Gopher Basketball: Malik Smith is one step closer to becoming eligible in the fall


Nov 11, 2012; Chestnut Hill, MA, USA; Florida International Golden Panthers guard Malik Smith (24) during the second half against the Boston College Eagles at Conte Forum. The Boston College Eagles won 84-70. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Former Florida International University guard, Malik Smith, is a step closer to playing for the Gophers in this upcoming season.

On Tuesday, the NCAA released its annual Academic Progress Report and FIU posted a score of 858 which is below the cutoff of 930 points. The APR score was calculated for the combined years from 2008 to 2012. The consequence for FIU is that the basketball team will be barred from the postseason for one year.

As for Smith, this means that he will be able to get a waiver from the NCAA to compete immediately without having to sit out a year because of his former school’s academic troubles.

The incoming senior successfully transferred to the Gophers in May after averaging more than 14 points per game for the Golden Panthers in his junior season.

The Boston native connected on 96 three-pointers in 2012-13 and will be a big upgrade for first-year Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino, who coached FIU last season.

The numbers used to calculate FIU’s APR that were released on Tuesday did not include Pitino’s only season as the Golden Panther’s head coach.

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