FAYETTEVILLE, Ar. (arkansasrazorbacks.com) – For the second time this season, a Razorback has been honored as the CBS Sports/US Basketball Writers Association National Freshman of the Week as Nick Smith Jr., as selected this week’s recipient. Smith was additionally recognized by Dick Vitale as his national “Diaper Dandy” Star of the Week.
On Nov. 22, Arkansas’ Anthony Black was tabbed the CBS Sports/USBWA National Freshman of the Week for his play in the opening four games, including a 26-point, six-assist performance versus Louisville in Maui.
Smith has started the last three games for Arkansas after playing just six minutes off the bench in his collegiate debut against Troy (Nov. 28). Smith missed the first six games of the season due to right knee management. As a starter, he is averaging 19.7 points and 3.0 assists while shooting 45.5% from the field, 33.3% from 3-point range and 82.4% from the free throw line.
This past week, Smith, who was named the SEC co-Freshman of the Week on Monday, averaged 21.5 points in leading Arkansas to wins over UNC Greensboro and Oklahoma.
Versus UNC Greensboro, Smith scored 22 of the team’s 65 points. After being down five at the break, Smith scored eight of the Hogs’ first 10 points in the second half. Later, with clinging to a four-point lead with a minute and a half left, Smith had a steal, went coast-to-coast and converted an old-fashion 3-point play to help secure the win. He played all 20 minutes of the second half and scored 16 of his 22 points in the period.
Versus Oklahoma, Smith scored 21 points, including 11 in the second half as Arkansas outscored the Sooners 45-38. All 11 of his second-half points came in a 26-15 run as the Hogs went from up five to up 14.
The Razorbacks return to action Saturday (Dec. 17) for its annual trip to North Little Rock. Arkansas will host Bradley at 3 pm at Simmons Bank Arena.