ESPN's Dick Vitale says that Auburn's Jabari Smith is 'lock' to be 2022 NBA Draft top pick

Erik Hall
Montgomery Advertiser

Early in the second half of Tuesday's Alabama vs. Auburn men's basketball game, ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale had seen enough.

He was convinced Auburn center Jabari Smith is the best NBA prospect in college basketball.

"The @AuburnMBB superstar PTPER JABARI SMITH @jabarismithll is showing tonight vs @AlabamaMBB y he is the lock to be the # 1 pick in the 2022 @NBA draft," Vitale said in a tweet.

PTPER is Vitale's shorthand for "prime time player." 

Smith scored 20 points in the first 21 minutes of Tuesday's game against Alabama.

Smith finished with 25 points and seven rebounds in 34 minutes, and Auburn defeated Alabama 81-77.

Auburn, ranked No. 4 in the Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll, improved to 15-1 overall and 4-0 in the SEC. No. 25-ranked Alabama went to 11-5 overall and 2-2 in the SEC. 

After Tuesday, Alabama leads the all-time series 98-67 vs. Auburn.

Here's more Alabama, Auburn men's basketball news:

Jan 11, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Auburn Tigers forward Jabari Smith (10) shoots against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first half at Coleman Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Pearl is the Auburn men's basketball head coach. Nate Oats is the Alabama Crimson Tide men's basketball head coach.

Erik Hall is the lead digital producer for sports with the USA Today Network. You can find him on Twitter @HallErik