BATON ROUGE, La. — Will Wade’s first major recruiting win as the LSU basketball coach came Friday.
5-star point guard Javonte Smart of Scotlandville Magnet High School in Baton Rouge committed to LSU for the class of 2018 Friday. Smart held offers from college basketball powers such as Kentucky, Kansas and UCLA, but ultimately chose to do at home, captioning his tweet “Everything I do, I do for my city.”
Blessed to say I am committed to LSU💛💜.. bootUp pic.twitter.com/vWvy8XTIti
— Javonte Smart (@JavonteSmart) June 30, 2017
Smart is ranked as the No. 6 point guard in the nation and the No. 1 player in Louisiana for the class of 2018. Overall, he’s the No. 21 prospect for the class, the highest-ranked recruit LSU basketball has brought in since former No. 1 pick Ben Simmons in 2016.
The 6-foot-4, 185 pound point guard is LSU’s first commit for the class of 2018. Back in May, Smart narrowed down his school search to a final six which included LSU alongside Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA, Florida State and Oklahoma State. He spoke with SEC Country‘s Kyle Tucker back then about why it would be hard to leave his home state.
“It’s a lot of pressure,” Smart said. “I’m the best player — they say — down there, and it’s hard leaving home, because I love Baton Rouge, Louisiana. That’s my city. The first day, [Wade] came to my school, talked to my mom and my coaches, and we just talked. He told me about himself, how young he is, that he likes to win, where he’s been.”
LSU hired Will Wade to be its new basketball coach within a week of firing former coach Johnny Jones at the end of the 2016-17 season. Smart was originally offered to LSU by Jones and the previous regime, but Wade continued the pursuit of Smart, ultimately wrangling in a commitment.
The early signing period for the basketball recruiting class of 2018 takes place this November. Wade will only need to retain Smart’s commitment until the week between Nov. 8 and Nov. 15 before he can sign. Until that point, Wade will not be permitted to comment on Smart’s recruit status per NCAA rules.