Five-star point guard Javonte Smart commits to LSU

GARDEN GROVE, CA - July 31, 2015: adidas Nations workout at Next Level Sports Complex in Garden Grove, California.(Photo by Kelly Kline/adidas)

By CODY WORSHAM | Tiger Rag Editor

The fireworks are popping early in the LSU basketball offices.

Will Wade and the Tigers got a pre-July 4th gift on Friday, as five-star 2018 Baton Rouge point guard Javonte Smart announced his commitment to LSU.

Smart, the two-time Gatorade Player of the Year at Scotlandville High School, is a consensus top 25 national prospect and top five point guard. LSU beat Kentucky, Kansas, Oklahoma State, UCLA, and Florida State for his services.

ESPN ranks Smart the No. 24 prospect overall in 2018 and the No. 5 point guard. Scout rates him as the No. 1 point guard in the country and the No. 9 overall prospect, while Rivals has Smart as the No. 11 prospect and the third-ranked guard in his class.

The back-to-back winner of the Division 1 title game MVP, Smart led Scotlandville to a 31-4 record as a junior, averaging 25.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. He’s scored more than 2,200 points in his varsity career so far.

A 6-foot-4 combo guard, Smart has the skill of Kyrie Irving and the frame of John Wall. He uses advanced footwork to create space in the paint, while taking advantage of his size and strength to finish above and through bigger defenders in traffic. He’s quick, but plays the game at his own, methodical pace, lulling defenders to sleep with change of speed and direction rather than raw agility.

Wade made Smart a priority as soon as he was hired to take over for Johnny Jones. He made the 15 minute drive from LSU to Scotlandville the first day of open evaluations and emphasized to Smart he was the priority in Wade’s first full recruiting cycle.

Should Smart’s commitment stick, he will be the highest-rated player LSU has signed since Ben Simmons in 2015 and the highest-rated player from Louisiana to play for LSU since Brandon Bass signed in 2003 as the No. 11 player in the country, according to Glen Davis and Jarell Martin both finished ranked No. 13 in their respective classes, while Tasmin Mitchell was ranked No. 20 in 2006.

Smart’s commitment comes the same weekend LSU is hosting five-star 2018 big Nazreon Reid, the No. 7 prospect in his class, according to ESPN.

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Cody Worsham

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