One of the West Coast’s top point guards in 2017 comes from Alameda (Calif.) St. Joseph-Notre Dame in Jadé Smith.
The 6-foot-2, 165-pound four-star prospect has good size, length and athleticism for the position and he’s an elite level passer. If he continues to progress as a decision maker and improve his efficiency, his stock will skyrocket.
Smith’s AAU coach with Team Superstar, LeRohn Dodson, is pleased with how his point guard played this summer.
“I thought he progressed,” Dodson said. “He got out of the gate slow coming back from a knee injury. He was okay during the spring but as the summer went on, he got a lot better. He peaked at the right time and in July played pretty well.”
Word out of the Bay Area is that Smith has made strides since July and Dodson attributes that to his work ethic.
“The big thing is he’s hungry,” he said. “This was the first year he played in a main circuit and seeing what else is out there, he feels he’s as good as anyone he played against.
“I think he’s coming out of his shell a little bit and realizing if he works hard, he could be as good as anyone else. He’s really hungry and working hard. He’s spending a lot of time in the gym trying to get better.”
The most recent offer for Smith came from Cal.
"He says that he really likes the staff and the location," Dodson said of the Golden Bears.
He’s already visited one of those programs, with three others on the agenda.
“I think he’s going to visit USC, San Diego State and Nevada,” Dodson said. “He’s visited Cal several times already. I know he wants to take some visits during the fall.”
Dodson broke down what Smith likes about the schools he will visit.
San Diego State: “He likes the location, it being on the West Coast, he likes the weather and he likes coach (Steve) Fisher and coach (Justin) Hutson. He also likes the fact that they’ve been winning.”
USC: “I think him and Tony Bland have hit it off. He really likes the team. He likes that they’re on the West Coast and in the Pac-12 so his family could go to the games. He’s definitely interested in them.”
Nevada: “I think Nevada was the first to offer him and they watched a lot of his games in July so they’ve developed a relationship with him. I know him and his dad are definitely interested in Nevada, especially with it being close to home. “
As Smith’s recruitment progresses, he’ll be able to get a better idea which programs will have what he wants in a college.
“He’s looking for a good situation basketball-wise where he can have the chance to compete and contribute early,” Dodson said. “He’s not worried about location or anything, just the best situation.
“From what he tells me, he’ll make a decision whenever he finds the right fit. I don’t think there’s a timeline in terms of it being early or late. He’s still trying to figure it out.”