What is Indiana getting in Lincolnshire (IL) Stevenson forward Justin Smith?
And what kind of player could he becoming in the future?
Scout.com national anlysts Evan Daniels and Brian Snow and Peegs.com's Mike Pegram and Jeff Rabjohns — all of whom have watched Smith in person in a number of events the past two years — give their takes on the 6-foot-6, 190-pound forward who is ranked No. 91 nationally in the 2017 class by Scout.com.
EVAN DANIELS: Indiana is getting a top 100 recruit and a player that can help them in Justin Smith. Tom Crean and his staff battled some stiff competition and wound up reeling in someone they really wanted.
On the court, Justin Smith impresses, as he has good size and athleticism for a wing prospect. I like his effort and energy and think he's a very good rebounder for a wing recruit. He's always a candidate for a highlight reel put back slam and does a good job of finishing in transition. He's also a capable shooter from three and I think in time this is an area he can really continue to get better and be a factor in.
BRIAN SNOW: I think Indiana is getting a very good player in Justin Smith. His athletic upside is tremendous, and he has made good strides in the last year. He still needs to be tougher and play with a more consistent motor, but when the kid is locked in he shows great potential. Add in versatility on both ends of the floor, and this is a really good piece to the puzzle for the Hoosiers.
MIKE PEGRAM: With Justin Smith the Hoosier program is getting someone that clicks pretty much every box for the small forward position. There's also an extra intangible benefit as an extremely bright young man who had the eye of Stanford and other top academic programs.
Smith is more athletic and a bit stronger than a typical high major prospect at his position. He possesses nice form on his jumper and just needs to develop consistency with that weapon. He can get better with his motor and his handle but have to really like how he began to play with much more urgency this offseason. The Hoosiers are beginning to rebuild the Illinois pipeline here that has help them win past championships.
JEFF RABJOHNS: Justin Smith is a high-level athlete who has developed his skills but still has the opportunity to make big jumps with his game. He was a complementary player as a sophomore to five-star guard Jalen Brunson on a state-championship Lincolnshire team, but as a junior began to emerge and become more comfortable in a lead role, something that continues to grow in his game.
Watching him in high school, his ability to make plays off the bounce going to the rim and excel in the open court.
In AAU with the Mac Irvin Fire, he faced outstanding competition. He was very good at the NBPA Top 100 camp in June, finishing as the leading scorer for his team in two games against stacked competition. His ability to make scoring plays in the halfcourt off one- and two-dribble moves mainly in the mid-range area stood out the most. His 3-point shot has improved but as that takes addition steps, his game could really rise.
He is an active defender who will improve as technique is added to his athleticism, and he is a rebounder who can not only go get the ball, but can turn and go off a defensive rebound.
Since he projects as a multi-year college player, Smith is someone who could contribute early and have a major contribution at the Big Ten and national level down the line.