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Texas Tech freshman guard Zhaire Smith turning pro

UPDATED: Wed., April 18, 2018, 2:54 p.m.

In this March 25, 2018, file photo, Texas Tech’s Zhaire Smith, top, dunks against Villanova during the second half of an NCAA men’s college basketball tournament regional final in Boston. Texas Tech standout freshman guard Smith says he is signing with an agent and will be available in the NBA draft. Smith said in a Twitter post that he is signing with Roc Nation and forgoing the rest of his collegiate career. (Charles Krupa / Associated Press)
In this March 25, 2018, file photo, Texas Tech’s Zhaire Smith, top, dunks against Villanova during the second half of an NCAA men’s college basketball tournament regional final in Boston. Texas Tech standout freshman guard Smith says he is signing with an agent and will be available in the NBA draft. Smith said in a Twitter post that he is signing with Roc Nation and forgoing the rest of his collegiate career. (Charles Krupa / Associated Press)

LUBBOCK, Texas – Zhaire Smith is turning pro after a standout freshman season at Texas Tech that included several highlight dunks and the Red Raiders going to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time.

Smith said in a Twitter post that he is signing with an agent. The 6-foot-5 Smith was no longer listed Wednesday on Texas Tech’s roster.

In the tweet, he wrote, “After careful consideration I’ve decided to forgo my collegiate career and sign with Roc Nation. Again I want to thank my family, friends, coaches, teammates, and TT fans. Your support has been great. I know this is the best decision for me and I hope to make y’all proud!”

The decision came two weeks after Smith said he would enter his name in the draft without an agent to see where he stood after his freshman season.

Among Smith’s highlights this season was taking an alley-oop pass from Keenan Evans and completing the play with a 360-degree spin and dunk in Tech’s first-round NCAA victory over Stephen F. Austin.

Smith averaged 11.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game for the Red Raiders, whose season ended with a loss to eventual national champion Villanova in the East Region final. He led the team with 42 blocked shots and 42 steals and his 417 total points were the most ever scored by a Texas Tech freshman.

Jarrett Culver, another Tech freshman this season, scored 415 points to also surpass the previous freshman scoring record by Martin Zeno, who had 413 points in 2004-05 when Tech went to the Sweet 16.

The Red Raiders were Big 12 runner-ups this season and reached a program-best No. 6 ranking in the AP poll in February. They were 14th in the final AP poll that came out before the start of the NCAA Tournament.


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