2023 Signees Open Season with Events in London, LA, and Florida

Each member of Maryland’s consensus top-20 recruiting class of 2023 officially kicked their senior seasons off this past weekend. The trio participated in events across three cities on two continents, beginning ultra-competitive, jam-packed national schedules. Knowing that their incoming freshmen will be completely battle tested against the best competition in the country should warm the hearts of Terps fans everywhere.

Jamie Kaiser, Jr

Jamie Kaiser, Jr. led IMG Academy, ranked #11 in the country, into the Sunshine Classic in Montverde, Florida to face off against in-state rival Montverde Academy (#3) and La Lumiere School (#22), both of which are NIBC conference foes. IMG’s roster is made up of 9 new faces, including Kaiser, and one returning player from last season. Their lack of time together was evident in their opener, when they were smacked around by Montverde in an 80-55 defeat. Like the rest of his teammates, Kaiser struggled to find a rhythm, going 5-for-16 from the field on his way to 11 points and 6 rebounds. Despite his shooting struggles, he played with his usual motor and competed with intensity on both ends.

Two days later, he bounced back nicely against La Lumiere. The 6’6” shooting guard shot 6-12 FG (2-5 3P), scored 16 points, and grabbed 6 boards in a come-from-behind 64-59 overtime win. His biggest bucket came at just under the 2-minute mark in the 4th quarter. With his team down by 4 and seizing momentum after trailing the entire second half, Kaiser hit a pull-up 3-pointer from the left wing to bring them within 1. The shot propelled his team’s momentum forward, carrying over into the extra period and eventually resulting in the victory.

DeShawn Harris-Smith

Paul VI (VA) guard DeShawn Harris-Smith traveled across the water with his squad to compete in the Hoophall International Classic in London, England, a 4-team tournament featuring Pace Academy (GA), Mater Dei (CA), and Christ the King (NY). PVI came into the tournament ranked 8th in the nation. They are talented and they are deep. That depth was on full display when they opened up with a 56-31 win over Christ the King. Like Kaiser, Harris-Smith struggled to get into rhythm offensively, going just 1-10 from the field, including 0-4 from 3. He did, however, go 6-7 from the free throw line, grabbed 8 rebounds, and contributed to a dominant team defensive effort.

Despite some early foul trouble, Harris-Smith was able to get back on track in the championship game versus a disciplined Mater Dei team. The human Swiss-army knife put in the type of all-around effort we’ve become acquainted with, tallying 12 points (5-9 FG, 2-4 FT), 9 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals in a 75-47 win. He’ll be back in action at home tonight against St. Andrew’s School (MD).

Jahn Lamothe

Jahnathan Lamothe spent his weekend on the west coast, playing in the SoCal vs. DMV showcase that pitted some of the best Los Angelos area teams against Lamothe’s St. Frances Academy (MD), as well as DeMatha High School (MD). Lamothe’s first contest came against Southern California Academy, who came into the game ranked #20 in the country. Although his team lost 76-73 in overtime, Lamothe played well, filling the stat sheet with 20 points (7-20 FG, 3-12 3P, 5-5 FT), 6 assists, 6 rebounds, 5 steals and a block, with only 1 turnover.

In his second game against LA Premier Prep, he came out cooking, knocking down three out of his first four 3-point attempts in the first quarter. But his 10 first-quarter points would be his final tally for the game as he struggled mightily the rest of the way. In typical Lamothe-fashion, though, he put forth a solid floor game, registering 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals. Most importantly, his team got the win 73-62.

Intangibles on Display

A common theme on display between each of these guys during their opening weekends was that, even when they were struggling to put the ball in the basket, they were able to contribute towards winning ballgames. It’s a testament to their skillsets, intelligence, and resilient competitive spirits. Intangibles like these are crucial to the success of a program at the next level, and that’s exactly what they’ll bring to College Park.

Stay tuned in to Point Guard Eyes on Twitter and Instagram for more updates throughout the season. As always, you can find full evaluations on Kaiser, Harris-Smith, and Lamothe at www.pointguardeyes.com.

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