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Basketball Recruiting

Five-star junior Jabari Smith being prioritized by six programs, sets commitment timetable

July 5, 2020

Last year, Jabari Smith wasn’t a five-star prospect. Heck, he wasn’t even a four-star prospect.

Fast forward to now. Smith now has an Adidas Gauntlet title as well as just your casual USA Gold medal from this past tournament, also led his Sandy Creek (GA.) team to an elite eight. He’s got the skillset of your modern day big man, standing at 6-foot-10 but can spread all over the floor and do pretty much everything on both ends.

Despite being one of the nation’s top-rated prospects, regardless of class, Smith doesn’t have your normal recruitment. You don’t see any leaders and more significant, not many blue bloods made a major push.

“Schools that are still on me hard include Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Auburn, LSU, and North Carolina,” Smith told That doesn’t disclude any other school that will get involved or is already showing interest as he reaffirmed that he doesn’t have his list cut yet and he will hear out other programs.

He broke down the six programs listed above with

- Tennessee *he visited

”Tennesse is a great school and they fit my play style. Head coach Rick Barnes has coached many guys that have a similar play style as me.”

- LSU *cancelled visit

”LSU is where my dad played and it would be cool to follow in his footsteps and plus I like their system, it fits my play style.” (Visit was cancelled due to COVID-19)

- Georgia *he visited

”Georgia is a program that is headed in the right direction under Coach [Tom] Crean. It would be a cool opportunity to stay close to home.”

- Georgia Tech *he visited

”Georgia Tech is really close to home and has really good player development and it would be cool to stay close to home while changing the culture.”

- Auburn *he visited

“Auburn plays very good defense and I fit that category as I believe that I’m a good defender. They have a family atmosphere and the visit I went on down there was really good.”

- North Carolina *hasn’t visited

”I don’t know much about them yet. But they’re known for winning and getting guys to the next level. Plus they are known for their skilled big men.”

As stated above, Smith was forced to cancel his visit to LSU due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I fully expect, when he gets the go, for Smith to take a visit to Baton Rouge. There are most defintely ties with them as his father played at LSU but he has also been very vocal on Will Wade’s system and how he would mesh in it.

Tennessee and Auburn had two big visits, as both had the chance to host Smith as a lone visitor. That visit with him as the only prospect on campus gave each staff the opporunity to make Smith feel prioritized as he does with all six programs including Georgia and Georgia Tech, both of which are local programs that Smith has visited several times as a recruit and a local.

North Carolina has yet to budge on Smith. Despite his several conversations with Roy Williams, the Tar Heels haven’t extended a scholarship offer just yet and Smith hasn’t had the opporunity to visit campus yet. I fully expect them to make a bigger push at some point as they’ve gotten to watch him this past season and last summer.

Smith has also been viewed as a potential reclassification candidate, but, he denies any rumor of him doing so and says he will remain a part of the 2021 class.

With that, I asked Smith about a potential timeline for a commitment, his response: “No set time. Either before or during my high school season.” That gives him the chance to build a stronger relationship with the coaches or even hear more programs out due to the fact that he remains open in his recruitment.




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