The one-time consensus top-20 recruit has struggled, faltered and disappointed his way through his first two seasons in UCLA, sitting on the bench more often than not. To say his weight and conditioning have been an issue would be a drastic understatement. The burly 300-pound center is averaging less than 20 minutes a game in his career for the Bruins, but when he is on the court, he produces like an All-American. Now, can he stay on the court for a rebound season in 2012-13?
There are few big men in the college game that possess Smith's unique combination of size (6'10"), agility and soft hands. He is surprisingly athletic and can play with brute strength or finesse at the rim. Yet after a very solid freshman season averaging 10.9 points and 6.3 rebounds, Smith didn't take the jump that many scouts and front office personnel expected him too. Instead, he played even fewer minutes and his production dropped across the board thanks to lingering conditioning issues which led to foul trouble.
Coach Ben Howland brought in arguably the nation's best recruiting class, featuring potent-perimeter scorer, Shabazz Muhammed and point-forward Kyle Anderson to facilitate, but also Tony Parker, a similar-skilled center prospect. If Smith doesn't shed some weight, Parker will have no problem replacing Smith in the Bruin lineup. This is make or break time for Josh Smith- let's see what he's made of.