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Posted On: 07/20/17 2:00 PM
Rashod Smith | Northside High School (Pinetown, NC) | 5’7″ PG | Class of 2020
Freshman Stats: 12.3 points, 8.6 assists, 3.0 steals, 50% shooting, 48% 3pt range
Rashod Smith is an exceptionally gifted “true” point guard prospect from Northside-Pinetown HS in North Carolina. As a freshman this past season, he immediately stepped into the starting varsity point guard position while leading his team in scoring, assists and steals per game. His most notable game may have been in the NCHSAA playoffs where he faced off against 1A power Voyager Academy. Despite his team falling in the contest, Smith finished the game with 18 points and 12 assists while facing several future collegiate level guards (video below). Since the high school season has concluded, we’ve had several opportunities to watch him play up in AAU with Team Premier 16U. He has visibly grown several inches and his body type seemingly suggests that he will continue to stretch out several more inches as the years move forward. This point guard prospect will have a chance to do some serious damage at the high school level and beyond with his elite passing ability, speed and basketball IQ.
Court Vision – This kid has next level court vision. His ability to make full court go ahead passes with pinpoint accuracy is top notch. In pick and roll situations, he’s nearly an impossible cover at times on the high school level. Does an excellent job at looking away, hesitating and turning the corner off of screens before dropping off easy dimes or finding open shooters when defenses try to play help defense. Don’t be surprised to see him among national assists leaders for his entire high school career.
Shooting Ability – Deep shooting range and a consistent release point on his jumper makes Smith even tougher of a cover at times. His unselfishness and passing ability overshadows his shooting ability at times. Doesn’t have many off games from the perimeter and mixes it up as well with mid-range pull-up jump-shots. He shot the ball right at 50% from the field overall and 48% from 3-pt range as a freshman according to MaxPreps.com. Look for him to bump his scoring average up as a sophomore due to his speed with the ball and shooting ability.
Defensive Awareness – Intensity, quick hands and great communication allows this kid to make a huge impact on the defensive end of the floor. He picks players pockets frequently when they are careless with the ball. In the passing lanes, he does a great job of seeing his man and the ball. Is very quick and accurate and jumping in passing lanes for easy steals typically leading to either a high flying layup, assists and with his budding athleticism it won’t be long before he consistently begins putting down crowd pleasing dunks on the fast-break.
Areas for Improvement:
Strength – Note that he’s just a rising sophomore so there is plenty of time to continue growing and developing strength. However, at this current stage Smith dominates games with his pure skill, speed and basketball IQ. With some added strength, he’ll become more dominant as he’d handle traps and bumps from the elite sized guards he faces with more success. He already possesses above average athleticism, so being able to consistently take hits and finish through elite level shot blockers will raise tons of eyebrows of college coaches early.
Experience – As stated before, he’s a rising sophomore so it would be quite silly to “project” this kid as a final product. As time goes along, he’s going to become more and more experienced while playing against higher levels of competition each ensuing year. As he heads into this next season, teams will have better game-plans geared to slow him down. All of the experience he gains as a sophomore will be very important for his long term development and help further evaluate his ability to be a featured point guard in years to come at the collegiate level.
Conclusion: In a loaded North Carolina Class of 2020 that already features several excellent point guard prospects such as Jaden Springer, Tristan Maxwell, Jalen Cone and Evan Johnson who deserving already hold Division 1 offers, it’s easy to fall through the cracks early on. However, it’s important to remember that Rashod Smith was 3rd nationally among freshmen in assists per game and much like his peers, is still growing, gaining experience and improving from game to game. He’ll force college coaches to come evaluate his game for themselves sooner than later.