Kelly Kline/Under Armour

UNC Showing Interest in Javonte Smart

Top-ranked rising junior point guard making his mark on a new circuit this spring.

FISHERS, Ind. -- JaVonte Smart isn't speaking directly with schools yet, but he knows the major players involved.

The recruiting process is still in the early stages for Scout.com's No. 1 point guard in the class of 2018, yet the Baton Rouge (La.) Scotlandville native is beginning to hear from some of the nation's best programs.

The 6-foot-3 Smart is hearing the most from Baylor, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, UMass and Wake Forest while he's also beginning to get interest from two hoops heavyweights.

"Right now I know Kentucky and North Carolina [are showing interest]," Smart said. "They've been around awhile. The schools talk to my mom, I don't even talk to them."

The interest from those schools is standing out to him early.

"It's big; they're good schools," Smart said of the duo.

When it comes to the Tar Heels, Smart already likes the uptempo style that North Carolina brings to the table and he's noticed their recent success.

"They're really good. They play hard, and I like how they play," Smart said.

Smart said that he doesn't have any campus visits in the works and he has no timeframes yet for his recruitment.

Smart is more concerned with developing his game and playing in the Under Armour Association with Team Beast Mode. This is the second consecutive season in which Smart has played up in the grassroots setting as he played in the 17U Nike EYBL last season with Elfrid Payton Elite.

"It feels good it's just a lot of experience playing against older guys. It's real good. I like playing against [good] competition," Smart said. "They're stronger and a lot of guys are explosive. Their first step is quicker. I have to learn how to guard that. And then they're stronger on defense. They push me around with their body and that's something I have to work on."

Ranked the No. 5 overall prospect in Scout.com's 2018 rankings, Smart continues to push himself. He averaged 14.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and and 3.1 assists per game in eight games this spring.

"I've played good. I've played tough and I'm just trying to get wins," Smart said. "[I'm learning] how to win close games and keep scoring the ball and keep making my teammates better."


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