Mar 11, 2013; Hot Springs, AR, USA; Western Kentucky Hilltoppers guard Jamal Crook (14) defends against Florida International Panthers guard Malik Smith (24) during the championship game of the Sun Belt Conference tournament at Summit Arena. Western Kentucky defeated Florida International 65-63. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Coach Richard Pitino and his staff landed another guard for the 2013-2014 roster Wednesday morning.
Malik Smith, a Boston native, announced from twitter that he will be transferring to Minnesota from Florida International next season.
Smith will be eligible right away. The senior chose Minnesota over Alabama. The 6-foot-2 guard spent one season under Pitino’s system and was the team’s second leading scorer. Smith made 96 three pointers, 15 more than Andre Hollins. He shot 36 percent from three-point range. He also averaged 14 points per game. Smith was selected to the third-team for the Sun Belt Conference.
The transferring of Smith adds some experience with Coach Pitino’s system. This could land Smith in a leadership role next season.
This is the third guard that Coach Pitino has added in a little over a month. The Gophers already landed Daquein McNeil and JUCO transfer Dre Mathieu. They did lose Joe Coleman who decided to transfer yesterday.
Coach Pitino and his staff will now look to add size to the roster. It was learned today that it is all but certain that Rakeem Buckles will transfer to Minnesota. There is issues with his eligibility on whether or not he would be eligible to play next year or if he would have to sit a year. Once this is figured out, Buckles will join the team.
It was also learned this past weekend that Joey King was offered a walk-on spot with the team. King could earn a scholarship after the upcoming season.