DeVille Smith Leaves Basketball Team

DeVille Smith‘s Mississippi State career is over after one season.

MSU announced this morning that Smith, a freshman backup point guard from Jackson, has withdrawn from school and is no longer part of the basketball team. No reason was given, although Smith’s high school coach, Wayne Brent, said he was expecting this to happen.

Brent said he was told by Smith that he was in class when the announcement broke and then left. But an MSU spokesman says Smith turned in the withdrawal paperwork himself.

When Brent spoke with Smith over spring break, the coach said he told Smith to have his grades in order in case he wanted to transfer. Brent isn’t sure if the coaching change is a factor in Smith’s departure, and he’s not sure where Smith will go next.

“He doesn’t know what he’s going to do,” Brent said. “I will talk to him tonight and try to help him.”

I tried calling Smith, but his number has apparently been changed.

Smith had an up-and-down season at State. After a promising start that included a nice showing during the 2K Classic in New York, Smith’s season began going downhill. He’d missed the season opener after being hospitalized with dizziness, headaches and memory loss for three days.

The same symptoms put him back in the hospital in January for two-plus weeks, and Smith wasn’t productive once he returned. In the eight games after his return, Smith shot 4 of 12 with five assists and five turnovers, averaging 6.1 minutes per game.

For the season, Smith averaged 4.2 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.4 turnovers per game. He shot 39.8 percent overall, 23.5 percent from 3-point range.

He’s the third member of MSU’s five-man 2012 signing class to leave the team. D.J. Gardner (Okolona) was dismissed prior to the season, and Shawn Long (Morgan City, La.) transferred to UL-Lafayette after the fall semester.

More players could be leaving. Junior forward Arnett Moultrie is pondering the NBA, while Renardo Sidney is currently training in Florida instead of Starkville. I’m told Sidney is still in school but has a light class schedule.

Meanwhile, MSU is trying to find a new coach to replace Rick Stansbury, who retired after 14 seasons.

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