Manhattan College Jasper Chris Smith To Transfer

Michael HurleyContributor IApril 1, 2009

RALEIGH, NC - MARCH 20:  Peter Mulligan #44 of the Manhattan Jaspers walks off the court after a 84-80 defeat during the second round game of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at RBC Center on March 20, 2004 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Manhattan College Jaspers' sophomore guard Chris Smith signed his release papers yesterday according to a couple sources close to the basketball program. Smith was second on the team in scoring in 2008-'09 with 13.4 points per game.

He also led the team in rebounding with 5.7 rebounds per game.

Smith, the younger brother of Nuggets player J.R Smith, was coach Barry Rohrssen's most heralded recruit of his three years here. Smith came out of St. Benedict's after a fall semester post graduate studies in 2007.

He started playing second semester of the 2007-2008 year at Manhattan College. Smith came out of St. Benedict's, garnering attention from Big East schools like Seton Hall and Rutgers. Manhattan College was the only school that would allow him to play starting spring semester 2008.

The other schools wanted him to redshirt and start playing the following fall. Even though he only played half the year he was a huge contributor averaging 9.9 points per game in half a year of play.

Smith was a player who oozed with potential that he never seemed to live up to at Manhattan College. He went for 35 points against Princeton, including 4-of-5 from three-point range.

Smith finished the year shooting less than 29 percent from behind the arc. He also developed into the best rebounder on the team toward the end of the year. This is a huge loss for Manhattan College.

It is an even bigger loss for Barry Rohrssen. After three years at Manhattan Coach Rohrssen has posted conference records of 10-8, 5-13, and 9-9. In all fairness the previous head coach, Bobby Gonzalez, left the cupboard bare when he left.

Coach Rohrssen had seven freshmen play his first year and finished with his best record 10-8. Three of Gonzalez's players who transferred after Bobby left, C.J Anderson, C.J Lee, and Jeff Xavier, played in postseason tournaments this year.

Regardless next year is a big year for Coach Rohrssen and it just got a whole lot tougher when his top recruit left.