Perhaps it's been pretty easy in the past to overlook Chris Smith. When you are the younger brother of JR Smith, and your older brother is a McDonald's All-American who wins both the three-point and slam dunk contests and jumps directly to the NBA, perhaps it's easy to be overlooked. Also, when you play at one of the elite programs in all of America, where every player is a Div.1 talent - with teammates such as Lance Thomas, Eugene Harvey and Corey Stokes, to name just a few - perhaps it is easy to get lost in the shuffle. However, the time may be at hand for Smith to emerge as a true star in his own right.
He has had an impressive summer. His play for Jimmy Salmon's Playaz AAU club has been outstanding, and he was recently named to the all-tournament team at the Sonny Hill League Future Stars Tournament in Philadelphia. Brian Crownover, writing for caainsider, had this to say: "Chris has been one of the best players in the region this summer and that fine play continued on through this weekend. He is really difficult to guard because he is so deadly from behind the arc and can hit from all over the floor. He is also very quick and athletic and can get to the rim in the blink of an eye. Chris might not be as highly rated as his brother was in high school, but he is certainly making up ground in a hurry."
Indeed, two attributes of Smith's game that one immediately notices are a deep and deadly perimeter stroke – he has been hitting three's at an astonishing 70% clip as of late – and terrific athleticism, possessing an incredible 40 inch vertical leap. Not surprisingly then, he feels his offense is the strong part of his game. Still, he remains quite humble about his talents and the way that he has played: "I feel I played pretty well, but you feel that you could've played better", he said. As for areas where he feels there's been room for improvement, such as ball handling, he said: "Everybody used to say I couldn't put the ball on the floor, but now I know I can do it". He said his speed and his footwork are two areas that he wants to continue to get better at.
Thus, perhaps the most inexplicable part of the Chris Smith story so far is that he presently has received a grand total of two Div. 1 offers: from St. Peter's and Seton Hall. He does state that he expects to soon be the recipient of more, listing Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Georgetown and Maryland as the schools he expects to offer him a scholarship. Rutgers fans are obviously interested in knowing how Smith feels about RU and head coach Fred Hill.
"I know Fred Hill pretty good", states Smith. "I've been talking with him ever since he's been at Villanova. I got to know him through JR". So for this young man who would like to study business and sports marketing, should a scholarship offer from the Scarlet Knights come his way, would that be something he would seriously consider? He paused for a brief moment and then said: "I would consider them – definitely".