Lenzelle Smith does not know Jared Sullinger, DeShaun Thomas, Jordan Sibert or Cameron Wright personally. Not yet, anyway.
He knows of them, though, and the fact that they already are committed to join the Ohio State men's basketball program in 2010 "had something to do with" the Zion, Ill., guard's decision to join them, he said.
"When I took my unofficial visit (in August), stepping on the campus, I just knew Ohio State was the best school I could accomplish my personal goals at and win a national championship for my class," Smith said yesterday after announcing his commitment.
He is rated the No. 2 prospect in his class in Illinois by ChicagoHoops.com and No. 97 nationally by Rivals.com, which calls him an "unorthodox guard" because of his 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame, 6-9 wingspan and an affinity for physical play. He has been compared to former Illinois guard Sergio McClain.
Smith, who said he has a 4.1 grade-point average, said he chose Ohio State over Stanford, Virginia, Boston College, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Illinois and Marquette, among others.
When Smith called coach Thad Matta with the news Sunday, he became the second 2010 guard in as many days to throw in with the Buckeyes. Jordan Sibert of Cincinnati Princeton committed Saturday during Ohio State's football game against Troy in Ohio Stadium. As Sibert did, Smith raised his stock in July during the camp and AAU tournament season.
Ohio State projects him as a combo guard with the ability to run the point. Smith said he'll play anywhere.
"I'm versatile. I just play. Wherever it is I need to be, that's where I am," he said. "Coach Thad told me he sees me as a jack of all trades. I try to do it all."