Prime-five senior Jabari Smith dedicated to Auburn on Friday, giving the Tigers their highest-ranked recruit since at the least 2007.
Smith selected Bruce Pearl’s program out of a last checklist that additionally included Tennessee, Georgia, LSU, Georgia Tech and North Carolina. Smith has spoken earlier than about going the G League route, however Auburn in the end gained out.
“It’s near dwelling, possibly an hour and half-hour away from my home. Not far in any respect,” Smith instructed ESPN. “Their fashion of play is free and quick. Auburn is thought for his or her protection. Taking part in for Coach Pearl will assist me develop into a stronger two-way participant. I seen how a lot Coach Pearl loves his gamers.
“Just a few large elements in my determination have been how a lot he has gained on the highest degree, competes for championships and the way his gamers have [gone] to the subsequent degree. Hopefully we will return to a Closing 4 and additional. It’s the greatest match for me.”
Smith, a 6-foot-8 energy ahead from Sandy Creek Excessive Faculty (Georgia), is ranked No. 5 within the ESPN 100 for the 2021 class. He is the highest-ranked Auburn recruit because the ESPN recruiting database started in 2007, and the fourth five-star prospect Pearl has landed since taking up the Tigers in 2014.
Smith averaged 24.5 factors, 10.8 rebounds and a pair of.8 blocks final season for Sandy Creek, and in addition gained a gold medal with USA Basketball on the 2019 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Brazil after averaging 13.8 factors and 6.2 rebounds.
The final word inside-out ahead, Smith has a legit leap hook that he goes to on the left block to complete in the course of the paint. His fluid stroke behind the arc makes him a 3-point risk, and his driving, passing and scoring expertise within the midrange space are evident. He is a more-than-dependable rebounder and can block photographs. He is a real mismatch who will be capable to take contact higher as his physique fills out.
Pearl continues to have loads of success within the state of Georgia, with Smith following ESPN 100 prospects Sharife Cooper and J.T. Thor from the 2020 class and projected lottery choose Isaac Okoro from the 2019 class as Auburn recruits from the Peach State.
Smith is the primary Auburn commit within the 2021 class, however the Tigers are additionally within the combine for Trey Alexander, Moussa Diabate and others.
“My thoughts was made up so now could be the right time,” Smith mentioned. “This determination will get the on a regular basis strain off and permits me to focus on my highschool season and profitable a state championship.”