After three years with Missouri men’s basketball, senior shooting guard Mark Smith entered the transfer portal this weekend.
Smith was one of five Tigers in their traditional final year of NCAA eligibility, but holds the option for an additional season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
There is no guarantee that Smith will use this extra year.
If he does, it won’t be in Colombia.
The expectation within the program was that the five players who participated in the Senior Day ceremonies on March 6 (Dru Smith, Mark Smith, Jeremiah Tilmon, Mitchell Smith and Drew Buggs) will not return to the program.
“I just want to say thank you to coach (Cuonzo) Martin and the Mizzou coaching staff!” Mark Smith said in an Instagram post. “It’s been an amazing three years making memories with my brothers! Thank you Mizzou fans for hugging me for the past three years. Mizzou will always hold a special place in my heart!”
Smith spent his second year through senior seasons in Colombia after starting his career in Illinois. A central figure in recent Braggin’ Rights matchups, he was consistently part of the winning team in the Missouri vs. Illinois showdown, including an Illini win.
Prior to going to Champaign, Smith was an outstanding basketball and baseball player at Edwardsville High School in suburban St. Louis.
During the 2020-21 season, Smith started 24 of the Tigers’ 26 games and appeared in all of them. He was second on the team in minutes played (29.6 per game) and fourth with 9.7 points per game.
During his first two years at Missouri, Smith played 43 games combined, missing a few streaks due to injury.
As a sophomore in 2018-19, Smith shot 45% from 3-point range, the highest percentage in the Southeastern Conference for players with 100 or more attempts. The 45% mark beyond the arc was the fourth highest by a sophomore in Missouri history and the eighth highest ever in program history.
His 3-point shooting percentage has regressed with each subsequent season, with a clip of 37.1 percent as a junior and 31.5 percent this season.
In his NCAA Tournament debut and Missouri final, Smith scored 11 points on 3-for-5 3-point shooting.
Smith enters a transfer portal overflowing with more than 1,000 male basketball players looking for new destinations, according to multiple online reports.
Smith is the third Missouri player on this year’s roster to enter the transfer portal since the end of the season, alongside Xavier Pinson and Parker Braun.
The Tigers have two scholarships open starting Monday.
Mizzou football lands three-star lineman O Armand Membou
Missouri earned its sixth commitment in its class of 2022 on Saturday, earning a verbal promise from Armand Membou, a three-star offensive lineman from Lee’s Summit North.
Membou is the fourth committed in the state in the class and third from the Kansas City area, joining tight end Max Whisner and wide receiver Mehki Miller.
According to the 247Sports composite, the 6-foot-4, 275-pound Membou projects himself as a goaltender at the college level. Membou also held offers from Oregon, Nebraska, Kansas State and others.
Membou picked up his offer from the Tigers last September, with Iowa State and Kansas also making scholarship offers within 24 hours.
The Tigers’ recruiting class of 2022 ranks No. 6 in the SEC and No. 20 nationally.
Mizzou softball wins series against Auburn
Softball No. 18 Missouri took two of No. 24 Auburn’s three over the weekend, beating the other Tigers on Friday and Saturday before its first home loss on Sunday.
Missouri won 2-1 in nine innings Friday, securing the win on an Auburn pitching error.
Jenna Laird had the game-winning runs en route to a 6-5 triumph on Saturday.
Missouri was shut out 3-0 on Sunday.
Missouri (24-7) is expected to return to action Tuesday in Saint Louis before a conference series in South Carolina from Thursday through Saturday.
Contact Eric Blum at [email protected] Follow @ByEricBlum on Twitter.
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