Rock Hill Bound | Smith Signs With Big South Champs Winthrop

Rock Hill Bound | Smith Signs With Big South Champs Winthrop


FORT MYERS, Fla. – FSW men’s basketball point guard Nych Smith has signed his National Letter of Intent to play for head coach Pat Kelsey and Winthrop University from the Big South Conference.

Smith will join the Eagles for the 2017-18 academic year. Winthrop, the 2017 Big South Conference champs, finished last season with a 26-7 overall record and were a 13-seed in the 2017 NCAA Tournament (10th appearance in program history) and faced 4th-seeded Butler. Smith will likely step into the point guard spot left by graduating senior Keon Johnson. Johnson was named to the All-Big South First Team and was named the Big South Conference Player of the Year after averaging a career-high 22.3 points per game.

Smith helped lead the Purple and Aqua, who ranked No. 31 in the final NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Rankings (Feb. 28), to a 26-7 overall record this season. The Bucs earned a berth to the NJCAA District VIII Championship in the first year of the program after winning a 4-team Suncoast Conference playoff, defeating SCF (98-75; Feb. 25) and Polk State (99-94; Feb.27) The Bucs also won 16 of their last 18 games to close the regular season and were one of four schools in the state with both its men’s and women’s basketball teams represented in the State Tournament (Central Florida, Broward, Tallahassee).

The Buccaneers finished the regular season ranked 21st nationally in assists per game (19.4), 46th in steals (9.0) and 56th in blocks (4.1). FSW also ranked in the top 60 nationally in points (52nd, 86.7) and field goal percentage (59th, 47.8 percent).

Smith led the Bucs with in scoring (15.1 ppg) and assists (5.8 apg) this season, while also ranking second on the team in three-point percentage (32.8 percent). The sophomore also finished the regular season ranked 23rd in the nation in assists per game (6.0 apg). A native of Memphis, Tenn., Smith scored in double figures 24 times during the season, including scoring a career-high 29 points (10-of-21 shooting from the field, 3-of-6 from behind the arc and 6-of-6 from the charity stripe) in a huge 99-94 win over Polk State (Feb. 27). Smith dished out five or more assists on 20 occasions, including a recording a career-high 12 helpers in a 105-99 win at Miami Dade (Nov. 18). He also made a three-pointer in 23 contests and had 16 games where he knocked down multiple triples.

For the latest information on Winthrop men’s basketball, follow the team on Twitter (@Winthrop_MBB) and Instagram (Winthrop_MBB), as well as Facebook at Winthrop Athletics.

For the latest news on FSW Athletics, log on to or stay connected to the Bucs on social media. Follow the Buccaneers on Twitter @FSWBucs, on Instagram @FSWBucs, on Facebook at and on Snapchat at BucsSnaps.

The Florida SouthWestern State College athletic program is a member of the Florida College System Athletic Association (FCSAA) and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). The Buccaneers are one of 25 schools in the NJCAA Region 8 and are one of six schools in the Suncoast Conference. Florida SouthWestern State College currently supports four intercollegiate athletic programs (Baseball, Softball, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball), with Volleyball coming in the fall of 2017.

Baseball and Softball began their regular season competition in 2016 at the City of Palms Park in Fort Myers. Located on the Thomas Edison (Lee) Campus in Fort Myers will be the brand new Suncoast Credit Union Arena (completed in fall 2016), where FSW’s men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball teams will compete.

The movement to form a unique sports association dedicated to America’s two-year colleges arose in 1937 when several track and field coaches gathered in Fresno, California. A year later, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rejected a petition from 13 two-year colleges in California to grant their teams and athletes permission to compete at the NCAA Track & Field Championships.

In the spring of 1938, following the NCAA’s rejection, those same 13 two-year colleges gathered again in Fresno to organize and form an association that would promote and supervise a national athletics program exclusively for junior and community colleges…and the rest is history.

On May 14, 1938, the first constitution of the National Junior College Athletic Association was accepted by its charter members and the organization held its first national championship event a year later in May 1939.

The NJCAA has played a vital role in collegiate athletics for the past eight decades and continues to be the leader in championing academic and athletic opportunities for student-athletes. This section of the association's website is dedicated to celebrating the NJCAA's rich history and tradition as the national governing body of two-year college athletics.

For more information on the NJCAA log on to

The Florida College System Activities Association, Incorporated (FCSAA) is a statewide non‑profit corporation regulating, coordinating, and promoting intercollegiate activities in: Athletics, Brain Bowl, Forensics, Music, Student Government, Student Publications, and Theatre.

Membership in the Florida College System Activities Association is open to any of the 28 colleges in the Florida College System. Each member institution is represented in the policy‑making deliberations of the Association through that institution's President or other designated representative. The institutional representatives constitute the FCSAA Presidents Assembly, the ultimate authority in FCSAA.

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Member colleges of the NJCAA are allotted to a specific NJCAA Region upon membership to the association. Unlike other collegiate organizations that defer to conference affiliation, the NJCAA guarantees each member college's membership within the regional structure of the association. In most cases, region assignment is based upon geographic location of the college. 

The region structure of the NJCAA is the primary method used by all sponsored sports of the association in determining qualification for national championship tournaments. In certain sports, two or more regions are partnered to form a competition 'district', which is then used for national championship qualification. The organization of districts varies per sport and is formulated every two years under the authority of the association's board of directors. 

FSW is in Region 8 and is joined by ASA College Miami (Region 8 only; non-FCSAA member), Broward College, Chipola College, College of Central Florida, Daytona State College, Eastern Florida State College, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Gulf Coast State College, Hillsborough Community College, Indian River State College, Lake-Sumter State College, Miami Dade College, Northwest Florida State College, Palm Beach State College, Pasco-Hernando State College, Pensacola State College, Polk State College, Santa Fe College, Seminole State College of Florida, South Florida State College, St. Johns River State College, St. Petersburg College, State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota and Tallahassee Community College.

The Bucs are also in the Suncoast Conference with Hillsborough Community College, Polk State College, South Florida State College, St. Petersburg College and State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota.

The women’s basketball program is Southern Conference with Broward College, Eastern Florida State College, Indian River State College, Miami Dade College and Palm Beach State College.

For more information on Region 8 log on to