The 20-year-old sophomore from South Jersey has been a popular name on the recruiting circuit this year and has interest from Maryland, Clemson, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Seton Hall, Xavier, Virginia Tech, LaSalle and many others -- in addition to the Tar Heels.
He averaged 7.7 points and 5.3 rebounds last season as a freshman and figures to play a more prominent role on the offensive end this season for Allegany -- an elite junior college program.
As a senior at Overbrook High School in New Jersey, Smith earned first team All-State honors and was invited to participate in the Nike camp, which is where a lot of the aforementioned programs started recruiting the multi-talented big man. He averaged 25 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks as a senior at Overbrook and was one of the most feared players in the tough South Jersey area, a widely known hotbed of high school basketball.
A well known college hoops assistant coach provided us with the following analysis.
"He's a 3 that can play some 4," he said. "He's a really good -- really good -- player. He's very versatile and the kid can get to the rim. He is good off the dribble, he can shoot it and he now has range to the three point line. He's more of an in between (combo) forward, but he can post up on the blocks if you need him to. Nice body -- and I've seen him play the 3,4 and a little of the 5 sometimes as well. He's going to be one of the best five JuCo players in the country after this year is over. He can play anywhere in the country and he'll provide impact on any team."
Russ Blake, one the best sources of information on JuCo prospects had the following scouting analysis on Smith -- "He's got a great basketball body. He's long and lean and there's not an ounce of fat on him. He projects as a power/combo forward on the next level. He's athletic, can scrap for offensive rebounds and has reliable range to 15-18 feet on the perimeter."
The inside word on Smith is that he's probably a Maryland lean, but his head coach Bob Kirk didn't offer anything that confirmed or denied that belief.
Kirk referred to Smith on a broader base -- noting that Smith was a target for lots of programs.
"He's heard from a lot of people," noted Kirk. "There are at least 20 Division I programs that are interested in Jamar. He's got a chance to be a great one -- he's a special player. He's going to get the chance to really do a lot of things this year, because last year we just had so many other players and now they've graduated."
On the subject of a commitment time, Kirk stated that Smith "definitely was not going to sign early."
And as to whether or not North Carolina's inquiries were accompanied by a scholarship offer -- Kirk doesn't comment on that stuff to the media, but noted that the inquiry from the Tar Heels was "definitely serious."
The Allegany college sophomore is on pace to graduate, according to Kirk, who graduated all eight of his players last year.
By the way, Allegany College played their first game last night, and Smith dropped 26 points and corralled 15 rebounds in the win over Montgomery-Takoma Park.