Apparently Devo retweeted this. if its been posted already, apologies.
Nick Smith is a great kid. I hope he plays well next week. We need him. But whatever he does, I am a fan. He didn’t have to come back. Was apparently advised to not come back.
And he came back anyway.
I am SO glad last night wasn’t his last game.
On to Vegas…where two Jacksonville boys just may lead us to the Elite Eight. How cool would that be? Side note, Nick went to my alma mater (NLR), and also Sylvan Hills, where I spent much of my childhood (my dad was choir director there from 1962-1985). Nick is my guy!
Thanks for posting Maestro. My first year of teaching was in 1970 at NLRHS. I knew your Dad well. Taught there for 4 years. I too wish the best for Nick. Some of us forget the fact that he is still a young man. We would like to think that he is as mature as his basketball skills. I think that his team mates at this point will surround him with support and love!
You knew my Dad? Bob Taylor? I spent my childhood up at Sylvan Hills at evening choir rehearsals, musical rehearsals, football and basketball games, etc. In elementary school mom would pick me up and then go get dad (we had one car til I was a teenager) and I would sit in the car and watch football practice. Great memories. I could still sing the Sylvan Hills fight song.
Nick, had nothing but praise for others in several post game interviews. Very mature. To me he has always seems to be seasoned of observer of his game when interviewed and yesterday that was clear in his communications. Perhaps something elsewhere was said but it was not recorded in the dressing room. He acknowledged that he did not have a good his game and reiterated his conclusion in one interview when AB tried say he did. I think some have forgotten he came in for Devo and played some his best defense. I look for two victories in Hudson Valley with NSJ joining the others in having great games. He is no different that Devo in loving the Razorbacks. WPS!!
Jeremy, you are absolutely correct. What you saw there was the raw emotion of an 18/19 year old kid that’s been carrying the weight of the world for months and was finally able to let some of that emotion out. Sure he’s about to make a ton of money, etc but he’s still a kid and he has probably had to deal with things most of us can not understand.
A lot of us think that super talented young athletes have the world by the short hairs and that everything comes easy for them. Truth is, they are carrying expectations that are almost impossible to live up to, and being pushed and pulled in multiple directions by people who may or may not have their best interest at heart. I think Nick has handled his situation admirably and would like nothing more than to play on a National Championship team this year. I don’t know what the situation with his knee is, but I suspect it is less than optimal. I just want him to give us what he can safely give us. That may not be the best of what NSJ may eventually be, but it may be enough get us where we want to go. I’ll always be a fan of the guy, and glad he chose to be a Hog.
Well, “healthy” is a range. I doubt his knee is 100%. May not be 80%. But he’s been deemed good enough to play obviously. Ankles are not as scary as knees, but AB is far from 100% too with that ankle. When he took his shoes off for re-taping I was shocked at the sheer volume of tape. And I had my ankles taped hundreds of times. But I even said to Mary “wow…look at that.”
I agree jeremy, we just beat Kansas with Nikc scoring zero. if he gets hot AND Devo, AB and Ricky all play well…we could go far.
Incredibly enough, Nick Smith will be the X factor for the Hogs Thursday.
Right now I think the UConn game plan in large part would be to harass Black, force Devo to handle the ball against constant pressure, and guard Council very tightly. They will probably try to immediately pressure NS into making bad decisions on shots and passes which have marked his play of late, and try to get him to guess wrong on defending three point shooters, which he’s also done a lot lately…
That would make sense for UConn if you scout the last five or six games. But… it also is a bit dangerous for UConn, because it assumes a guy who can score at all three levels and has shown some ability to create his own shots will keep playing poorly. We’ll see how it unfolds, and if Muss has the patience to keep giving NS a lot of minutes if NS plays poorly early.
Against UConn I think we will need every available foul on the interior defensively. They are huge but hopefully we don’t start out shooting only jump shots like we did against Kansas. Our guards need to test them at the rim early and often. I think the game will be decided on how well our bigs handle theirs.
Marty, Your take is so important in our support of this young man at this time. Competitive team sports are great vehicles for unity in our community life, but the commonly felt achievement in winning is not with risk to the young men who sacrifice all in sought glory. I think of your pups as they develop supported by a gentle, knowledgeable, and patient hand that realizes love is given in every step including some that are faltering. In so ways, NSJ requires nonconditioned support now as he prepares to harness his intensity in desire into a team effort Thursday night. I hope UCONN falters from the opening tip preventing his drive to put this team on his back. I hope Kamani and the Mitchell twins match play-by-play with Adama Sanogo while limiting their tendencies to foul. Likewise, I hope AB has an exceptional game encouraging constant movement by precision passing to RC4, Devo, Walsh and NSJ breaking and finding opening shots along with drawing fouls from strong UCONN defenders. And, as Devo has now learned, you wait for the game, and be ready when it comes for you to play your part…this is a team sport despite the fans’ need for heroes. After all, it was a “band of razorbacks” Hugo Bedzek described.
I feel I understand your point, but I would suggest AB will be the key to this game in handling pressure, making choices to Devo, RC4, NSJ, and going to the basket with drop offs to Walsh or the Mitchell twins. Inside out pasing to NSJ, Devo and RC4 for those nice, short jump shots. If the god of development had gven Kamani a couple of additional inches what this Razorback world would be today.