Nick Smith Jr. sits out Arkansas' season-opening win

Arkansas freshman star Nick Smith Jr., arguably the best NBA prospect in men's college basketball this season, sat out the Razorbacks' season-opening 76-58 win against North Dakota State on Monday night due to precautionary measures for his right knee.

There is no timetable for his return, the school said.

Smith, a 6-foot-5 guard, is ranked No. 4 in ESPN's latest 2023 mock draft -- the highest-ranked college player. He was the No. 3 prospect in the ESPN 100 for the 2022 high school class and was a standout performer on last spring's high school all-star game circuit.

Coming off back-to-back Elite Eight appearances, Arkansas is ranked No. 10 in the preseason AP poll. The Razorbacks bring in the nation's No. 2-ranked recruiting class, featuring Smith and two other five-star prospects, Anthony Black and Jordan Walsh.

After the North Dakota State game, they play home games against Fordham and South Dakota State before heading to the Maui Invitational on Nov. 21.