Mizzou lands Illinois transfer Smith
4/16/2018 12:30:03 AM EST
Mark Smith, a former top recruit who was named Mr. Basketball in Illinois two years ago, announced Sunday that we was transferring to Missouri after spending one season with Illinois.
Smith will sit out next season but have three years of eligibility remaining when he returns for the 2019-20 campaign. The sharpshooting guard averaged 5.8 points and 1.4 rebounds in his only season with the Fighting Illini. He announced last month that he planned to transfer.
Missouri initially recruited Smith for its baseball team as a pitcher. An arm injury during high school led him to focus on basketball, but he struggled as a freshman under first-year Illinois coach Brad Underwood.
"Mizzou got involved and sold him on that family atmosphere," Andre McMurray, the director of Smith's former AAU team, said to the Kansas City Star. "(His parents) loved it. Not just from a basketball standpoint, but who is he going to be as a man. Coach (Cuonzo) Martin really left an impression on the mom and the dad and Mark as well."
The decision adds another level of intrigue to the annual "Braggin' Rights" game between Missouri and Illinois. Smith scored 11 points against Missouri in his first taste of the contest, which took place Dec. 23 in St. Louis.
--Field Level Media