Friday Night Hoops: John Glenn vs. Plymouth Salem

Prior to last night's game I had seen soph. sensation PG Jerret Smith twice. However, I wanted to catch him in action against stiffer competition. Last weekend when I spoke with Jerret's dad he suggested that Plymouth Salem, led by senior CMU commit Dave Hoskins, provided the opposition I was looking for!

(editors note: the correct spelling is Jerret Smith, not Jarrett Smith )

For the first time since we traveled down to Cleveland to see Dion Harris take on LeBron James, friends "DOTMAN" and Dennis Burns joined my brother and I for a game. They too had heard a lot about Mr. Smith's skills and wanted to check out his court exploits.

I had heard plenty about the last meeting in which Hoskins and Smith squared off. Those who were there said it was a great contest where Hoskins went off for about 35 points, while Jerret had about 27. Unfortunately, the night of the supposed rematch started out in a disappointing fashion for us when Jerret's dad mentioned that Hoskins wasn't playing in the game because he had received a double technical in Plymouth's previous contest. He also indicated that Jerret was a bit hobbled by a knee injury that he suffered when he bumped knees with another player the day before. (That's the reason for the sleeve on his leg in the pictures ... he is #5 in the red jersey, wearing a white head band as well). Despite the absence of Hoskins, (and Jerret's injury), young Mr. Smith still gave us enough of an on court display to make us glad that we attended.

Jerret came out of the blocks much faster in this game than in the two I'd seen previously. The first few offensive plays of the game featured him getting in the lane for quick pull-up jumpers. It was obvious that his leg was bothering him, but he continued to gut it out. The defensive end was where the injury hampered him most. Still, he did an effective job of staying in front of his man.

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Jerret's next points came on a 3-pointer that he drained from the corner. The word "smooth" was used as a descriptive term regarding Jerret's shot and overall play quite a few times by my cohorts. A little later in the first quarter Jerret came down the court, penetrated in the lane, and served up a great pass that led to one of his teammates being fouled. However, he aggravated his knee on the play and had to go to the locker room. In the meantime, Plymouth took advantage of Jerret's absence and seized the lead.


Jerret with the 3!

When he re-emerged from his treatment, it was obvious there was still some discomfort. But, it was ever more evident that he was going to play through the pain to help his team. He went right back to making the plays that I've become accustomed to seeing. A play that demonstrated the great court vision that I've spoken of previously was when he made a length of the court pass over two defenders, leading to an easy lay-up. A few plays later it seemed as if the Salem point guard decided to test Jerret's injury, and pressed him at half court. Jerret blew by him with a left to right dribble behind his back. He then threw an alley-oop pass on the run from three of four steps behind the three-point arc to his Canisius bound teammate, 6'6" senior, Darnell Wilson.


Jerret's nice court-length pass

In the second half, the dribbling display didn't stop as he blew his defender away with a few nice crossovers. Jerret continued to dazzle the crowd with a few reverses where he jumped from one side of the basket to the other to convert lay-ups. Just as dazzling were the pinpoint passes he threw. Jerret's efforts guided his team to an eventual 58-45 win. He finished the game with a triple double: 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.

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In the picture on the right, notice that the lefty converts the reverse with his RIGHT hand

The subtle part of Jerret's game that continued to leave me (as well as the guys I attended the game with) impressed was the overall control of a ball game that he has. Dennis commented, "I'm just as impressed by the things that he DOESN'T do!" Jerret quite simply is a player that doesn't force things. He really lets the game come to him. Furthermore, he maintains a good balance between individuality and conformity. It's evident that Jerret has the ability to turn in the flashy crowd pleasing plays, but he also possesses the restraint to play his game within the confines of the offense that his coach has set up.


Jerret prepares for the crossover

I'll have more comments on Jerret's recruitment, based on conversations I've had with Mr. Smith and others, in my basketball recruiting update next week.

For those who missed it, a full scouting report on Jerret (with even more pictures) can be found here: Jerret Smith scouting report

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