There was no press conference yesterday as was first planned. But there is no question that jumping jack forward Josh Smith has made a verbal commitment to Indiana University. The smiles upon the Indiana coaching staff faces was evident all day here at the ABCD camp in Teaneck, New Jersey.
And who could blame them? The Indiana staff has done an excellent job early on in the 2004 recruiting process. Landing players like D.J. White and Josh Smith has to give Indiana a head start as the country's top class. Indiana fans have the right to dream about this potential frontline. It's simply awesome.
"I saw the offense they run," Smith said. "I thought I could fit in. I think I could play the three spot (small forward). This is the perfect time to do it (verbal). It takes the stress off of me."
After all, Smith is perhaps one of the top five players in the 2004 class. He can elevate to the ceiling with his athletic skills and he has a decent touch from the perimeter. Smith can be an intimidating small forward -- if he decides to play college basketball for Indiana in 2004-2005.
After Smith praised Indiana head coach Mike Davis during his mini press conference with just a few reporters yesterday afternoon, he spoke honestly about his plans next spring. "It is something I am going to explore (NBA draft)," Smith said. "But I have to get bigger and stronger. I am going to get on the weights real hard at Oak Hill and work on my jumper."
Smith did say he hopes to sign a letter of intent in November. But the big timeframe for the Indiana Hoosiers will likely come next spring. Depending upon how much Smith improves under head coach Steve Smith this winter at Oak Hill will likely determine whether Josh takes a chance in the June 2004 NBA draft.
Smith may have taken some pressure off his shoulders regarding the recruiting process. But more pressure will come this winter as he showcases his skills for the many NBA scouts that will pass through Mouth of Wilson, Virginia this winter.