"I thought that made a lot of sense, and it seems to be what he's done. He's just as worried about your character and what kind of person you are as he is what kind of talent you have. He's just as concerned with what you bring off the court as he is what you add on the court."
Not every coach thinks like that. But if Mills is right and Smith correctly evaluated his incoming freshman class, then the Wildcats could have something special.
Smith recruited three McDonald's All-Americans - guards Joe Crawford and Rajon Rondo and center Randolph Morris. His other recruit, guard Ramel Bradley, was ranked among the nation's top 50 recruits by some recruiting analysts.
Obviously they have talent. But are they really good guys or are they going to be spoiled stars used to having everyone cater to them?
"Even though I have not spent a lot of time with them yet, I think they are good guys," Mills said. "They are all very cordial. A lot of times kids come in not with a certain arrogance, but with shyness and kind of keep to themselves.
The more friendly they get with people, the more they come out of their shell and get more comfortable with their teammates. But these guys already seem to be fitting in well."
But even if they are, couldn't chemistry be a problem? They all expect to play significant minutes. However, so do Chuck Hayes, Kelenna Azubuike, Patrick Sparks, Sheray Thomas, Bobby Perry, Lukasz Obrzut and others.
"It could be hard, but that's a problem you like to have," Mills said. "To have so much talent that one of your problems is getting enough playing time for everybody to keep them happy is not a bad thing.
"I think coach Smith can handle it. He's certainly handled a lot of talent before. The best situation to have is having seven, eight or nine players getting 20 to 22 minutes a game. That way the opposing team tires out before you do and can't prepare for all you throw at it."
So the freshmen could make immediate impacts?
"I don't think anyone is totally prepared for the leap you have to go through conditioning-wise when you go from high school to college," Mills said. "In high school you are guarding guys that are good, but not great. Now every night you are guarding great players with ridiculous quickness and speed.
"The biggest problem the freshmen will have if there is an even keel as far as talent goes at certain positions, then they are probably going to have to spend more time sitting out. Even though ability-wise they will be fine, maturity-wise when you get into the game as a freshman it's just a different deal."
Then again, maybe these freshmen are going to be a "different deal" and show they have the talent, and character, to make the early impact so may Big Blue fans are hoping they can.