Height: 6’ 5”
Weight: 185 lbs
Position: Shooting Guard
Hometown: Jacksonville, Ark
DOB: April 14, 2004
Nick Smith Jr. is a talented offensive guard for the Arkansas Razorbacks. Struggling with a knee injury for most of the season, he has been limited to 9 of the team’s first 29 games this year. Smith Jr. has yet to regain his pre-collegiate form, averaging just 11.7 PPG in 22.1 MPG. He is currently projected to be a top 10 lottery pick in the 2023 NBA Draft despite his disappointing season due to his tremendous upside.
Nick Smith Jr Stats: 2022-2023 Season
Recruiting and Early Career
After attending Sylvan Hills High School in Sherwood, Arkansas for 3 years, Smith Jr. transferred to North Little Rock High School in North Little Rock, Arkansas for his senior year. The transfer proved to be an astounding success, as Smith Jr. led the high school to a 26-3 record and Class 6A championship. During the title game against Bentonville, which ended up being a 65-47 blowout win for North Little Rock, Smith Jr. had 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists.
A 5-star recruit, Smith Jr. was selected to play in the Jordan Brand Classic and the McDonald’s All-American game. He was named the #1 overall prospect in the 2022 class by 247sports.com, the #2 overall prospect by Rivals.com, and the #3 overall prospect by ESPN.com. As would be expected, Smith Jr. received offers from several of the best programs in the country including Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, Kansas, Kentucky, and North Carolina.
However, he ultimately chose to play for Arkansas, crediting the dynamic offensive system and good defensive philosophy established by head coach Eric Musselman.
Smith Jr Injury
Expected by many to be the best freshman guard in the nation, Smith Jr. instead has been plagued by a knee injury that has kept him sidelined most of the season. Initially, it was announced in early November that there was no timetable for his return, causing many to wonder whether he would ever be at Bud Walton Arena as an active player. He has ended up spending much of the year away from the team rehabbing his knee in Los Angeles.
Injury vs. Playing Controversy – One of the Top Stories of the Season
Why is Nick Smith not playing? The ambiguity of Smith Jr.’s knee injury has prompted much speculation across the college basketball world. Officially, the team stated that Smith Jr. was going through right knee management and was being held out indefinitely for precautionary measures. However, the lack of a more specific Nick Smith jr injury update diagnosis has caused some to question its legitimacy, wondering if Smith Jr. was injured seriously enough to miss the number of games he did.
Because he has since been able to appear in several games, most of the controversy surrounding his knee injury has subsided. However, after every game he plays, college basketball fans probably can’t help wondering if he has played his final game at Arkansas.
As with all top prospects, Smith Jr.’s NBA draft status is far more important than his collegiate career. Therefore, the cautious route taken by him and the team is ultimately the best approach.
Nick Smith Jr Age
Smith Jr. is 18 years old and will turn 19 on April 18. As a result, he is not one of the younger one-and-done collegiate prospects and will be 19 when he enters the 2023 NBA Draft.
2022-2023 Season and Beyond
Although guard Smith Jr. has not had the type of season he probably hoped for, he is still currently projected to be a lottery pick. If drafted his range more specifically is projected to be within the 6 to 10 pick range but could sneak into the top 5 if he can recover fully from his lingering knee injury and have a strong finish to the season.
Arkansas is currently projected to make the NCAA Tournament, albeit at a lower seed than in previous years. A couple of good games by Smith Jr. in the 2023 NCAA Tournament would help ease the concerns regarding his right knee.
Overall, he projects to be a good starting shooting guard in the NBA, with the potential to spend time as a point guard. Smith Jr. is a good passer and can get to the basket, but his strength is his outstanding shooting ability.
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Nick Smith Jr News
- Nick Smith Jr.'s ability to score in a myriad of ways projects to pair well with the Oklahoma City Thunder's up-and-coming young talent.
- But Nick Smith Jr. says they need to be working on free throws and dealing with physical nature of game not preventing shots.
- Nick Smith Jr., 6-5, Arkansas. Stats: 12.8 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 38.7% overall, 33.3% from 3 (4.1 attempts). Smith was the …