The day has finally come. Jabari Smith Jr. has declared that after one season with Auburn basketball, he will be officially entering the 2022 NBA Draft. The highest-ranked recruit in Auburn basketball history, Smith has been projected as a lottery pick and even the potential number one pick in this year’s draft.
Jabari Smith certainly made history on the Plains under the direction of head coach Bruce Pearl, earning SEC Freshman of the Week honors six times and ultimately being named SEC Freshman of the Year in addition to being voted the Freshman of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
Both Smith and big man Walker Kessler became All-Americans this season, the first at Auburn in over two decades, and helped lead the Tigers to their first #1 ranking in the AP Poll and a standalone regular-season SEC Championship.
Now, following the announcement that Walker Kessler would not be returning to the Plains, Smith has made his NBA aspirations official. While Auburn basketball fans are certainly sad to see the front-court duo moving on, it was expected that the pair would be going pro after this season.
Fans took to Twitter to respond to Smith’s farewell video and wish the freshman good luck as he prepares to enter the draft:
Although it may be quite awhile before a talent like Jabari Smith Jr. sets foot on the Plains again, Bruce Pearl and his coaching staff are already reloading for next season and preparing to do great things once again.