Stanley Branch, St. Benedict's 6-7 forward led all scorers with 24 points on 10 for 13 shooting. Teammate and UNC target, 6-5 J.R. Smith scored 21 points, including 5 of 10 from beyond the 3-point arc, 11 of which came in the first quarter as St. Benedict's raced to an 18-7 lead. Both players sat most of the 4th quarter after St. Benedict's took a 37 point lead into the final stanza against its undersized and underskilled opponent.
Smith hit most of his 3's on wide open looks from the corner. He struggled, however, when forced to create his own shot, both shooting the 3 and driving in traffic. The athleticism that created the buzz over the past summer was evident, but was not needed, as St. Benedict's took command of the game in the first quarter and never looked back. Smith also showed impressive tenacity on defense, creating numerous turnovers as part of St. Benedict's smothering man-to-man set.
Little can be gleaned from Smith's performance, though, as St. Benedict's, with four future Division I players, was never tested. What was evident was Smith's ability to shoot, and his struggles when he wasn't spotting up. But, stay tuned for Saturday night's matchup against R.J. Reynolds and Tar Heel signee, Reyshawn Terry, at the PrimeTime Shootout in Trenton, NJ. Terry vs. Smith should be a war.