COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Head coach Mark Turgeon announced the signing of guard Serrel Smith to the class of 2018 Wednesday. Smith’s addition bolsters a consensus top-15 recruiting class for Turgeon, who previously welcomed forward Jalen Smith and guards Eric Ayala and Aaron Wiggins this past November on National Signing Day.
Tabbed a four-star recruit by ESPN, Smith hails from St. Petersburg, Florida and is ranked as the No. 13 combo guard in the country via 247Sports. The 6-4 Smith was named the 2018 Florida Dairy Farmers' Class 8A Player of the Year, averaging 29.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game as a senior. The St. Petersburg High School product was named a finalist for Florida’s Mr. Basketball award, and led his team to the state semifinals for the third time in the past four seasons in 2018.
Smith earned Pinellas County Player of the Year honors as a junior after averaging 27.3 points, six rebounds and five assists per contest. He is St. Petersburg’s all-time leading scorer, and turned heads nationally after dropping 42 points against perennial powerhouse Oak Hill (Va.) at the National Hoopfest in January.
Serrel comes from a basketball family, starting with his mother Tamika Coley. She starred collegiately for UCF in the early 90s, and is a Golden Knights’ Hall of Fame inductee as the program’s all-time leading scorer (2,006 points) and rebounder (1,211). Coley has remained involved in coaching since her playing days, most recently serving as the girl’s basketball coach at St. Petersburg for eight seasons. His sister, Kamika Idom, played for her mother at St. Petersburg before spending four seasons at Florida International from 2011-15. His cousin Jerica Coley also played for the Golden Panthers, leading the nation in scoring (29.4) as a senior before a brief stint for the WNBA’s New York Liberty.
Serrel Smith | 6-4 | 170 | St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Petersburg
BEFORE MARYLAND: Four-star recruit via ESPN…three-star recruit via 247Sports and Rivals…No. 13 combo guard in the country and No. 18 prospect from the state of Florida according to 247Sports…12th ranked player in the state of Florida and No. 30 shooting guard nationally via ESPN…No. 41 shooting guard in the nation according to Rivals.com…2018 Florida Dairy Farmers' Class 8A Player of the Year…Florida Mr. Basketball Finalist…averaged 29.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game as a senior…led his team to the state semifinals for the third time in the past four seasons as a senior… played with the Showtime Ballers AAU program.
What They’re Saying
Head Coach Mark Turgeon: “We’d like to welcome Serrel to our Maryland basketball family. We’ve really enjoyed having the opportunity to get to know Serrel and his family. Serrel is a natural scorer. He has great length, terrific quickness and is a really strong defender. He’s a high-character young man who will fit in nicely with the rest of our new recruiting class and our team.”
Serrel Smith: “I’m really excited about the opportunity to attend and play at the University of Maryland. Coach Turgeon is a great coach; he was a point guard in college, I can learn a lot from him and he can help me develop my game. It’s an offense that features a lot of screen and rolls where they spread the floor. It fits my game well and it’s a system that I’m excited to play in. I feel like I can contribute for this team on both ends of the court. I enjoyed the visit with my new teammates; it’s great group and I feel like I’ll fit in really well.”
Tamika Coley, Serrel’s Mother: “It was a very comprehensive visit. Coach Turgeon did a great job. [Director of Basketball Performance Kyle Tarp] had awesome energy and passion and shared the program’s goals to work to be the best. I really like how he identified a program for every athlete, because each individual needs to take a different approach in strengthening their game. I like Coach Turgeon’s background, he really has a great understanding of the guard positon. Academically, Maryland has strong programs and a great support system in place. I like how the coaches reassured me as a parent that they will be demanding and expect the best, but at the same time this group shows that they can have fun with each other. Overall this is a great spot for Serrel.”