Nick Smith Jr. is aware that, on some level, it’s become cliché to tout “fit” as the greatest determining factor when it comes to a decision, but it doesn’t negate the fact that when he finally picks a school it will be the one whose system best suits his game.
“Wherever, that is,” Smith said.
So when he here’s rumors about him being a lock to certain colleges, he always gets a good laugh out of it.
“I’m not like everyone else,” Smith said. “I really don’t care about name; I’ll go to a low Division I school if that’s the best situation.”
The perception was that Smith was waiting on an offer from Kentucky and when it finally came, following his dominant showing at Nike Peach Jam in July, speculation was rampant that Smith was Lexington bound.
“I don’t know who makes this stuff up, but I was never waiting on any offer or said I wanted an offer,” Smith said. “I have respect for Kentucky and respect for Coach (John) Calipari, but it has to be the right opportunity. That’s why I’m going through the process, to see. I’m excited about the visit, but nothing is done. That’s just crazy.”
Smith visited Arkansas Pine Bluff this past weekend and will finish out his official visit tour with stops at Kentucky (Sept. 2), Arkansas (Sept. 11) and Oklahoma (Sept. 18).
He’s already taken officials to Alabama, Auburn and Kansas and is also considering Overtime Elite (OTE) and the NBL.
This summer, Smith dominated on the Nike EYBL, averaging 22 points, five rebounds and four assists a game for Brad Beal Elite (Mo.). His best game was in the Nike Peach Jam title game, an efficient 31-point (10 of 18 from the field) in a loss to Team Final (Penn.).
Smith posted those numbers despite playing with a broken wrist and a strained hamstring.
“Before Peach Jam schools really weren’t sure,” Smith said. “Then they saw what I did, not even being at 100% and it went from there. I always knew where I stood as a player. I’m just taking my time and taking it all in.”
He’ll have a lot of downtime to collect his thoughts after undergoing surgery on his wrist last week. Smith said he’ll potentially be sidelined rehabbing for the next three months.
“It’s unfortunate to have to go through this, but God has a plan and injuries are part of it sometimes,” Smith said. “I’m still enjoying the process. All the rumors are funny to me, these people have no idea what I’m thinking at all. I don’t let it affect me in any way; I’m excited about my upcoming visits. I can’t wait to see all they have to offer. Like I told you before, I feel like I’ll know after my last visit.”