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New Name To Watch: Mark Smith



There is a new name on Kentucky’s basketball recruiting board for the Class of 2017.

Mark Smith, a guard out of Edwardsville, Illinois, heard from the UK coaching staff Monday night. The staff is looking to add another guard to next year’s roster, and Smith is in the mix.

Here’s more about him…



He was named Mr. Basketball in the state of Illinois.

He led his high school team to 30-2 record while averaging 21.9 points, 8.4 assists and 8.2 rebounds per game.

Other recent Illinois Mr. Basketball winners include Jabari Parker (twice), Jahlil Okafor, Jaylen Brunson and Derrick Rose.

He has several schools fighting for him.

Smith reportedly holds offers from Illinois, Butler, Indiana, Ohio State, Texas, California, Northern Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas State and Missouri, among a few others.

Cuonzo Martin and Brad Underwood are all over him.

Martin is the new coach at Missouri; Underwood the new coach at Illinois.

He plans to visit Butler sometime this week.

An Illinois radio host says Smith will take a couple of official visits before making his decision.

He was committed to play baseball for Missouri.

Smith was all set to be a pitcher for the Mizzou baseball program after committing in December of his junior year, but an elbow injury and the resignation of Mizzou’s baseball coach made him reconsider his future in the sport.

He pulled out of the commitment to the Tigers and directed his focus toward basketball in his senior season of high school, which appears to have been the right move.

He is a four-star prospect in and rankings. ranks him the No. 35 shooting guard in the class, while has him at No. 78 overall. He is the No. 22 point guard and the No. 102 overall player in the 247 Composite Rankings.

Watch him play:


Smith is definitely one to keep an eye on this spring…

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

16 Comments for New Name To Watch: Mark Smith

  1. TBW3011
    9:57 am March 28, 2017 Permalink

    We need more guards. Get him. Looks like Briscoe with a stroke

    • JusSayin
      10:14 am March 28, 2017 Permalink

      That’s accurate… Plus 2 inches and a high vertical leap.

    • TBW3011
      12:51 pm March 28, 2017 Permalink

      Yes. Meant to add more athletic to my comment.

  2. BlueGrass
    10:09 am March 28, 2017 Permalink

    Would love to have 1-2 guys like this in each class. IF, IF they are willing to accept a Dom Hawkins type role, career arc.

    I’m all in on the one and done, but I think everyone, including Cal, knows how valuable these type players are.

    • JusSayin
      10:13 am March 28, 2017 Permalink

      This guy is not Dom. He’s 6’5 and can really shoot it. Can also play lead guard well not just effectively.
      If we get this kid we are in really good shape.

    • BlueGrass
      10:15 am March 28, 2017 Permalink

      Just watched the video…anyone with an outside shot like that can contribute at UK. I didn’t mean in my previous post he wouldn’t contribute until his Jr and really Sr year, just that he would have to play a role and PT any given year would have to be earned against top players.

      This kid can play and contribute, even as a starter at UK in any given year.

    • blackmilk23
      10:50 am March 28, 2017 Permalink

      I would love to see as some Dom type guys too. This guy could be a 2 and done type player though. I would like to see us add that 4 star player who decomitted from Georgetown.

  3. KevinM
    10:09 am March 28, 2017 Permalink

    Drew, have you heard of any contact with MJ Walker? McD-AA in Chicago and in need of a school.

  4. JusSayin
    10:12 am March 28, 2017 Permalink

    I watch a lot of HS basketball and keep up with recruiting. If he had been focusing on basketball the whole time he’d be a top10 recruit. He’s that talented.

    We are lucky he’s flying under the radar. If we sign him he might be the best back-court player we have next year. He can shoot, pass, handle and dunk on you.

  5. maximumscott
    10:16 am March 28, 2017 Permalink

    Looks like Jayson Tatums brother.

  6. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    10:28 am March 28, 2017 Permalink

    I’m thinking this means Briscoe is gone for sure.

  7. ChitownUKFan
    10:35 am March 28, 2017 Permalink

    I live in Illinois and have seen this kid play, he’s an absolute monster I myself tried to alert Kentucky about this guy in middle of his high school season. Mr Basketball in Illinois his ranking is low because he concentrated on Baseball during the Spring and Summer evaluation period last year. He’s as good as any guard in Class of 2017.

    • blackmilk23
      10:48 am March 28, 2017 Permalink

      Yea he’s a top 10 talent that focused on a different sport so flew under the radar. He’s legit 5 star NBA talent

      And just putting this out there…. when elbow heels he can probably still throw 89 for the bat cats.

  8. kycats13
    11:04 am March 28, 2017 Permalink

    Would love for us to snag a couple of the best Kentucky high school players available. There must be at least one that can play, maybe two.

  9. TBW3011
    1:04 pm March 28, 2017 Permalink

    People skilled with words are wordsmiths. People skilled at shooting a gun are a marksman. This kid shooting a basketball makes you search for words to describe it, so I’m inventing a word and calling him a marksmith.