Four-star Jalen Smith is a load of potential, versatility, production and talent. Standing over 6-foot-9 with even better length, the Mount St. Joseph big man has begun to tap into his tremendous upside.
Playing alongside Maryland signee Darryl Morsell, Smith has been receiving recruiting interest and offers from the very best. Maryland, Syracuse, Villanova, Miami and Virginia are just a few that have begun to show a need for the Rivals150 big man.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
Smith said a few schools are beginning to stand out, namely Maryland, Syracuse, Virginia, Villanova, Miami and Arizona.
Maryland: “It is a great program. I really like how coach (Mark) Turgeon coaches the players and treats them the same way that he would treat everyone else. He is making sure they are working hard every practice but I really like how they’re involved with their academics life.”
Virginia: “I like the way that coach (Tony) Bennett coaches; he doesn’t overreact because he knows that everyone is going to make mistakes and he just pushes them to make them better. He really focuses on defense and I really like that.”
Syracuse: “I like the way that they play. That 2-3 zone is deadly; they’re known for it. I like how they can get shots out of any set and play.
“At first I thought coach (Jim) Boeheim was going to leave so I was a bit iffy about them but now that he is going to be their long-term, it is going to help.”
Miami: “I like how they play hard. They are kind of small but they give tremendous effort and they don’t back down from anyone.”
Villanova: “They don’t really have a traditional big. All of their players are perimeter players and anybody can take anybody off the dribble.”
Smith will hit the Nike EYBL circuit this spring with the Team Takeover crew. When it comes time to select a school, Smith plans to trim his list down in late July or early August.
The 6-foot-9 center still leaves you wanting more at times but once the light totally comes on, Smith’s upside and potential should make him a star. The top programs on the east coast sit in a good spot for him as it looks like either Miami, Villanova, Virginia, Maryland or Syracuse will end up landing the fringe five-star prospect.