Josh Smith, the No. 3 player in the Rivals150, displayed a versatility in his game during the Hoop Summit that bodes well for his future.
The 3 three pointers out of 4 attempts that the 6-foot-8, 200-pound power forward hit in the first half and the transition buckets he converted on the left side were impressive but to be expected. When he, however, shook his man left and then crossed over to his right finishing with a high rising dunk over a hapless helpside defender, Smith was making a statement to all in attendance, especially the plethora of NBA scouts.
The move was impressive enough, but the fact that it came after two formidable left hand drives to the basket and a nimble turn to his left shoulder on a post move, proved that Smith really is not just an athlete but a special athlete that can make big time plays.
Coming off the bench in the first half, Smith worked primarily out on the wing. In the second half, he spent most of his time setting ball screens for Sebastian Telfair at the top of the key or flashing into the key area. Nearly every time he touched the ball in these situations something good happened.
Finishing with a game high 27 points on 12 of 18 shooting and a shared team high of 6 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks, Smith displayed a range of abilities that no other prep player can match.
Offensively, Smith is lethal from behind the arc and in transition. In the post he looked strong as well. He does still need work on his ability to pull up of the dribble in the mid-range area.
Defensively, he played with a purpose and gave up very little offense to his man. His 3 steals were off anticipating passes
As a pro prospect, the Indiana signee needs to improve every aspect of his mid-range game, but he certainly has the stroke and potential range to stretch the defense. He can then also take his man either direction and finish at the basket. A fastbreak with him on the wing can be a scary thing as well. And his passing is adequate and bound to only get better like the rest of his game will get better. He may be a little soft at time and not the most aggressive pursuer of the ball, but he led his team in rebounding nonetheless. In the end, Smith is truly a gifted athlete that will only get better with time.