By Kevin McPherson

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas freshman guard Nick Smith Jr., added two more preseason honors on Wednesday to an already impressive list of individual projections and recognition for the fast-approaching 2022-23 regular season.

Smith (6-5 guard, Jacksonville native) was picked No. 1 on ESPN college basketball analyst Jeff Borzello’s “top 100-plus impact newcomers” list that was released on Wednesday, and Smith also picked up yet another first team All SEC projection (this time from the league’s coaches).

“Arguably the best NBA prospect in college basketball this season, Smith will have the ball in his hands a ton from day one. He can make 3s consistently, is an effective playmaker off the dribble and plays with intensity,” Borzello said in his article naming Smith at the top of his list.

Add those to these preseason honors for Smith …

– Jerry West Award watch list for nation’s best shooting guard

– National Freshman of the Year (CBS Sports)

– All American second team (CBS Sports)

– All-America fourth team (Blue Ribbon Magazine)

– National Newcomer of the Year (Blue Ribbon Magazine)

– No. 2 on Andy Katz/NCAA.com national Impact Freshmen list

– No. 2 on CBSsports.com national Impact Freshmen list

– SEC Freshman of the Year (SEC media, CBS Sports, Blue Ribbon Magazine)

– First Team All-SEC (SEC media, Blue Ribbon Magazine)

During one of his October press conferences, Head Hog Eric Musselman weighed in on what makes Smith one of the top projected players in the college game.

“I think his competitiveness stands out,” Musselman said. “His ability to score. I think Nick has had such a spotlight on him that there’s probably not a lot that hasn’t been said because he’s had such bright lights on him for not just since he’s got to Arkansas but well before he got here.”

Graphic by SEC Sports