Arkansas put the full court press on instate combo guard, Nick Smith, on Sunday. Smith scored 31 points in a championship winning effort in the Peach Jam.
The highly glorified EYBL summer season came to an end on Sunday night with the Bradley Beal Elite winning the title. Smith shot 10 of 18 from the field and scored the most points in a EYBL championship game since Michael Porter, Jr. did so in 2016.
Why is that significant? Smith is the top player in Arkansas for the 2022 class. He just transferred to North Little Rock (Ark.) High School and is being recruited by a few of college basketball’s bluebloods including Kentucky.
According to 247sports high school basketball prospects rankings, Smith is the 20th ranked player in the nation and fourth rated combo guard. Most of the National pundits have their eyes set on Smith committing to Kentucky at some point this season. However, you cannot count Arkansas out yet. His home state basketball program went to the Elite Eight last season. All the while Kentucky sat at home amid turmoil and chemistry issues on and off the court.
Arkansas will not back down in the recruit of the instate stud combo guard. It looks similar to how Mike Anderson went “all-in” for Malik Monk a few years ago. This is different though. Musselman has a great track record since arriving to Arkansas when it comes to recruiting instate prospects.
Musselman does have one plus as he helped produce Arkansas’ first one-and done-in Moses Moody in 2020-21. Kentucky, albeit a Covid-19 rendered season, seems to be on the downslide but the Big Blue Nation Brand will stay strong. Will it stay strong enough to gain a commitment from Smith?
As of this moment Smith did receive an official scholarship offer from Kentucky on Sunday around 7:45.
Smith has a scheduled commitment date of November 20, 2021. There is still a long way to go until then to see if Arkansas can assemble one of the most impressive recruiting classes ever. The Hogs currently boast the third ranked class for 2022 and an addition of Smith will likely push them to second or first.
CURRENT 2022 CLASS
#57 Derrian Ford-Magnolia, AR
#77 Barry Dunning Jr.-Mobile, AL
#122 Joseph Pinion-Morrilton, AR