Missouri’s Mark Smith receives NCAA waiver for immediate eligibility

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Missouri added some quality depth to its rotation on Friday night as the program announced that Illinois transfer Mark Smith will be immediately eligible for the 2018-19 season after receiving a waiver from the NCAA.

An offseason addition from the Illini, the 6-foot-3 Smith is a former top-100 prospect who averaged 5.7 points and 1.4 assists per game during his freshman season. Making 19 starts, the former Mr. Basketball in Illinois originally committed to Missouri for baseball before blowing up in basketball and selecting the Illini over Missouri out of high school. But Smith never found his footing with Illinois as he decided to transfer to Missouri this offseason.

With Missouri recently losing sophomore forward Jontay Porter for the season with a torn ACL and MCL, the Tigers can use all of the rotational depth they can get. Smith figures to potentially earn some minutes at the point as he’ll compete with Jordan Geist and Xavier Pinson. Since Missouri lost senior guard Cullen VanLeer to retirement just a few weeks ago after a torn ACL, Smith can come in right away as an adequate replacement.

The Tigers are still awaiting word on a waiver for Evansville transfer Dru Smith, as Missouri is hoping the 6-foot-3 Valley transfer can provide even more perimeter depth.

For now, the Tigers will be happy just to add Smith, as he has a chance to come in and earn immediate minutes next season.