Standout big forward Josh Smith from McEachern High School in Powder Springs is one of the top players in Georgia and the Peach State native has narrowed his list to seven schools.
“My favorites are Florida, Kentucky, FSU, Duke, Georgia, North Carolina and LSU in no particular order,” Smith said. “I had a lot of schools come by and visit me during the contact period and I’ve got too many to name showing interest but those are the ones that have impressed me the most.”
Smith, 6-foot-9, 210-pounds, indicated that he does not currently have an overall favorite but a few of the programs have stood out from the rest including two SEC powers; the Florida Gators and Kentucky Wildcats.
“I like Florida because of the way Coach (Billy) Donovan let’s his guys play. His players are able to run the floor and make things happen,” Smith said. “He has a good system and I like the SEC.”
“Kentucky has a great tradition and the entire atmosphere surrounding their program is impressive,” Smith added. “Coach (Tubby) Smith is a good coach and I like him a lot.”
ACC rivals, Florida State and Duke, also have made a good impression and currently reside near the top of his list.
“FSU’s got a really good coaching staff and I’m comfortable with them,” Smith said. “They are a program who is on the rise and I wouldn’t mind being part of something like that.”
“Duke’s tradition is also impressive. The Cameron Crazies and the way everyone there gets so excited about basketball,” Smith said. “Coach K and his staff knows how to make their players better.”
This weekend, Smith, who is the rated the nation’s 4th best prospect by RivalsHoops.com, will travel with his Atlanta Celtics teammates to the Tournament of Champions held in North Carolina.
“I think we have a chance to win the tournament this weekend,” Smith said. “We are finally coming together as a team and we have the talent.”
During his junior season, Smith averaged 22 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, one steal and six blocks per contest.