Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the host of Recruiting Thursday, a weekly radio show that airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on 92.1 FM in Fayetteville; 93.7 FM in Little Rock; 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home; and 106.9 FM in Arkadelphia.
The Recruiting Guy:
Sylvan Hill's Nick Smith speechless after Arkansas offer
Sophomore guard Nick Smith Jr. was numb when Arkansas extended a scholarship offer to him on June 29.
“I just froze. I froze for like 10 seconds,” Smith said. “Like, I didn't know what to think. I was excited the whole day.“
Smith, 6-3, 163 pounds, of Sylvan Hills, played up on 16-under Bradley Beal Elite during the spring and summer. He had offers from Oklahoma State, Oral Roberts and Tulsa prior to the offer from the Razorbacks.
“I was thinking about it the whole day,” said Smith of Arkansas. “It was shocking because I didn’t know they were going to offer me at that time.”
He grew up watching Arkansas and recalls hearing about former greats Corliss Williamson and Joe Johnson.
“Recently Daryl Macon came from there and (Daniel) Gafford,” Smith said. “It’s been a really cool experience just watching them grow up and go to the league and them being from Arkansas.”
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 plans to make an unofficial visit to Texas on August 2 and is working on dates to visit Arkansas and Auburn.
“The other dates I haven’t figured out yet,” Smith said.
He is confident in his ability.
“I can facilitate, I can defend, I can shoot, I can handle the ball,” Smith said. “I pretty much can play the 1, 2 and 3. It depends on how the game is going and how the coach wants me to play. I’m pretty much a winner.”
Smith was a standout at the Nike 100 camp in St. Louis in June. He embraces playing defense.
“If my offensive game isn't working I try to do more on defense so I can help my team get a win," he said. "If I’m not playing defense, my offense isn't going to work. Just how I am.”
He gives his father credit for where he is now.
“He pretty much taught me everything I know today,” Smith said. “If I didn't have him in my life I probably wouldn’t be the man or the guy on the court I am today. I’m very blessed to have him in my life.”
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