Shaq Smith‘s name hasn’t gained a lot of traction since he was a freshman on varsity at Flint Northern a few years back. At that time, people talked about Smith like he could be the next great guard out of Flint.
Fast forward to his senior season and he’s certainly not that, but he’s really good.
Smith led Northern to victory last night on the road at Carman-Ainsworth and looked smooth doing it. He’s the most explosive player in the area from point A to point B. He’s still an elite finisher in the lane, but he has added an extra dimension to his game that we’ve only seen flashes of before: peripheral vision.
On several possessions, Smith left his defender in cement shoes, drew two new defenders and made picture-perfect passes for easy shots. He scored a modest 15 points in the game, but he was the best player on the floor last night — followed closely by C-A’s prized sophomore Denzel Watts.
He’s still small (around 5-10) and not what I would call a lock-down defender (though he could be); but, he has the feet of an NFL cornerback to make up for some of what he lacks. If he could extend his range a little bit, he’d be in a much better position for recruiting purposes. That being said, I’m certain he will have numerous JUCO offers if that’s the route he chooses to take.
P.S. Young players who are trying to figure out what it means to “finish soft” need to check Shaq out.
– By Jared Field | Great Lakes Hoops