After taking an official visit to Ohio State during the weekend, Mark Smith will announce his college decision Wednesday at 7 p.m. at his high school, according to multiple reports.
The 6-5, 225-pound guard from Edwardsville, Illinois, was initially planning to play baseball before an arm injury last summer forced him to set his sights on basketball. The Buckeyes offered him a scholarship in mid-February and eventually landed the senior’s final official visit.
Last fall, Smith took official visits to Michigan State, Northern Illinois, Wright State and Southern Illinois, schools that were all recruiting him to play both basketball and baseball. Since then, Duke and Kentucky have also jumped into the fray while new Illinois coach Brad Underwood has worked to keep his state’s reigning Mr. Basketball from leaving.
Ohio State signee Kaleb Wesson, Ohio’s Mr. Basketball, tweeted at Smith twice during the weekend.
Did you know the last time we had two Gatorade POY in one class we went to the Final Four the next year?? Let's make history @Mark_Smith_13
— Kaleb Wesson (@Elite_Hooper99) April 22, 2017
and also a photoshopped image of the two of them in Ohio State jerseys.
247Sports.com ranks Smith as a four-star prospect, the No. 4 prospect in Illinois and the No. 16 point guard in the nation. ESPN ranks him as the No. 6 prospect from Illinois and the No. 22 point guard in the nation, while Rivals.com lists him as the No. 52 overall prospect in the nation and the No. 9 uncommitted player. As a senior, Smith averaged 21.9 points, 8.4 assists and 8.2 rebounds.
According to 247Sports’ “Crystal Ball” projections, Illinois is the favorite to land Smith at 60 percent. Michigan State is second at 40 percent.
The Buckeyes have three scholarships available for next season and are in the market for a few guards, several of which are on the transfer front.