Auburn’s Jabari Smith Jr. has a chance to go No. 1 overall in the 2022 NBA Draft. The 6’10 freshman forward is a nuclear shooter with a high release and deep range who has been called “tall Klay Thompson” by people who follow the game. While we had Smith at No. 3 overall in our latest mock draft, his combination of size, elite shooting, and mobility on the perimeter defensively give him a chance to be a star at the next level.
The biggest criticism Smith has faced during his freshman season with the Tigers is his inability or unwillingness to attack the rim. Smith is not a developed ball handler, and often feels like he settles for extremely tough shots rather than driving the ball to the basket, forcing a defensive rotation, and setting up an easy look for himself or his teammates.
Pro scouts and executives want to see Smith be more aggressive going to the rim. His dunk on No. 15 seed Jacksonville State in the first round of the 2022 NCAA tournament is a beautiful example of what he could eventually be:
Smith ended the game with 20 points, 14 rebounds, and four assists on 4-of-7 shooting from three. Auburn is moving on in the NCAA tournament. The next game he loses will be the last one he ever plays at the college level, because this is clearly a very, very good NBA prospect.
Our favorite part about this dunk was the reaction from his Auburn teammates. It’s almost like they’ve been waiting for Smith to attack the rim like more all season:
I was making the same reaction in my living room, to be honest.
There have already been some awesome dunks during this NCAA tournament, but this one from Smith just might take the cake so far. The reactions tell the whole story.