Smith among NBA early entrants

Indiana junior Justin Smith is on the list of 205 early-entry candidates for the NBA draft, according to a press release from the NBA issued late last night.

Smith declared early last year, as well, not hiring an agent and maintaining his eligibility. He was one of three Hoosiers to do that and return, along with guards Al Durham and Devonte Green. Smith could very well be doing the same this time around, getting feedback from NBA personnel to better his development.

On the other hand, freshman Trayce Jackson-Davis is not among those on the early entry list. He announced Sunday he was returning to school for his sophomore season.

Smith, a 6-foot-7 forward, averaged 10.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in 2019-20. He hit 49.2 percent of his shots from the field, including 26.3 percent (10-of-38) from beyond the arc. While his 3-point shot is still a work-in-progress, Smith did improve at the free throw line as a junior, increasing his percentage from 51.4 (36-of-70) as a sophomore to 67.3 (70-of-104).

An athletic three- or four-man, Smith has also earned praise from IU coach Archie Miller for his value as a rebounder and defender.


  1. O’Brother…Lala land. Perfect fit for nba.
    What does one have to lose? Demonstrates where lack of focus is on college game by way to many college players. Again, what does one have to lose? College coachability? Lack of Focus thus not reaching potential because of head game thoughts? May be a couple.

  2. Can’t blame these young men for taking advantage of all the resources available to them, and feedback is very valuable in helping a player develop. But it never crossed my mind that Justin Smith would get drafted by an NBA team after this past season. He’s a very gifted athlete and he has improved, but he is not even close to being one of the 60-best college BB players in the country, let alone when you consider the international players. And if you’re not good enough to be drafted, you have very little chance of making it to the NBA. Unless I’m mistaken, most of the second round draftees never even make an NBA roster.

    It is my hope that Justin will continue to improve and become a real force for IU next season. He has the athletic gifts to be much more valuable to the team. And if he does, I’d love to see him make an NBA roster in 2021.

    1. Po so correct. What does he have to lose. I see it as he has enough competitive initiative to reach for a worthy goal. Can only be a big positive for IUBB. No doubt he’ll be an even more valuable court performer. I like his thinking.

  3. I mean….there’s always a chance the already mega millionaires simply refuse to play and endanger themselves and family members.
    Maybe the NBA will realize that possibility and they’ll need to utilize the ‘G’ League and those with ‘upside’ ?

    If there are restrictions on fans…and if there are still many health concerns, will the big names so quickly return? What’s the incentive? No loud crowds to give sports the true stages that feed its glamour and existence? You already have all the money you’ll ever need and you’re soon to be asked to have physical and close contact in a sport it’s unavoidable? I’m not sure there’s any guarantee some of the big names will accept those conditions.

    To get a shot at the dollars may be worth the risk for highly athletic college kid right now …I suppose it’s dice some would be willing to roll. Maybe not a bad idea to enter the draft. And then there’s the possibility that college games will be played without fans?
    A lot of uncertainty right now. What’s even the point for a college coach who’s already earned millions upon millions to take excessive risk? How many will simply walk away from the game (top tier coaches and superstar players alike)?
    I couldn’t blame them. It’s not like their pork factory workers and can be forced to return to their jobs.

    1. oops..(last sentence)

      It’s not like their [they’re] pork factory workers and can be forced to return to their jobs.

  4. Virtually games played on computer…network of players from home laying on a big soft comfortable sofa for all the fans to enjoy. Maybe, it parallels with how PE will be or is taught in school now days.

  5. Suggestion for HT:
    Now that the NCAA has (perhaps) become nothing more than a figurehead organization, I personally would appreciate an article on the ramifications of allowing NCAA athletes “to be compensated for name, image and likeness.”
    I’m no expert, but I think this absolutely turns college sports on its head.
    Would enjoy hearing from HT writers and folks at IU they might talk to about their take on how this will affect IU sports.

    1. Quite right NHIV,
      If fully approved, it will be a game changer for college athletics. Once the door is opened, who knows where it will lead.

  6. Simple. NCAA just drop all athletic scholarships at all colleges and universities and offer an OPPORTUNITY platform that will be provided to play at such and such a school so all athletes can make all the money he or she wants by his or her image and likeness. There. Athletes get what they want. Or it could be optional (choose the scholarship or likeness and image route when choosing a school), or make it for all athletes.

  7. Just think of what John Laskowski could have made marketing ‘Super-Sub’…!?
    Too bad, Laz…You were just five decades too late.

    Here’s what it will change…It will destroy the incentive to be part of a team. It will make the blue collar guy (the rebounding vacuum cleaner or the specialist shot-maker..e.g. Nick “Buckets” Zeisloft) feel like chopped liver.

    I honestly don’t know the ramifications…Over 300 Division One colleges? Sure, there are a handful of guys who ESPN highly saturates the market and provides notoriety. Aren’t those handfuls still going to bolt for the NBA after one or two seasons? And does that marketing and profit making ability for the select group of individual college superstars (who must also have the personality to go along with the game) steal a bit of the glamour away from the NBA names once the main marketing thrust of TV/product/apparel advertising?
    In some respects, this may dilute the idea of “superstar” for, both, college and the NBA. It may backfire. It may also take some of the punch out of “one and done” and draft nights. Draft night remains that special formality. It’s the official stage of acknowledgment where all the hard work finally opens the floodgates of showing the world, on that one glorious night you get to wear a gaudy suit, you have made it big time.
    Sure, everyone had basically known the top names, but early marketing and profit making till steals the aura and the build-up of your college ‘Academy Awards’ night.
    If your name has already been marketed and plastered all over television commercials and Nike products which have reward you financially, then the stage of draft night becomes rather meaningless.

    It changes much…It will put big money into a select group of college talent earlier in the processes of money being the only motivating factor to paly a game. But it still doesn’t guarantee championships. It may also start to make many highly sought after and highly paid coaches feel as if their glamour has been stolen as well (unless it’s a coach who can dunk).
    And, sadly, it steals the glamour and mystique behind many of the iconic college basketball schools….as we continue down the road of individualism, narcissism and a “I, me, mine” world.

    But let’s face facts…The erosion of a team game has been happening long before any of these new developments to financially indemnify and guarantee more profit-sharing for those poor superstars (are you listening, Romeo?) who can’t even make a jump shot with the smoothness of old Laskowski…or Cheaney…or Edwards..or Alford. It’s corporate America come to college hoops for just one more nail in the coffin. It’s getting paid way too much to do very little (like all with the concentrated wealth at the top of the “new” America with its “best economy in the world.”

  8. And before we go down another 75 comment thread having nothing to do with the headline story atop, may I just say I’ve always like Justin Smith?

    Justin Smith is a team player. Mature kid. How can you be rather humble and unassuming with such amazing athletic gifts? Can we somehow find a way to market the guys who aren’t the chest-thumpers? Maybe it’s just a matter of time when anyone who’s gifted walks the earth to merely tell everyone just how gifted they are?
    Long live the humble warrior….though I think the life expectancy of valuing such things is beyond an endangered species in the sporting world.

  9. Yep, we’re light years away from when Steve Alford got suspended because he posed for a photo used in calendar created by an IU Sorority to raise money for charity. The NCAA was a joke back then, and they’ve become a disgrace.

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think the Feds should create a special Division of either the Depat of Education or the FBI to displace the NCAA and govern all U.S. Intercollegiate Athletics. You could call it the Title IX Unit. They’d have subpoena power, could arrest law-breakers, enforce laws Congress passed to regulate intercollegiate athletics. But most importantly, lying to them would be a Federal Crime subject to arrest.

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