October 27, 2008
USI will add Smith in December
New Eagle will be eligible after fall semester
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team announced junior guard Jamar Smith (Peoria, Illinois) will join the team in December at the end of the fall semester. Smith will have a year-and-a-half of eligibility left with the Screaming Eagles.
Smith transfers to USI after three years (two seasons as a player) at the University of Illinois. He played in 53 games for the Illini and made six starts as a sophomore, averaging 8.1 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game.
A Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection, Smith saw action in 32 of 33 games and led the conference in three-point field goal shooting at 48.2 percent (66-137).He averaged 8.0 points, dropping in a career-high 23 points against the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, and 1.7 rebounds per game.
In his second season, Smith made 21 appearances with six starts and averaged 8.1 points and 1.6 rebounds per game after getting off to a slow start due to an ankle injury. He scored a season-high 21 points against Idaho State University and made a career-high five steals against the University of Michigan.
Smith was a four-varsity performer at Richwoods High School in Peoria, Illinois, prior to beginning his collegiate career at Illinois. He was named Peoria Journal Star Class AA Player of the Year and first team All-State by the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette and the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association after leading the RHS and the Mid-State 6 Conference with 21.3 points per game.
The native of Peoria, Illinois, also was named Peoria Journal Star Class AA All-Star, Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette first team All-State, and IBCA third team All-State as a junior.
"Jamar has as much talent as any player to ever wear the USI uniform," said USI Head Coach Rick Herdes. "He has the skills to play multiple positions and be successful."
"Jamar has faced some troubles off the court, but is in the process of becoming a better person," continued Herdes. "I hope USI can be the foundation to help him become a better individual, as well as an excellent student athlete."
Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information