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Posted On: 05/31/18 12:06 PM
With a wide-ranging offensive game and the type of dazzling high-major athleticism that is prioritized in today’s recruiting market, Diante Smith is heating up this summer.
The 6-foot-7 guard, who can operate an offensive and score the ball at will, is one of the nation’s best unsigned two-way threats.
Avery Johnson and Alabama have been in strongest pursuit so far, envisioning Smith as a Collin Sexton-caliber with the potential to prosper in the SEC. Florida, Cincinnati, and LSU are also jockeying for front runner position on Smith, who recently picked up an offer from Xavier. Similar to Jamal Mashburn Jr., Smith has made an art out of dissecting a defense via the mid-range game. He possesses an adroit 3-point stroke which triggers decisive runs, an aspect which mirrors his spurt-ability as the engineer of a souped-up offensive attack.
“TCU, LSU, Alabama, Florida, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Auburn,” said Smith, when asked which programs have been most consistent in his recruitment process.
The Class of 2019 product’s game best aligns with the SEC’s style of play. Avery Johnson, who is recruiting Smith heavily, has expressed intrigue in utilizing Smith as a featured piece and giving him the freedom to orchestrate the offense.
“I’ve been working on my handles and my shot consistency,” said Smith, who stars at Choctaw.
“I see myself doing well at the next level due to my versatility. This year, my role is to score and control the game.”
Now playing with Showtime Ballers, 6-foot-9 forward Jaden Lindsey has upped his workload this off-season. In a quick period of time, Lindsey has garnered interest from FGCU, Austin Peay, and several other Division-I programs. A Class of 2019 prospect, Lindsey showed flashes as junior. He’s got big, soft hands and has learned to finish above the rim and through contact. He’s in the process of establishing a feathery hook with both hands. If he can open up a consistent short-range jumper and ramp up his scoring with consistency, expect him to evolve into a high-impact big at McArthur High School in Hollywood, Fla.
IMG Academy’s Noah Farrakhan, a drive-first 6-foot-2 guard for Nike Team Florida, has recently visited Virginia and will visit Seton Hall today.
The high-scoring Class of 2020 guard would thrive in the system that enables him to play an isolation game and get into the lane and score. Farrakhan is bolstered by an array of manipulative one on one moves that routinely has defenders chasing. He’s averaging 10.9 points on the Nike EYBL circuit this spring.
Farrakahn is a hard-edged and athletic guard. He’s shown zero trepidation in weaving through multiple defenders to score.
Putnam Science grad Malik Curry will return as one of the nation’s premiere JUCO sophomores in 2019. A crafty and high-scoring 6-foot-2 point guard, the hard attacking guard is constantly putting pressure on the defense with his swift surges to the rim. A crafty and ambidextrous finisher, Curry has garnered interest from Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast University, UCF, and San Diego State. He’s got some burst to him and a can finish in wowing, authoritative fashion. Ramping up tools such as a nifty floater and a Eurostep enabled him to average 19.6 points, 4.3 boards, and 3.9 assists per game.
Several weeks into the 2017-18 campaign, Buffalo-bound OCP point guard Renaldo Segu cited 6-foot-9 Bahamian big Kai Jones as the team’s “secret weapon,” an underrated piece who would “blow up this summer.” It would certainly appear that Segu’s words have proven prophetic. Georgia, Ole Miss, and Georgetown are the latest to offer the blossoming prospect, a thorough finisher and shot-blocker. Jones moves exceptionally well and would be a linchpin in a quintessential baseline to baseline, quick-paced offense. The Class of 2019 Jones is projected to assume some of the leadership mantle at OCP next year, alongside star forward C.J. Walker. With the aforementioned Segu and UNC-bound Nassir Little graduating next month, Jones and Walker are catapulted into program poster boys.