Smith averaged a double-double in his sophomore season in the Big Ten, which
is no small task, as the Big Ten was a veritable factory of big men last year
from one-time draft prospects Luka Garza and Kofi Cockburn to fellow prospects
Daniel Oturo and Xavier Tillman and more.
Smith, despite the attention of player-of-the-year candidate Garza in his
conference, averaged 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds through 31 games, both
marks up considerably from his freshman year.
The big man shot 36.8 percent from 3-point range season and showed an adept
shooting touch. He actually finished the season with a better 3-point
percentage than teammate and star guard Anthony Cowan Jr., and averaged just
one-point shy of Cowan on the year.
Defensively, he averaged over two blocks a game, exhibiting a legitimate
ability to protect the rim.
Standing 6-feet-10, Smith has great length but a slim build. He can play a
stretch four but also has skills on the low block, and an ability to get by
defenders off the dribble. However, a lot of Smith's scoring did come from
around the basket in his career, such as put-back dunks or staying baseline.
With his length, and two-way playing ability, Smith is becoming a sneaky pick
in the draft - a guy who can be as high as a top-10 selection or lower
Smith fits the modern big-man mold. Throughout his career with Cowan, the two
played a pick-and-roll game, suitable for the NBA. His smooth jumpshot is
ideal for the pick-and-pop scenario and he often would roll to the rim to dunk
a ball lofted to the rim.
His stationary shooting touch also plays perfectly for teams looking to space
the floor with a big.
He doesn't appear to be the quickest big man and he is thin, but his ability
to block shots and protect the rim should entice scouts. There aren't too many
big men in the draft with proven shooting range and shot-blocking ability.
Projection: First round pick
--Field Level Media