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Vanderbilt Basketball Player Preview: Colin Smith

Okay, this dude needs to play.

Syndication: The News-Press Landon Bost/Naples Daily News/USA TODAY Network-Florida / USA TODAY NETWORK

I wrote earlier that Vanderbilt is in a good position with respect to its five-man freshman class, in that most of the players might be capable of contributing early, but Vanderbilt doesn’t really need them to contribute right away.

Colin Smith is the exception to that. The 6’8”, 210-pound forward from Dallas might have been ranked 125th in 247 Sports, but I’m convinced by his highlight tape, and if you want to take anything away from Vanderbilt’s August trip to Europe, well, he played well there, too. The dude needs to play. On film, he looks like a complete player — a guy who can shoot the three and also play through contact at the basket — and his high school stats back that up. I don’t necessarily put a ton of stock in high school stats, but “1525 points, 700 rebounds, and 505 assists in your high school career” is the sort of thing that jumps out at you. Something there will translate into at least a “useful role player” type of thing.

And then we run into the caveat: the forward spots are probably the least area of need at Vanderbilt this season. Jordan Wright and Myles Stute return from last year’s team, and they might be Vanderbilt’s two best returnees. Granted, I also think that Smith can be better than either of them, especially once you get beyond 2022-23, but there isn’t an obvious way to get him into the starting lineup this season.

But you can’t just leave a guy like this on the bench. My guess is that Smith will wind up being the team’s sixth man, effectively backing up both Wright and Stute, and playing somewhere north of 20 minutes a game before moving into a starting role as a sophomore.