Imagine him in a JSU basketball uniform.
Gamecocks coach James Green has, and he finds the senior with a year and a half of NCAA eligibility remaining as someone who could add something to his team.
“I played with the basketball team in the summer and he’d seen me play with them, and knows I can play with them,” Smith said. “He just threw it in that I might have a chance of playing … that they need a person who can bring toughness to them.”
Asked after Monday’s exhibition if the 6-foot-5, 220-pound receiver could join the basketball team at some point this season, Green said “there’s a possibility.” Smith didn’t seem even that committal earlier in the day, and Green said the ultimate decision would lie with the football coaches.
“I wouldn’t mind playing, I wouldn’t mind at all, but I think right now I’m more focused on football and these next two games … and see what I can do with football after college,” Smith said.
The Gamecocks will be looking to secure their school-record 10th straight winning season. They can lock it up Saturday against Austin Peay; they play at Florida next week.
Smith shifting sports gears is more than talk. Football coach Jack Crowe said he answered questions on the street at least twice about Smith joining the basketball team.
“That’s the kind of athlete he is,” Crowe said. “I asked if he was recruited to play college basketball and he said he was. Watching him athletically he looks like he could do very well.”
Smith had multiple offers to play basketball coming out of high school, including Jacksonville (Fla.), South Carolina State and Mercer.
The games with the JSU basketball team were a regular occurrence and the players were impressed with what they saw in the summer.
“We knew Trey hooped back in the day and he’d come in and play with us,” junior guard Brian Williams said. “He could step out and hit the 3 for his size, he rebounded, he played pretty good defense. It was nice.”
It sounds like he’d provide the same type matchup problems Tarvin Gaines and Ronnie Boggs currently give JSU opponents.
“We’re not advanced in that at all at this point, but I have made the offer and feel like he is someone who understands how to play,” Green said. “Obviously he’d have to come in and see how, in an organized situation, he can fit, but he’s played organized basketball and he’s a good athlete.”
Sports Writer Al Muskewitz: 256-235-3577. On Twitter @almusky_star.