Coach Speak: Lamar Butler on DeShawn Harris-Smith

Maryland’s third commitment this cycle may be the most impressive talent yet. Paul VI (VA) four-star guard DeShawn Harris-Smith gives the Terps its third guard commitment this cycle and second in weeks after flashing his complete game through the July live period. Paul VI and Team Takeover assistant Lamar Butler knows the talent that Harris-Smith plays with.

“I’ve seen him grow in every area. Shooting, leadership, his ball handling. He’s always been an elite-level passer and he processes the game very fast from day one. His shooting, ball-handling, every year he comes back better than he was before and it’s a testament to his hard work,” Butler told Inside the Black and Gold.

The Virginia guard was always a high-recruited guard prospect, but Butler agrees it was when he showed off his ability to play point guard that Harris-Smith saw an uptick in his recruitment. “You can plug him anywhere and he’ll be successful, but definitely at point guard because he’s big, strong and he’s physical. Because he’s improved himself as a shooter, being effective behind the three-point line, that has definitely changed his recruiting which is what you want and a testament. Everything goes back to how hard he works, his approach to the game. He’s never really satisfied. That’s the mentality you’ve got to have in order to be successful.”

Locally, the Team Takeover standout has been discussed as one of the top overall players in the WCAC. Harris-Smith was named to the All-WCAC first team after his junior year and his elite play continued into summer. Harris-Smith stole the show on the EYBL Circuit for Team Takeover after averaging 12.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, becoming a first-team selection at Peach Jam. Butler gives his perspective on what makes Harris-Smith such a coveted prospect.

“He has a knack for getting to the rim. He can have his guy cut off and he’ll spin it or behind-the-back and when he gets to the rim, it’s something you just can’t teach. I’ve been around the game for a long time and some guys just have that knack for getting to the rim and he’s one of them.”

Harris-Smith gives Maryland their first commitment from a Team Takeover prospect in five years since Jalen Smith signed with the program back in 2018. Maryland playing the role of the local school was an asset and the ability to showcase early playing time was the cherry on top. “You look at the last wave of guys who get paid and get drafted, you’ve got to have the ball in your hands and you’ve got to play in a major conference. Off those two things and if you look at Willard’s track record, he’s done a great job with guards.”

With the proximity to home playing a hand, Harris-Smith gives Maryland their fourth commitment from a high school prospect since Kevin Willard took over as head coach. With a local touch on his staff and an emphasis on local talent, Butler credits Maryland’s new approach.

“I think having a guy like Tony Skinn and David Cox on the staff, them being local, you’re going to be biased to local talent when you’re from that area and then understanding the landscape in the DMV, how everything works. And then having a head coach that’s letting those guys do what they do and trusting their word, that’s just a perfect song if you ask me for the Maryland program in general. For so many years, guys have left this area that shouldn’t have or didn’t go to Maryland that should have. It’s just a perfect storm with the staff and conference. They just get it.”

Related Links

Four-star guard Deshawn Harris-Smith commits to Maryland

Several future non-conference games announced by Maryland football

Pair of Terps Named Top 2023 NFL Draft Prospects

Maryland’s potential on offense impressing ’24 WR Elijah Moore

NFL Preseason Week Two: Pair of Terps Record First Touchdowns, One Rookie Shines

Maryland basketball’s NIL collective building with season approaching

Imminent decision expected from priority target (+)

Five Players Most Likely to Burn Redshirt in 2022

Shell-N-Tell: Last line of defense