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Podcast: Auburn’s Bruce Pearl on Jabari Smith Jr. and the Rockets

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Bruce Pearl, who was Jabari Smith Jr.’s head coach at Auburn University, joins Wednesday’s episode of The Lager Line podcast to break down the start to Smith’s young NBA career with the Houston Rockets.

Topics include reaction to Smith’s initial summer league games and how to best utilize him in Houston; what his potential fit alongside Jalen Green looks like; memories at Auburn and on the recruiting trail; early impressions of fellow rookies Tari Eason and TyTy Washington; and more.

“He is going to be a guy that coaches can point to with what time he gets in the locker room, and how he practices every single day,” Pearl said of his expectations for Smith with the Rockets. He continued:

He’s going to be incredibly consistent, and he’s not going to have highs and lows like a lot of rookies, because he’s not immature. He doesn’t have any distractions off the floor. You can coach him, and he wants to be coached hard.

So if Coach (Stephen Silas) wants to get after his No. 3 pick and get into him, that’s not going to bother Jabari one bit. But it sends a message that, ‘If I’m going to chew on this guy, I’m going to chew on your ass, as well.’

He’ll be able to set a really good standard. That’s one of the reasons why his teams win.

Wednesday’s complete episode can be listened to below. Each episode of the show is also made available via flagship radio station SportsTalk 790, as well as to all major podcast distributors under “The Lager Line.”

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