Patriots Add to Men’s Basketball Recruiting Class

Posted: May 3, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Andre Smith, a 6-foot point guard from Cochise Community College, has signed a national letter of intent to play for the men’s basketball team at George Mason.

Smith is a native of Houston and a graduate of Lamar High School. He will have three years of eligibility remaining.

Smith helped lead Cochise to the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference’s regular-season title this past season, pushing the Apaches to a 20-2 conference record and an overall mark of 27-3.

Smith was the conference’s second-leading scorer at 23.1 points per game and was named first team All-American by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). Smith was fourth in the nation’s junior college ranks in scoring this past season. He also averaged 3.6 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 2.0 steals.

“He has the speed of Tony Skinn and the shooting range of Lamar Butler,” says Mason head coach Jim Larranaga, referring to the two seniors who helped take Mason’s team to the NCAA Final Four this year.

“The thing I like most about Andre is, he’s a high-energy guy with a very outgoing personality, and that’s the kind of person we’re always looking for to bring into our program.”

Smith completes an impressive recruiting class for the Patriots, joining Louis Birdsong and Darryl Monroe in the 2006-07 freshman class.

Birdsong, a senior at Mount St. Joseph High School, was named the Baltimore Catholic League (BCL) regular season and tournament Most Valuable Player after leading the Gaels to the BCL crown.

The 6-foot-6 Birdsong, a high-school teammate of Mason forward Will Thomas, scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the title game, a win that pushed Mount St. Joseph’s season record to 36-0.

Monroe was named an NJCAA Honorable Mention All-American. The 6-foot-7 forward from Central Florida Community College averaged 19.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.6 steals this past season while shooting 58 percent from the field and 48 percent from 3-point range.

The Central Florida team was 21-10 overall and 13-2 in conference action, and they were the Mid-Florida Conference champions. Monroe played on the National All-Stars Team in the NJCAA Division I All-Star game.

Write to at