POTOMAC, Md. -- TT was on hand at Bullis to watch 2018 power forward Jalen Smith, a prime Maryland target. Our take on his game is below:
Live Scouting Report: Jalen Smith
School: Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.)
Athleticism: "Sticks" Smith is a thoroughbred athlete. He runs very well, has some hops and is quick for a 6-8 guy. He'll need to add a lot of weight, but when he does, he'll have an impressive athletic package.
Shooting: Smith has a beautiful touch from the 12-15 foot range. He's very fluid, with excellent form.
Ball-handling: It's pretty good at this stage, though obviously MSJ coach Pat Clatchey doesn't really ask a lot of him in this area. But he puts it on the floor well enough to create some space and get his shot off.
Defense: Smith is a long 6-8, and goes after shots in the paint with abandon. He'll be a shot-blocking force teams in the Baltimore area will have to contend with for three more years.
Rebounding: Smith is called "Sticks" for a reason; he's very thin, but has enough hops and positioning skills to more than hold his own on the boards. Physical big men will give him trouble for now, but that's going to change once he finds 10-15 more pounds.
Passing: I really like Smith's court vision, and his willingness to look for the open man.
Intangibles: After repeated viewings, it's apparent Smith accepts coaching very well. He plays hard and plays within the team concept. Throw in solid grades and character, and you have pretty much everything colleges are looking for.
Summary: Jalen Smith is already 6-8, and probably still growing. The skill level is already impressive, and he possesses the drive to improve. Assuming normal progression and physical maturity, the sky is definitely the limit for this sophomore.
Maryland made an early offer, which was a wise move. This is an in-state kid the Terps do not want to let get away. He's a potential big timer in the class of 2018.
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