The most talented team on the court doesn’t always win, but it usually helps. For Tom Crean to hold off plenty of other suitors and add Justin Smith to his 2017 class means two things: Indiana is capable of recruiting high level players and they just added one of the best wings in the country.
As Indiana’s 2017 class continues to expand, Smith will more than likely still be the prize of it. And here’s why:
Justin Smith will legitimately explode off the court with his leaping ability, particularly in the fastbreak. The bounce on his dunks are breathtaking and will sure to light up the Indiana Hoosier fan base each night out.
While Smith is on the finishing end of some great dunks, how he puts himself into position is very important. His natural instinct on the timing of the fast break is what allows him to be able to put dunk after dunk on his highlight reel. So not only is Justin Smith a tremendous jumper but an excellent runner as well.
Not only is the 6-foot-7 wing a dominant dunker, his touch around the rim is something he will need playing in the Big 10. The ability to dunk over someone, score through someone, or lay the ball up around someone are three proponents of Smith’s game that will carry over into his collegiate career. For Hoosier fans, the acrobatic skills Smith possesses could be a humongous plus for their team.
Smith is very willing to step out beyond the three point line and make shots. Most of his made three pointers come in rhythm as the ball is being swung around the perimeter which allows him to “hop” into the shot with good form. A good arch in his shot allows Smith to find the right touch to make the net say swish.
While the raw athleticism and soft touch at the rim are keys to Smith’s game, to stay on the court it will take consistency which as a freshman in the Big 10 can be tough. He is capable of creating against inferior defenders and settle for a mid-range jump shot, but will need to attack and score on better defenders to separate himself.
Smith will have to add a bit more weight to his current 6-foot-7 and 185 pound frame to sustain the transition from high school to college basketball. Nonetheless, he does possess all the necessary skills, measurables, and abilities to be a potential one-and-done player.
Smith will be joining a Hoosier team with a lot of depth at the forward position in 2017-18, so we could even expect to see him play the stretch four position for periods on the court due to his athletic ability. Indiana fans could even see him bring the ball up from time to time as the season goes along.
One thing is for sure, Indiana needed to add a player like Justin Smith to its roster, and Tom Crean got it done.