Indiana transfer Justin Smith talks Arkansas Men’s Basketball

Justin Smith (courtesy Arkansas Athletic Communications)
Justin Smith Arkansas BKB Graduate transfer from Indiana Hoosiers 2 2021.mp3

F | Gr.Sr. | 6-7 | 230 | Buffalo Grove, Ill. | Stevenson HS / Indiana

• Rated the 11th-best Graduate Transfer in the Nation by TheStadium.com
• Rated the 22nd-best Graduate Transfer in the Nation by ESPN.com
• Graduated in just three years from Indiana’s Kelley School of Business (B.S.B.) in the Spring of 2020.
• Is pursuing his master’s in operations management at the University of Arkansas.
• Played in all of Indiana’s 98 games (with 73 starts) over the past three years … In his three-year career, scored 821 points with 419 rebounds, 64 assists, 60 steals and 35 blocked shots … Has four career double-doubles.

Senior (2020-21 at Arkansas):

Smith Helps 2nd Half Success Over Last 15 Games
• Justin Smith has been a key factor for the Hogs going 13-2 over the last 15 games. Specifically, he has played well in
the second halves of those games.
• In the SEC quarterfinal win over Mizzou, Smith scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half, making 6-of-7 FG and he
grabbed all eight of his rebounds in the frame.
• In the SEC semifinal loss to LSU, Smith scored 15 of his 21 points in the second alf, making 7-of-9 FG.
• In the NCAA 1st round win over Colgate, Smith scored 18 of his 27 and had 7 of his 12 rebounds in the seocnd half.
SMITH BY HALF THE LAST 15 GAMES
1st HALF: team’s 4th-best 5.0 ppg 44.8 FG% 3.6 rpg 22 assists 8 BLK 7 steals
2nd HALF: team’s-best 9.9 ppg 69.2 FG% 3.7 rpg 11 assists 2 BLK 13 steals

The Smith Factor … Playing “Next-Level Basketball”
• Here is a breakdown (WITH TWO CAVEATS) to show the team’s success with a “healthy” Justin Smith … remember,
everything in this note centers around the following……

  1. Even though Justin Smith started and played at Alabama, he was not effective and probably should have waited one
    more game so I’m not counting that game
  2. I am not counting any games prior to opening league play (Dec. 30) at Auburn. I am including the Oklahoma State.
    • Team “with” Justin Smith: 13-1 …. 1-4 “without.” Now, in reality for the year, Arkansas is 22-3 (even with
    Alabama loss) and 1-3 without (losses to #12 Missouri, at #9 Tennessee and at #24 Alabama)

• Muss says Smith is playing “next-level basketball” and,considering the two caveats above…..
^ With a healthy Smith, Arkansas averages 3.0 more assists (14.8 to 11.8) and 2.2 less turnovers (13.4 to 15.2)
^ With a healthy Smith, Arkansas is shooting 46.2% as a team and shot 39.2% without Smith
^ With a healthy Smith, Arkansas is scoring 81.8 ppg as a team and 75.2 ppg without Smith.
^ With a healthy Smith, Arkansas is allowing 71.1 ppg as a team and 82.2 ppg without Smith.

“Zero” Coincidence
• There is “zero” coincidence that Arkansas won 12 straight SEC games thanks to #0 ….
a “healthy” Justin Smith.
• Smith was injured in the first half of the SEC season-opening win at Auburn and had
ankle surgery the next day (Jan. 1). Arkansas lost three of the next four games with
Smith sidelined and dropped a decision at Alabama with a limited Smith back in the
lineup — 14 days after his surgery.
• Since that Alabama game. Arkansas was 13-2 over the last 14. The Hogs are 22-3 with
Smith in the starting lineup (lost at Alabama in perhaps a premature return to the
lineup, lost a four-point game at Oklahoma State – game was tied with 30 seconds to
go and lost a six-point game to LSU in the SEC semis – a game Arkansas was down 1
with 37 seconds left).
• Over the last 15 games, Smith is averaging 15.2 ppg and 7.5 rpg while shooting
59.4% from the field. His 34 assists rank second-most on the team over the
span and his 20 steals rank third.
• Vs Mississippi State, Smith had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
• At Oklahoma State, Smith led the team in scoring (18), rebounds (7) and
assists, tying his career-high.
• At Missouri, Smith led the team in scoring (19) and rebounds (6) and tied for
the team lead in assists (3).
• Vs Florida, Smith had 15 points (7=9 FG) with six rebounds and career-highs
in steals (5) and assists (4).
• Vs Alabama, Smith had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
• Vs LSU, Smith recorded his second-straight double-double (19 pts & 10 reb)
• At South Carolina, Smith had 22 points and 8 rebounds.
• Had 21 points and 8 rebounds in the SEC quarterfinal win over Missouri with
three assists and two steals
• Added 21 points (10-of-13 FG) and seven rebounds vs LSU in the SEC semis.
• Versus Colgate, had a career-high 27 points — making a career-high 11-of-13 at
the free throw line — while tying a career-high with five steals … He added 12
rebounds for his fifth double-double this season.

