BRANSON MO NEWS: COLUMBIA, MO. • A year ago, Missouri lost out to Illinois for Edwardsville guard Mark Smith, but Cuonzo Martin has landed him on the rebound. Smith decided to transfer from Illinois after an uneven freshman season and on Saturday committed to Mizzou while visiting the campus the last two days. Smith will have to sit out the 2018-19 season per NCAA transfer rules. He’ll have three seasons of eligibility beginning in 2019-20.It’s official!! pic.twitter.com/jo2PxaRaRl— MARK SMITH (@Mark_Smith_13) April 15, 2018
“I have big news I’d love to share with everyone,” Smith tweeted Saturday. “I have committed to the University of Mizzou! Please respect my decision! First I’d like to thank God for giving me my talents! Second of all I’d like to thank my family! I couldn’t have made (it) here without them! Thank you for all of the love and support! I can not wait to rock the gold and black jerseys next year!”
Smith was unavailable for further comment. He and his family began his visit in Columbia joining Martin and assistant coach Chris Hollender downtown for dinner at Addison’s on Friday. They visited Mizzou Arena following the football team’s Black and Gold Game on Saturday afternoon. Smith started 19 games for the Illini this past season and averaged 5.8 points and 1.4 assists in 19 minutes per game. He struggled to develop a consistent jumper, shooting just 23.2 percent from 3-point range and saw his playing time and production slip in the second half of the season. After scoring double-figure points in four of his first five games he was held to single digits in his last 17 appearances. His last double-digit outing came in the Braggin’ Rights Game when he scored 11 points in 25 minutes against Mizzou. Smith battled the flu during the season …
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