SAN LUIS OBISPO – First-year Cal Poly men's basketball head coach John Smith completed the Mustang roster for the 2019-20 season on Tuesday morning with the announcement that his son – 6-3 guard Jamal Smith – has joined the program as a graduate transfer from Cal State Fullerton.
Accepted into Cal Poly's public policy master's program, Smith will have one year of collegiate eligibility remaining for the upcoming season.
"With the addition of Jamal to the Mustang family, we've immediately bolstered our backcourt depth with someone who has Big West championship experience," Smith said. "His size and length at the guard position allows us to be very versatile on the defensive side of the ball without losing the ability to be efficient on the offensive end. Along with those aforementioned qualities, his leadership will be invaluable for some of the younger players on the team."
As a junior at Cal State Fullerton last year, Smith appeared in all 34 games with four starts and averaged 19.1 minutes per outing for a squad that finished second in the Big West standings and reached the conference tournament championship game for a second straight season. He scored in all but eight games last year, topping out with a career high 10 points versus Hawai'i (March 9) and eight at Sacramento State (Nov. 24).
Smith, who graduated from Cal State Fullerton in May with a degree in kinesiology, appeared in all 32 games with 18 starts for a 2017-18 Cal State Fullerton squad that captured the Big West Tournament title and faced Purdue in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Smith debuted at Cal State Fullerton during the 2016-17 season, appearing in 20 games. He redshirted the year prior during his first season on campus.
A four-year letterwinner at Rancho Verde HS (Moreno Valley, Calif.), Smith averaged 19.0 points and 5.0 assists per game as a senior to earn All-Inland Valley League honors.
Smith will become the first Mustang to appear in the lineup with his father as head coach since Ernie (1978-81) and Keith (1980-84) Wheeler competed for Ernie Wheeler (1972-86).
Smith is Cal Poly's third roster addition under John Smith following the April signing of 6-5 freshman shooting guard Colby Rogers (Covington, Ga./Roselle Catholic HS) to a National Letter of Intent and the May addition of graduate guard Malek Harwell (Pocatello, Idaho) to Cal Poly's public policy master's program as a transfer from Boise State.