SMITH’S CAREER STATS PRIOR TO ARKANSAS

Junior (2019-20 at Indiana):
Started all 32 games … Led the team in steals (31) and minutes played (971) … Averaged 10.4 points and tied for second on the team with 5.2 rebounds per game … Named IU’s athletic department’s Male Student-Athlete of the Month for January … Tied his career-high with 24 points and with a career-high three steals, adding seven boards, against Western Illinois … Notched 18 points and eight rebounds (five offensive) against Portland State … Scored a team-high 22 points in a win over Troy, making 8-of-9 field goals, both of his 3-point attempts and all four free throw attempts while tying a career-high with three steals … Finished with 18 points and eight boards against South Dakota State … Posted another solid effort with 14 points and five rebounds against Florida State … Logged a double-double with 16 points and 10 boards against Nebraska … Pulled down eight rebounds against  Arkansas … Finished with 18 points, six rebounds and three steals against Northwestern … Posted a team-high 15 points with seven boards at Rutgers … Tallied 15 points, seven rebounds and two assists at Nebraska … Finished with 13 points and seven rebounds at Penn State … Only had six points with seven boards but was credited with playing lock-down defense against Iowa … Also played outstanding defense and with nine points, eight boards and two steals against Penn State … Had 12 points and six rebounds against Nebraska in the Big Ten Tournament.

Sophomore (2018-19 at Indiana):
Earned 2019 Academic All-Big Ten … Played in all 35 games and started 32 times … Fifth on the team averaging 8.2 points and third on the team averaging 4.5 rebounds … Added 22 steals … Pulled down nine rebounds at Penn State and versus Louisville and versus Michigan … Posted a season-high 15 points and added six boards at Purdue … Had two double-doubles for the season … The first was scoring 10 points and tying a career-high with 12 rebounds at Northwestern … The second was at Michigan – and perhaps his best overall game as a Hoosier – as he scored 13 points with 10 rebounds while adding two assists and three blocks, including a game-saving deflection with 3.4 seconds left on a layup … Recorded a career-high 24 points against Michigan State, hitting a career-best three 3-pointers … Had 15 points and seven boards at Illinois … Tallied a career-high three assists against Rutgers … Just missed another double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds against St. Francis in the NIT.

Freshman (2017-18 at Indiana):
Emerged as the top freshman to help the Hoosiers … Played in all 31 games and started 9 times … Averaged 6.5 points and shot 55.0% from the floor … Third on the team in scoring in Big Ten play, averaging 7.8 points … Shot 55.3% from the field in conference play …  Notched his first career double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds against Howard … Made his first career start at Seton Hall and had 10 points with four rebounds … Logged his second career start at Minnesota and finished with a season-high 20 points … Knocked in a go-ahead triple in the closing minutes versus the Gophers … Finished with 13 points and three rebounds in 13 minutes against Illinois … Had 15 points and three rebounds at Iowa … Tallied 16 points and eight rebounds at Nebraska … Scored 16 points against Ohio State.

High School:
A 2017 graduate of Adlai Stevenson High School … Ranked No. 91 overall in the class by Rivals.com … As a senior, averaged 21 points and nearly 10 rebounds … Logged 16 double-doubles during his senior year … Received second team All-State for Class 4A by the Associated Press … Two-time Lake County Player of the Year by the Daily Herald … During his junior year, posted averages of 17 points, eight rebounds and two assists … Helped Stevenson to the Illinois state title as a sophomore … Played AAU basketball for the Mac Irvin Fire program.

Personal:
Born Mar. 1, 1999, in Highland Park, Ill.  … Son of Edward and Lucy Smith … Has two sisters, Devin and Meredith.

COURTESY ARKANSAS ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

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