Smith Patterning His Game After Portis

Van Buren junior Mitchell Smith (6-10, 200), who has an Arkansas offer and is a similar-type player to current Razorback star Bobby Portis, had a spectacular 33-point, 13-rebound effort against North Little Rock on Saturday at the Holiday Hoops Invitational in North Little Rock.

Van Buren junior Mitchell Smith is trying to develop into the same type of player that current Arkansas sophomore forward Bobby Portis has already become.

After tossing in 33 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in a 64-59 loss to North Little Rock in the Holiday Hoops on Saturday, Smith (6-10, 200) appears on his way.

Smith, who has an offer from the Razorbacks as well as Oklahoma State and Creighton, showed off his inside game, his mid-range shot and even knocked down a pair of 3-pointers.

It was the same type thing Portis did just a few hours later just a couple miles away as he scored 24 points and grabbed 9 rebounds as the Razorbacks (8-2) downed Southeast Missouri 84-67 at Verizon Arena.

“I like how they (the Razorbacks) are playing and I watch Bobby a lot and try to do what he does,” Smith said. “Me and Coach Anderson talk about that all the time and I really watch and see what he does and I try to put that in my game.”

Smith, who played for the Arkansas Wings’ 16-and-under AAU team, has really developed his game since last season when he averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds as a sophomore.

“The summer was serious for me, the off-season was serious,” Smith said. “I worked on my jump shot and I showed that off a little bit tonight and also posted up and just taking my time to try and score a lot for my team.

“My teammates just gave me the ball tonight in good shooting spots and when I found my spot I couldn’t really miss,” Smith added. “I just have got to get better on free throws and I think it will all come together for me.”

Van Buren head coach Randy Loyd issued a challenge to his star.

“Against Fayetteville last week he had two points in the first half and 21 in the second half,” Loyd said. “It is just a deal this week where we have talked about playing the whole game like that.

“I kind of challenged him today to do that and without a doubt he did,” Loyd added.

Lloyd can see how much Smith has improved.

“His perimeter shot is a lot better,” Lloyd said. “He has worked on that really hard this fall and this summer as well. At 6-10, if he can step out and make that shot and make somebody come get him, it makes him even better.”

Loyd knows there will be more offers headed Smith’s way.

“They’ll be more,” Loyd said. “Some don’t even know about him yet.”

Mitchell Smith

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