Play word association with any high school hoops addict, mention Oak Hill Academy this season and the response will probably be Tywon Lawson. But after Oak Hill's win against Chicago Simeon on Friday night at the Marshall County Hoopfest, the answer will probably be Nolan Smith.
The 6-foot-2, 175-pound point guard from Landover, Md., scored a team high 21 points and dished out five assists. As Lawson sits out due to suspension, Smith stepped up and was the offensive catalyst for the Warriors.
Smith enjoyed an incredible summer with the D.C. Assault AAU team and on his own at the adidas Superstar and with a move to the nation's most prestigious hoops program, he was ready to continue his success at the prep level. He was able to do it against a fellow five-star prospect Derrick Rose.
The trip to Kentucky is a homecoming of sorts for Smith, too. His father, the late Derek Smith, was a star at Louisville. Nolan has visited the new Big East school in the last four months and his sister is even a student there at the present moment. Long thought to be the next Cardinal point guard, Smith has decided to put things on hold and not pledge his services to Rick Pitino.
"I still like Louisville, they are still my first choice but there a couple of new schools on my list now that I'm really high on," Smith said.
And not just any schools. Smith said Duke, Georgetown and Kansas are now amongst the schools recruiting him. The Blue Devils have started to turn the heat up on Smith, he says.
"I've talked to coach (Mike) Krzyzewski and he's been really good to talk to," Smith said. "Georgetown is picking up. They have a really good staff. They are friendly and honest. Kansas is just now getting involved."
Play word association with any hoops junkie and mention Nolan Smith. The answer used to be Louisville. That answer may not be the case anymore. At least not for the present time.