One of the top prospects in the Class of 2006 in North Carolina is laser-quick point guard Ishmael Smith, a three year starter for Coach Scott Brewer at Cenral Cabarrus High School in Concord, N.C. Smith has led his team to a 14-1 record, and at least nine colleges have watched him play thus far this season.
My first impression of 5-foot-11, 155-pound junior point guard Ishmael Smith was at the beginning of his sophomore year at our Bob Gibbons Fall Evaluation Clinic at Wake Forest University in late September, 2003. At that event Smith demonstrated that he had very advanced skills and abilities for a young player, and was rated as a future high major college prospect. He is most definitely living up to those projections.
Last night, Smith scored 18 points, and had 8 assists and 5 steals as Central Cabarrus High School defeated Charlotte, N.C., West Mecklenburg High School 79-59, improving their season record to 14-1.
"Ish" now has scored 894 career points, and is currently averaging 24.3 points, 7.8 assists, and 5 steals per game. He performed well at the Nike Underclassmen Hoop Jamboree last summer, and was the starting point guard for the Forest City (NC) Heat AAU team that won the North Carolina 16-Under state championship last Spring.
Central Cabarrus coach Scott Brewer told Rivals.com, "Ishmael has great basketball skills and instincts, is a terrific leader, and he makes everyone on his team better."
Former college coach, and Concord basketball icon, Bo Brickles said of Ish, "He gets the ball from one end to the other as quickly, and creates shots for his teammates as well as anyone that I have ever seen. He could become an ACC caliber point guard."
According to Coach Brewer the colleges that have attended games to watch Smith include: Charlotte, Xavier, UNC-Wilmington, N.C. State, Clemson, Wake Forest, St. Bonaventure, Miami-FL, and Appalachian State.
The junior class in North Carolina is deep and talented. However, Ishmael Smith could prove to be the best in the state.
Smith and Central Cabarrus High School have a big game coming up when they play arch-rivals Huntersville, N.C., North Mecklenburg High School at home on January 19 in a contest that could determine the MECA-8 4A Conference championship.