Arkansas basketball guard Nick Smith declared for the 2023 NBA Draft in a Thursday tweet.
“This year has been an incredible journey, and I am grateful for all the love and support I have received from my hometown and all the hog fans,” he wrote. “I want to express my gratitude to my coach, (Arkansas head basketball coach Eric Musselman), and the entire coaching staff, who believed in my abilities and allowed me the chance to play for Arkansas.”
Nick Smith scored 12.5 points per game in his single season for the Razorbacks, putting him in second place on Arkansas's roster behind junior guard Ricky Council IV. Smith and freshman guard Anthony Black headlined a recruiting class ranked No. 2 in the nation by 247Sports. Another five-star recruit, small forward Jordan Walsh, and three other four-stars rounded out the team's class.
A former five-star recruit out of North Little Rock, Arkansas, Smith committed to the Razorbacks over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina and Oregon, among others, according to 247Sports. The McDonald's All-American guard was projected to be a first-round pick by 247Sports analyst Travis Branham.
Nick Smith played in 17 games and started in 14. Smith went in and out of Arkansas's lineup with right knee management, a point Musselman went over before the Razorbacks took on UConn in the Sweet 16.
“Nick's one of the most talented players in the country. And he's had some big games for us,” said head coach Eric Musselman of Nick Smith Jr., per Curtis Wilkerson of Hawg Sports. “He's been in a tough situation, in and out of the lineup with injuries.
“It's not easy for any player to do, let alone when a team's on a tournament run. But, yeah, we'd certainly love Nick to have a big game. But like I said, he's been in and out of the lineup. It's hard to do for any player, let alone someone that's in their freshman year.”