Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He appears weekly on The Red Zone w/ JB on 92.1 FM Fayetteville, The Morning Rush w/ Tye & Tommy on 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home, 99.5 FM in Fayetteville and The Zone w/ Justin & Wess on 103.7 FM in Little Rock.
The Recruiting Guy:
Arkansas target Nick Smith still growing physically and as a player
2022 guard Nick Smith Jr.
CONWAY — Sylvan Hills sophomore guard Nick Smith Jr., an Arkansas target, has grown quite bit physically and in his game in the past year.
“Last year I was like 6-foot and around 120, 121 (pounds), and now I’m like 168 at 6-4,” Smith said.
Smith has seen his offer list grow, too, and now has eight offers, including from Arkansas, Texas, St. John’s, Oral Roberts, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State and others.
Sylvan Hills coach Kevin Davis said hard work and basketball IQ has aided Smith’s improvement.
“He’s a student of the game and he’s working extremely hard everyday on all phases of the game and that’s evident in what we’re seeing,” Davis said.
Davis believes Smith still has some growing to do.
“The sophomore year is when that growth spurt is kind of evident,” Davis said. “So I definitely think he’s still growing.”
Smith averaged 15.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game while shooting 41 percent from the field and 29 percent beyond the 3-point line for the Bears as a freshman.
He scored 14 points in Sylvan Hills' 60-41 loss to Springdale Har-Ber at the John Staton Classic at Conway High School on Friday. Smith is enjoying the early offers and the recruiting process, but is staying focused on his team.
“It’s fun, but at the same time I have to stay focus on for what I got going on for the season and stay positive and true to my teammates,” Smith said. “I’m not worried about it right now. I’m just trying win this state championship.”
Smith has attended an Arkansas game this season and is thinking of making a return trip.
“I hope so my haven’t checked my schedule yet,” Smith said.
He has been keeping an eye on the Hogs.
“I’ve been watching them a lot,” he said. “They’ve been putting out a lot of (social) media stuff.”
Smith said Auburn is working to get him to visit.
“Coach (Wes) Flanigan and Coach (Bruce) Pearl are trying to get me up there to Auburn,” he said.
Smith said he has some offers he’s yet to report, "but I’m not putting them out until after the season,” he said.
Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.