Jerret Smith Scouting Report

I ventured out to see Westland John Glenn's soph. phenom PG Jerret Smith play twice in the past two weeks. The first time was in a loss (52-49) to Canton on January 28 and the second was in a win this past Friday over Walled Lake Central (63-51). This ballplayer is a true floor general. (Full scouting report with pictures inside).

Poise is not something one normally sees in young basketball players. Generally speaking, experience dictates the progression of an athlete's composure under pressure. That makes it all the more impressive when a player as young as Jerret Smith carries himself like a college veteran on the court. We've been hearing for months now about what an outstanding floor game he has. I can attest to the accuracy of those sentiments.

One thing people should not expect when they go see Mr. Smith play is a bunch of flash. I've only seen him twice, but that's enough to observe that he's a substance over style type of player. His exploits in AAU basketball may comprise some of the And-1 All Stars' moves (I don't know), but in the setting of high school he has fully conformed to the convention of his team. He has outstanding discipline and rarely travels outside of the design of the offense. You don't see him in a ton of isolation plays. His primary focus is involving his teammates. From that standpoint, he is the quintessential point guard. He can definitely be described as pass first, shoot second player. He didn't score over 15 points in either game that I witnessed. However, he was very effective in setting up his teammates and he's an excellent defender.

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The point guard that he reminds me of most at this stage of his development is former Utah Ute and current Los Angeles Clipper, Andre Miller. Jerret is quicker than Miller is, but what they both bring to the court and to their teams is amazingly similar in my opinion. Floor generalship is the staple of both players' games. Jerret is excellent in getting the ball up in transition. But, what was most surprising was his ability to get the ball up court for secondary break opportunities when the primary transition was taken away. A great many times he was able to get the ball to his athletic center in the lane before the opponents had a chance to get into their set defense. I'm not sure if he does this consciously or if he just feels it. Whatever the case may be, his court awareness is supreme.


Jerret crosses over behind his back


Jerret Blows by the defender

Jerret's individual skills consist of good quickness and a very nice handle. He shows the ability to go both left and right with the dribble, but does favor the left a little bit at this point. That said, he can really get into the lane whenever he wants to. (By the time he gets to college, I doubt there will be many who can dribble better on that level.) He also displayed a good vertical, which allowed him to finish on plays in traffic. Jerret has a sweet lefty stroke. He gets good elevation on his jumper and gets nice rotation on the ball. Furthermore, he's very accurate from the three-point line and has a nice pull up jumper that extends behind the arc as well. He has excellent feet on defense and is great at staying in front of his man. The only part of his game that gave me pause was it seemed like he was a little too unselfish. That said, the degree of his unselfishness might be dictated by the offense that they run at John Glenn. Still, Jerret was a far superior player to every opponent that he went against in both games that I saw. He could've had his way with any one of them. As he gets older, I expect that this is probably the one part of his game that will mature the most.

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Jerret nailing the threes

One thing that has to be constantly remembered when watching him play is that he's only a sophomore in high school. He's a legit 6'2" and about 180lbs now. In all likelihood, he isn't even done growing yet. He's going to get bigger, stronger, and maybe even taller. His basketball game will experience a similar sort of growth. It's easy to forget how young he is because his game is so far advanced. That said, his development in some areas is that of a sophomore. Realizing this makes his prospects for the future all the more exciting. If he has reached the level that he's at now this early in his playing career, imagine where he'll be in two years!



It's easy to see why Amaker likes this kid. He plays the position much like Tommy did himself. This is the type of guy you need playing the one spot when you have 3 to 4 other legitimate scoring threats on the court. It looks like that's the type of talent Coaches Amaker and Ramsey will be bringing in. That makes a hardwood quarterback like Jerret all the more important. He's a major target for this program and lets hope that his game and his recruitment (as far as Michigan is concerned) continues to look up.


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