Nov. 16, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw announced Tuesday that Chandrica Smith (pronounced shan-DREE-kuh), a 6-1 forward from Stone Mountain, Ga., has chosen to continue her career with the Irish, signing a National Letter of Intent to attend Notre Dame beginning in the fall of 2005. Smith is the second player to commit to the Irish during the early signing period, joining Lindsay Schrader, a 6-0 guard from Bartlett, Ill., who signed her National Letter of Intent last week.
“Chandrica is a such a versatile player, with the ability to play the two, three or four positions,” McGraw said. “She defends extremely well, whether it be in the press or rebounding inside. She also does a great job of running the floor and is used to playing an up-tempo style of basketball that we are looking to play here. We are excited to have Chandrica join our University next fall.”
Smith currently attends Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., where she transferred prior to her senior season. Previously, she was a standout at Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Ga., where she averaged 12.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 2.4 blocks per game with a .620 field goal percentage. She also was a key component in the Jaguars’ run to a 32-1 record and the Georgia 5A state championship last year. In fact, during her first three prep seasons, her teams posted a combined 89-7 (.927) record with three trips to the Georgia state championship and one state title.
Smith herself has received numerous accolades during her high school career. She is a two-time honorable mention All-America selection by Street & Smith’s and was a Student Sports All-American in 2004. In addition, she attended the adidas Top Ten Camp three consecutive years and was named to its prestigious all-star team all three years (Underclass All-Star in 2002 & 2003; Upperclass All-Star in 2004). This past season, she was an honorable mention 5A all-state selection and a first-team all-county choice. She is ranked as high as 29th in the nation among high school seniors by All-Star Girls Report.
Like Schrader, Smith also attended the 2004 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival in Colorado Springs. Playing for the South Team, she averaged 5.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per game, scoring a personal-best 13 points in the bronze medal game against the East squad.
When she arrives in South Bend next year, Smith will hold a unique place in Notre Dame women’s basketball history. She will be just the second Georgia native ever to suit up for the Irish and the first since the program’s first varsity season in 1977-78. That year, Michelle O’Haren, a resident of Marietta, Ga., appeared in 15 games for Notre Dame, averaging 1.5 points and 0.8 rebounds per game.
With the additions of Smith and Schrader, Notre Dame’s newest recruiting class is ranked 15th in the nation by Blue Star Index. That marks the ninth consecutive year the Irish have had a top-20 class, according to that publication, which makes Notre Dame one of only three schools in the nation that can claim that distinction.
The current edition of the Irish, ranked 11th in the latest Associated Press poll and 10th in the newest ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll, returns to the hardwood Wednesday at 7 p.m. (ET) at the Joyce Center, playing host to sixth-ranked Duke in the semifinals of the Sportsview.tv Preseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT). Tickets are still available through the Notre Dame athletics ticket office by calling (574) 631-7356 or visiting the ticket windows located on the second floor of the Joyce Center.
Notre Dame Women’s Basketball National Letters of Intent
Lindsay Schrader, 6-0, G, Bartlett, Ill. (Bartlett HS)
Chandrica Smith, 6-1, F, Stone Mountain, Ga. (Oak Hill Academy, Va.)
— ND —