Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local Sports

July 29, 2013

Former JC Jag Smith gains Golden Gopher eligibility for this season



MINNEAPOLIS — Former Jacksonville College and Florida International University (FIU) standout Malik Smith, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard, received some good news from the NCAA recently.

Smith, who transferred to the University of Minnesota following the completion of the 2012-13 campaign, has been granted his eligibility for the upcoming season (via a transfer wavier) at Minnesota and will not have to sit out a season.

FIU learned in June that it men's basketball team would not be eligible for post season play in 2014 due to an insufficient Academic Progress Rate score, which was a factor in the NCAA's decision regarding Smith.

Smith followed former FIU coach Richard Pitino to Minnesota.

The Boston native was a third-team All-Sun Belt Conference selection last year. He pumped in 14.1 points per game last season at FIU.

Smith will have one year of eligibility at Minnesota.

He also chipped in 96 3-pointers, which set a new school record at FIU.

Prior to attending FIU Smith played at Jacksonville College and at South Plains College.

Malik is a special player and it has been so neat to see him get better and better,” JC head men's basketball coach Jody Bailey said. “We got to see how special he (Smith) was when he was here in Jacksonville and now the fans of Minnesota basketball will get their chance to see what he can do. I'm anticipating Malik to have an outstanding senior season under Coach (Richard) Patino at Minnesota.”

Smith is the second JC graduate that is now playing in the Big Ten Conference. Daria Kryuchkova will be starting her senior season as a member of the University of Wisconsin women's basketball team later this year.




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