Arkansas guard Smith (knee) out forever
Arkansas freshman Nick Smith Jr., thought about the best NBA possibility in college basketball, is out indefinitely for “best knee management,” per the school.Smith missed out on the first six games of the season with the exact same problem, with the school calling it preventive at the time.The 6-foot-5 guard made his season launching versus Troy on Nov. 28, playing just 6 minutes. Coach Eric Musselman placed Smith into the beginning lineup the next game, and Smith proceeded to average 19.7 points and 3.0 helps over his next 3 totally healthy games.Smith started and played 20 minutes in Arkansas ‘win over Bradley on Saturday, finishing with five points on 1-for-8 shooting. After being ranked as the No. 3 hire in the ESPN 100 for the 2022 class, Smith is ranked as the No. 4 prospect in ESPN’s NBA draft rankings– the highest-ranked prospect playing college basketball.Smith’s injury will be the second major lack for Arkansas in current weeks, after breakout star Trevon Brazile tore his ACL earlier this month. Brazile is out for the season.When Smith missed time at the start of the season, Anthony Black and Ricky Council took on the load on the offensive end. Black averaged 22.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.3 helps in 3 games at the Maui Invitational, while Council balanced 19.0 points and 3.5 helps in the first 6 games of the season.Arkansas(10-1), ranked No. 10 in the nation, hosts UNC Asheville on Wednesday before opening SEC play at LSU on Dec. 28.