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Smith Posts Big Numbers in Fierce Contest

By Robert S Samuels, Crimson Staff Writer

While most of Harvard has been enjoying a long winter break, its athletes have been hard at work for a while now.

That includes recruits, such as future Crimson basketball player Kenyatta Smith. Saturday night, the senior center from Flintridge Prep School (La Cañada Flintridge, Calif.) guided his Rebels to a 57-49 victory at the school’s rival, the Polytechnic School, in Prep’s biggest contest of the year thus far.

The 6’8”, 260-lb. Smith had a big game, tallying 14 points, 18 rebounds, and six blocks. Though, in certain areas, the 13th best senior center in the country (according to Scout.com) left some to be desired, he had a solid game overall.

On the defensive end of things, Smith shined. Shutting down most of the Panthers offense inside, the Harvard recruit singlehandedly forced Poly to take a lot of difficult shots, helping to account for the home team’s 29.2 field-goal percentage in the first half. And when the Panthers did get near the basket, Smith often swatted the shots away.

The big man also had a huge game on the boards, consistently out-jumping and out-reaching his opponents. In the process, he helped stifle many of the home team’s second chances.

Smith did struggle a bit offensively, however. Even though he tallied 14 points, he missed a number of shots he should have made, including a missed dunk early on when he got stuffed by the rim. At times, he had trouble with his touch around the basket, and his free throw form was off.

Overall, Smith’s physicality and size proved too much for the Polytechnic School. How these attributes translate next year, when he will face bigger and stronger opponents, is, of course, the big question.

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