Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Nick Smith Jr. updates recruitment after leading Brad Beal Elite to Peach Jam final
By ADAM ZAGORIA
After helping to lead Brad Beal Elite to the Peach Jam championship game against Team Final, Class of 2022 combo guard Nick Smith Jr. is taking a break for a while.
The 6-foot-4, 185-pound combo guard from North Little Rock (AR) High School has recently added offers from Kentucky, Tennessee and Florida State, while Duke and Maryland have been in touch.
“I haven’t been going in deep on my recruitment, just little talks and stuff,” Smith said by phone.
He will take an official to Arkansas Sept. 10 and Oklahoma Sept. 18, and plans to announce Nov. 20.
He broke down a few of his suitors.
Oklahoma: “Coach [Porter] Moser is a great dude. I’ve been talking to him ever since recruitment first started because he was at Loyola. I’ve known DP [David Patrick] since he was at Arkansas. he wants me to come in and be the focal point of the program when I get there. Just coming in, bing me at the end of the day.”
Arkansas: “Same goes with Arkansas. I’ve been knowing Eric [Musselman] since he came to the program, so that’s pretty much the same thing. They want me to come in and be the focal point of the program.”
Kentucky: “Coach Cal [John Calipari] was calling me a lot, texting me a lot. He feels like I can be a great combo guard. Playing with Kentucky, you’re going to play with other great players. That’s just how it is at Kentucky. He feels like I can get to the league playing there and stuff and just going from there.”
Of the Kentucky offer last month, he said, “It’s great to get any offer. It’s a blessing to get recruited by any school and Kentucky was one of the schools i was looking at. It’s an honor, but at the end of the day it’s an honor to be recruited by any school.”
Alabama: “I liked the visit. It’s the same thing. They want me to come in and have the ball in my hands from day one. “
He has already taken official visits to Alabama (June 1-3), Auburn (June 4-5), Georgetown (June 11-13) and Kansas (June 20).
“All the schools are pretty much the same,” he said, “Just trying to see what best fits me with the culture and stuff.”
Smith averaged 25 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists as a junior at Sylvan Hills, which went 24-4 and won the Arkansas 5A-Central Conference regular-season conference title. He transferred to North Little Rock in July.
As for what skillset he will bring to college, he said, “Whatever the coach needs me to. I try to win as many games as I can. I feel like I’m a really good teammate, I can be a leader. I can basically do whatever the coach needs me to do. i can do it all.
“I just have to pick the right school and the right fit.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.