Smith expected to depart from
ETSU following junior season

from staff reports
  JOHNSON CITY--It looks like Tiny Tim's future in the blue and gold may be limited to one more season.
  In a not-so-surprising move, East Tennessee State Buccaneer basketball standout and point guard Tim Smith is expected to declare for the NBA Draft after the upcoming 2004-05 season.
  The news first broke in a featured story on CBS Sportsline's website ( in senior writer Gregg Doyel's piece regarding a possible jump to the next level by many upcoming college juniors.
  Smith, after turning many heads nationally in the Bucs' NCAA tourney loss to Cincinnati, is the feature of the article.
  "I'm in," Smith said. "What can it hurt?"
  According to the piece, Smith plans to test the draft early. NCAA rules will allow him one free entrance into the draft without a loss of eligibility if he were to withdraw up to a week before.
  The announcement is not a surprise to many Buccaneer basketball followers.
  Some were expecting a possible transfer after next season due to the Bucs move into the slowly fading Atlantic Sun conference.
  Smith assisted the Nike Basketball Camp in Indianapolis last week with many of the nation's premier college players, including Washington guard Nate Robinson, who spoke at length about Smith.
  Tim was well-known at the camp.
  "They'd seen me play," Smith added in the story. "I came here prepared for something else, like they didn't know who I was. They knew, and that surprised me."
  Smith told Doyel that he had almost entered the 2004 NBA Draft after discussing it with his family and the Buccaneer coach.
  He averaged 17.7 points and 4.5 assists, but the professional teams want to see an improvement in his three-point shooting (a mere .297 percent) and his assist-turnover ratio.
  "If I'd shot the '3' better (this past season), I'd probably have gone," Smith said. "I need one more year."
  Smith had a team's second-best 82 steals and averaged over four boards per game.
  He stands at number 20 on ETSU's all-time scoring list with 1,040 points and finished second in the conference Player of the Year voting to Wadood.
  Tim was named SoCon Tournament MVP for his second straight year.
  The Newport News, Virginia native had 26 points, four steals, five assists, five boards and two turnovers in the nationally televised game against the Cincy Bearcats.
  Smith and ETSU coach Murry Bartow were not available for comment last night.
  You can catch Gregg Doyel's full article at: