Justin Smith Transferring to Arkansas

Nate Allen

FAYETTEVILLE – Posting a photo of himself with a Razorbacks basketball jersey, forward Justin Smith announced Monday  he is leaving Indiana University as a graduate transfer to the University of Arkansas.

Smith, 6-7, has immediate eligibility with Coach Eric Musselman’s Razorbacks graduating Indiana’s Kelley School of Business in three years while lettering with the Hoosiers all three seasons.

Smith played 98 games in three years with 73 starts including all 32 for the 2019-2020 Hoosiers going 20-12.  Smith tallied eight rebounds and six points when Arkansas defeated Indiana, 71-64 last November in Bloomington, Ind.

Smith in 2019-2020 averaged 10.4 points, and 5.3 rebounds and was All-Academics Big Ten his sophomore season.

Ill Mississippi State of the SEC   Purdue, Maryland and Illinois of the Big Ten, Georgetown of the Big East, Iowa State of the Big 12,  Oregon of the Pac 12, and Wake Forest, North Carolina State, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech  of the ACC also all have been reported as expressing interest in Smith when he submitted his name in the NCAA transfer portal.

If Isaiah Joe, the 2-year letterman star shooting guard via Fort Smith Northside, returns to the Razorbacks roster, Arkansas would be one over the 13-man scholarship limit by adding Smith. Because of the coronavirus pandemic cancelling the collegiate season at mid March and delaying completion of the 2019-2020 NBA until later this summer, Joe now has until Aug. 3 to decide submitting his name to the NBA draft or returning to the Razorbacks.

Originally the draft was set for June with June 3 the deadline for collegians exploring the draft either to submit their names in the draft or return to their schools.

Joe was on schedule to report for Monday’s reopening of Razorbacks weightroom and training facilities for athletes in sports that compete during the fall semester.

The current Razorbacks roster returns starting junior guards Joe and Desi Sills of Jonesboro; junior forwards Reggie Chaney of Tulsa and Ethan Henderson of Little Rock Parkview; and three now activated transfers who redshirted last season, sophomore center Connor Vanover via the University of California, junior guard JD Notae of Jacksonville University and forward Abayomi Iyiola of Stetson University.

To that nucleus Musselman through recruiting has added instantly eligible graduate transfers Jalen Tate, a guard from Northern Kentucky University, forward Vance Jackson from the University of  New Mexico and Smith and incoming instate freshmen  Jaylin Williams, a forward from Fort Smith Northside; guards Davonte Davis of Jacksonville;  KK Robinson of Bryant  and finishing his prep career at Oak Hill (Va.) Academy  and Moses Moody  of Little Rock who played at both Little Rock Parkview and North Little Rock finally completing at Monteverde (Fla.) Academy.

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