Duke’s Nolan Smith has Different Identity On and Off the Court

The Final Four means a bigger stage, brighter lights and more pressure. And in 2010, Duke’s Nolan Smith has brought his game up to another level on par with all the added media attention surrounding the ultimate weekend of college basketball. Following a career high 29 points in the Regional Final win over Baylor, Smith scored 19 (7-16 from the field, 4-9 behind the arc) against the Mountaineers. When Scheyer and Singler struggled with their shooting for much of the earlier rounds, it was Smith, the 6-2 junior from Upper Marlboro, Maryland that picked up the slack.

Obviously, the first two guys I mentioned were bigger names in college, but it’s Smith who might have the best NBA potential of the three. Remember his name this NBA Draft; especially when teams like the Chicago Bulls are on the board (with backcourt needs and a history of drafting guys from winning, high profile programs).

Smith’s success stems from his dual identity: nice guy off the court, cutthroat on the court.

By Paul M. Banks

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