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Why Colin Smith could be a key piece for U-M basketball’s 2022 recruiting class

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The four-star recruit is visiting Ann Arbor in late September.

Four-star 2022 recruit Colin Smith is set to make his official visit with Juwan Howard and the Michigan Wolverines next weekend, Sept. 24.

It won’t be his first time visiting, as he was at Crisler Center when Michigan beat Michigan State in Feb. 2020. He has also attended two basketball camps ran by former head coach John Beilien.

Originally recruited as a wing, Smith has shot up to 6-foot-8 and is now listed as a power forward on certain sites. He has been working to develop his handle and score like a guard with the size of a forward.

“A lot of people look at me like a big guard, so I have been working on a lot of big guard movements and how to use my body to protect the ball against smaller guys and use my length to my advantage against those guys, along with doing a lot of finishes,” Smith said to Sports Illustrated in June. “Whether it be shots or dunks with my left hand, I’m jumping off of two feet in traffic. I’m a pretty versatile jumper, so I can jump off either one or two feet. I’ve been mixing it up, so it makes it harder for people to defend me.”

Smith ranks just outside the top 100 in his class and has received offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Kansas and Auburn, among others.

In a video from last year, Ant Wright compared Smith to T.J. Warren, saying both guys are scorers who can dominate in the midrange.

This seems like a perfect comparison, as Smith can heat up quickly and can run an offense thanks to his high basketball I.Q.

Smith is a certified bucket who can make defenders pay once he gets them on the hip. He’s not going to blow past guys, but he’s crafty enough to get space for himself and strong enough to get to the paint and finish through contact.

He has a pretty jump shot and hits threes reliably from a lot of spots on the court. He has an old-school game, using pump fakes and power dribbles to get to the rim and posting up defenders before going into his turn-around jumper. He embraces physicality and can finish in traffic with some herky jerky moves and crafty reverse layups.

Smith’s high basketball I.Q. may be his best attribute, as he has great court vision to find guys off the drive and in transition. He’s not an elite athlete, but he gets a lot of blocks thanks to timing out opponents’ shots perfectly.

With the Wolverines, I could see Smith playing a similar role to Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman when he started at Michigan. He could be a key scorer off the bench who can shift the game while the starters get a breather.

Smith is a smart basketball player who can score at will and could develop into a go-to scorer with the Wolverines. Adding him to a 2022 recruiting class that already features scrappy point guard Dug McDaniel and tenacious big man Tarris Reed Jr. could keep the Wolverines loaded with talent for years to come.