3-point range, and made all six of his free-throw attempts. The three makes from 3-point land set a new single-game career-high.
Starting in a team-high 18 games, Smith leads UT Martin in minutes played (30.8 per game), assists (3.1 per game – ninth in the OVC), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4:1 – seventh in the OVC), and double-figure scoring games (15). For the season, he averages 11.1 points and 4.2 rebounds for the Skyhawks while shooting 43.4 percent from the floor and 77.5 percent from the free-throw line.
Overall, a Skyhawk has won the adidas Freshman of the Week award six times in 12 weeks, tying the most by any team in a single season since Austin Peay won seven during the 2005-06 season. The six wins by UT Martin this season represents just the 11th time that a team has collected a half dozen or more Freshman of the Week winners in a single-season since the OVC began recognizing weekly winners in 1978-79.
Eastern Kentucky hold the all-time record with 11 conference Freshman of the Week honorees in 2002-03.