WHAT TO KNOW: A couple of injuries and a fight with pneumonia hurt Tron's development in 2003-2004, but the staff is counting on him to be very productive in his sophomore season. He started 10 games in his freshman year and was averaging 21.6 minutes per game before breaking his nose in practice right after Christmas when his face lost a meeting with an Ike Diogu elbow. An explosive combination guard who hails from the same high school as point guard Jason Braxton. Very athletic and physically-gifted and can play either guard spot, as he has a 40-inch vertical leap. Former AAU teammate of Texas A & M standout Antoine Wright. Played in the Division I-A CIF championship game at the Pond in Anaheim in senior year. Has a scorer's mentality, and he committed to ASU after an impressive showing at the adidas ABCD camp in Teaneck, N.J., in July of 2002. Averaged over 20 points per contest for Inland, an Amateur Athletic Union team based in Rialto, Calif., in the summer of 2002 and was coached by Elvert Perry. Coached in high school by Jeff Stovall.
RECRUITING RANKINGS: ESPN.com ranked him as No. 27 in its May of 2003 recruiting update, and also had him as the sixth-best shooting guard. He was ranked No. 63 in the final CBS SportsLine recruiting rankings and No. 68 by Bob Gibbons All-Star Sports Report. Clark Francis had him as the No. 23 shooting guard in Basketball Times.
FRESHMAN SEASON (2003-2004): Missed nine games with the broken nose and pneumonia and also was limited in practice for much of December and January with a hamstring problem...played for the first time since Dec. 22 in Jan. 29 game at Washington State...had season-high 10 points at Washington on Jan. 31...had surgery on nose on Jan. 6...posted eight points vs. McNeese State (Dec. 22), vs. Temple (Dec. 9) and vs. Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 24)...also had season-high five boards vs. Temple.
BEST IN THE WEST: Earned First-Team Long Beach Press Telegram Best in the West honors in his senior year, as high school players from Arizona, California, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, Utah and Nevada are ranked by 25 voters. The voters were college coaches, scouts and others familiar with the west coast recruiting scene. Others Pac-10 signees on the 15-man first-team were Leon Powe, Ayinde Ubaka and Dominic McGuire (California), Trevor Ariza (UCLA), Aaron Brooks (Oregon), and Rodrick and Lodrick Stewart (USC).
CANYON SPRINGS HIGH SCHOOL: Averaged 20 points, six boards, four assists and three steals in senior season (2002-2003)...also averaged three dunks per game in his senior year...an all-state second-team selection...an All-CIF Southern Section Division I-A First-Team pick...the Riverside County and Ivy League MVP in 2002-2003...averaged 16 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals in junior season (2001-2002) and earned second-team All-Riverside County honors...made 55 three-pointers and shot 42 percent from the three-point stripe in senior year.
ETC: Born Sept. 12, 1984, in Houma, Louisiana...stepfather is Windell Petties and mother is Tonia Smith...older brother is Tyrus and younger brother is Rashaad...full name is Tron Eric Smith.
Q & A With Tron Smith My favorite Pac-10 road trip is...UCLA and USC. The toughest adjustment to college basketball is...the pace of the game. The player on this team that will surprise the most people this year...everybody. The most underrated player on the team is...Jason Braxton. What our team will need to improve from last year...everything. The strongest player on the team is...Allen. In practice, I hate to play against...no one. If I could have lunch with anyone, it would be...Michael Jordan. What has changed about me since Sept. 11, 2001, is...not taking things for granted. The most interesting thing I did this summer was...hang out with my family. Nobody knows how much I like to...sleep. If I was drafting a basketball dream team, the three players I would pick first are...Kevin Garnett, T-Mac, Ike Diogu. My favorite professional sports team is...New Orleans Saints. The biggest influence on my career was...my mother. My advice to youngsters is...never give up. The game I am looking forward to the most this year is...all of them. Favorite course in college...African-American Studies. My most disappointing loss was...all of them. My favorite sports figures are...Michael Jordan, Kevin Garnett and T-Mac. My favorite non-sports figure is...mother. The best city I have been to is...New Orleans. The last CD I bought was...Lil' Wayne. My favorite actor is...Martin Lawrence.