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UNM women add talented Texan to commitment list

The offseason is off to a flying start for the University of New Mexico women’s basketball team — even if coach Mike Bradbury can’t talk about it yet.

UNM picked up a highly recruited guard over the weekend when prep senior Jasmine Smith announced her intention to become a Lobo via her father’s Twitter account.

Smith is a 5-foot-8 guard from Houston’s Dekaney High School, who chose New Mexico over several high-profile suitors, including Georgia, TCU and Tulane, said her father, Jacobe Smith. She’s coming off a stellar senior season during which her Dekaney Wildcats finished 33-5.

Jasmine Smith led Dekaney in scoring (17.5 points per game) and assists (4.1 per contest) and averaged 3.25 steals. She has since cleaned up on some impressive postseason honors, including Texas Association of Basketball Coaches All-State honors for Class 6A, All-Greater Houston-area first team and District 16 Most Valuable Player.

Smith, who visited UNM’s campus in late March, took photos in the Lobos’ locker room during her visit and posted them on social media after finalizing her decision. She plans to submit a National Letter of Intent during the NCAA’s upcoming spring signing period.

Lobo coach Mike Bradbury confirmed UNM is recruiting Smith but NCAA rules coaches from otherwise commenting on unsigned recruits.

Smith’s addition will offset a loss in the Lobos’ recruiting class as guard Tia Wright will not attend UNM in the fall. Wright, a 5-9 wing from McKinney North High School, will instead attend junior college next year but she remains on UNM’s recruiting radar, Bradbury said.

UNM’s incoming freshman class now includes Smith, Roswell High School’s Jaedyn De La Cerda, N’Dea Flye from Oregon’s Oregon City High School, Madison Washington from Texas’ Red Oak High School, and Antonia Anderson from Texas’ Cibolo High School. All five are guards or wing players.

After the fall signing period, Bradbury’s first UNM recruiting class was ranked 28th and 35th nationally by competing recruiting services. It was the highest rated class among Mountain West schools. Even with Smith replacing Wright, all five freshman recruits are among the top 232 seniors ranked by Dan Olson’s Collegiate Girls Basketball Report.

New Mexico has two scholarships open for 2017-18 but could still fill one or both in the coming weeks. Bradbury said he would like to sign at least one more player who would be eligible next season and one transfer, who would have to sit out a season under NCAA rules.

The spring signing period begins April 12.

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