Edwardsville’s Mark Smith, state’s Mr. Basketball, chooses Illinois
April 26, 2017 - Basketballs
Mr. Basketball is staying in Illinois.
Edwardsville standout Mark Smith, a 6-foot-5 guard, sealed a inhabitant minute of vigilant to play for Illinois after a news discussion Wednesday night during his high school. The oath is poignant for a Illini, who had dual signees — Jeremiah Tilmon and Javon Pickett — decommit given manager Brad Underwood was hired in March.
Smith’s preference also could be a watershed feat for a program, that has struggled to land tip in-state players over a final decade underneath John Groce and Bruce Weber.
Smith, a four-star partisan who was respected as a state’s high propagandize actor of a year, is a initial Illinois Mr. Basketball to select a Illini given Waukegan’s Jereme Richmond in 2010.
Michigan State, Kentucky, Ohio State and Duke.
The Spartans reportedly were a clever second in a conflict for Smith, whose fast climb on a inhabitant stage carried him to 74th in 247Sports.com’s combination rankings for a Class of 2017. He had 8 30-point games as a comparison and scored in double digits in all though dual games.
Before his comparison season, Smith’s usually grant offers for basketball were from Northern Illinois, Indiana State and Wright State. He creatively dictated to play ball during Missouri before pang an bend injury.
During a recruiting process, Smith and Tilmon, from East St. Louis, seemed to have a accessible attribute and enterprise to play together. Speculation now turns to either Tilmon, a 6-10 large male and a highest-rated partisan in a state, competence retreat march and recommit to Illinois to play alongside Smith.
Illinois still has vacancies on a 2017-18 register and reportedly is looking during Kansas send Carlton Bragg Jr., who listed a Illini among his tip 5 choices. He would have to lay out a deteriorate and has dual years of eligibility.
Illinois State’s MiKyle McIntosh, who entered a NBA breeze though competence repel and transfer, could be another frontcourt choice for a Illini. As a connoisseur transfer, McIntosh could play subsequent season.
Underwood hasn’t coached his initial diversion for a Illini, though alighting Smith is his initial victory.
“We are anxious to acquire Mark Smith to a University of Illinois family,” Underwood pronounced in a matter Illinois released. “This is a large day for both us and Mark, as he has now achieved a idea of being means to paint his home state by wearing a Fighting Illini jersey.”