New Illinois Fighting Illini basketball coach Brad Underwood scored a major victory on the recruiting trail Wednesday.
Illinois Basketball noted point guard Mark Smith joined its 2017 class:
Ryan Evan of NowDecatur.com reported he chose the Fighting Illini over the likes of Michigan State, Kentucky and Ohio State.
According to Scout, the 4-star recruit checks in at 6'4" and 200 pounds and is the No. 76 overall player, No. 18 point guard and No. 1 at his position in Illinois in his class.
Derek Piper of Scout noted the last Illinois Mr. Basketball to join the Fighting Illini was Jereme Richmond when he did so in 2010, making this an important get for Underwood.
Smith averaged 21.9 points, 8.4 assists and 8.2 rebounds per contest last season, according to Piper, and he is athletic enough to slice through defenders and big enough to finish through contact and battle for rebounds down low.
He has the potential to be a critical piece in Underwood's explosive offensive sets. The coach's Oklahoma State team finished with the No. 1 pace-adjusted offensive efficiency in Ken Pomeroy's rankings in 2016-17.
Smith is someone who can guide a similar offense in the future at Illinois.