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Basketball Recruiting

Four-star prospect Jai Smith talks recruitment, reclassification

October 12, 2020

I use the term underrated with plenty of prospects, many fit the mold but some are truly just overlooked. Here’s one: Jai Smith. Formerly from Raleigh, North Carolina, Smith has now enrolled at Bull City Prep in Durham after moving from Connecticut where he attended St. Thomas More.

Smith fits the modern-day build that we see all around the game of basketball. Standing at 6-foot-9, he’s a long-athletic and dynamic forward that can run the floor extremely well. My favorite aspect of his game and probably Smith’s as well as his ability to defend and rebound the ball. He’s a hard-nosed prospect with tons of upside.

Smith got on the phone with on Sunday night to discuss a slew of things including his recruitment, his game, and a possible reclassification.

Despite being overlooked rankings wise, what is your recruitment looking like?

Smith: “Wake Forest, Arizona, Georgia Tech, Seton Hall, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Texas A&M, Marquette, Syracuse, Memphis, and many others are involved.”

What about some of your newer interests?

Smith: “Texas Tech, Florida, Louisville, Florida State, Wichita State, NC State, UConn, Oregon, USC, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Boston College, Miami, Clemson, and many others.”

You’re also receiving some blue blood interest, correct?

Smith: “Duke’s Nate James has talked to my coach a little bit, nothing serious. Kansas is a little more serious, they like my overall game a lot.”

Marquette recently offered and talked with you, thoughts on them?

Smith: “Marquette has my City Rocks point-guard [Symir Torrence] and also is looking for a player in my position. They love physical guys that can stretch the floor and that’s me, Coach [Steve] Wojciechowski tells me a lot. Also, they say they would love to have me in their program.”

What about a program like Alabama, thoughts on them?

Smith: “Alabama has a player I would really love to play with and that’s their recent commit, JD Davison. Coach Oats says I have that motor, grit, and toughness it takes to play at Alabama.”

Syracuse, you have ties to the area, they just began making a push. Thoughts on them?

Smith: “With Syracuse, I love Coach Boeheim and what they did with the players they’ve had in their program. In addition, they play a hard 2-3 zone and love tall athletic, and active players like me. My boy Dior [Johnson] is committed and that can play a big part also.”

You’ve built a great relationship with Memphis’ Penny Hardaway, how has that been?

Smith: “It would be really cool having Coach Penny as a coach because he has done what most dream of and knows what it takes to get there. He compares me to Precious [Achiuwa] a lot.”

What campuses have you been able to take a look at virtually?

Smith: “Memphis, Marquette, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Georgia Tech, and Georgia.”

You’re formerly a member of the 2021 class, any chance you reclassify again?

Smith: “Yes. I finished most of my required courses already. But as of right now I’m focused on being a member of the 2022 class.”

As for your skillset, what’s one word to describe you on the court?

Smith: “Dog. I just don’t stop and I play with a high motor.”


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