NaLyssa Smith commits to Baylor: Who she is and why it matters

2 of 3


There is a lot to like about Smith’s game and the first thing that sticks out to me is her offensive ability. For the most part, most post players enter college with one or two moves that they were able to successfully go to over and over again. The elite post players have more in their arsenal and Smith is one of those players. At the 0:32 mark in the video above, Smith does a nice shoulder shake to the middle before going over her left shoulder and kissing the ball off the glass. The finish is nice, but if you watch again you’ll notice that she has both hands on the ball until its over her hand and she is ready to shoot. It’s a small detail but one that matters. Many times you’ll see post players, especially young ones, get the ball stripped by a guard on the other team digging down (when a defending player comes and swipes at the ball). Seeing a young player like Smith securing the ball at her age is a big deal.

Another thing about Smith that makes her special is her athleticism and next level body. Already looking the part of an elite Division 1 player, Smith’s leaping ability allows her to dominate the boards. Oh yeah, did I mention she can dunk?

Watching that will never get old.

Smith’s athleticism is really on display in transition when she has space to move with or without the ball. When she gets moving, she really glides across the court in a way that someone her size shouldn’t be able to. She also has the ability to knock down shots from three, fitting the mold as a new-age stretch 4. This ability will fit in very well in a high paced Baylor offense.


To be honest, there isn’t a ton of weakness in Smith’s game. A closer look at her shot would suggest that it needs to speed up a bit, but that is a pretty easy fix. Smith also needs to add some more strength. Though she is a four player, and potentially a three, she will be asked to defend in the low post at times and thus will need to be able to bang in the paint. Other than that, you would just hope to see a standard development you see from all freshman. With just two seniors on their roster this season, Baylor should field another great team in 2018-19 with Smith having a chance to make an immediate impact.