LITTLE ROCK — There was a familiarity between Indiana grad-transfer Justin Smith and the Arkansas Razorbacks, and second-year head coach Eric Musselman has landed the versatile forward who announced his commitment to the Hogs via Twitter on Monday.
Smith (6-7, 230, native of Buffalo Grove, IL) — he has faced the Hogs three times in the past two seasons — reportedly had been contacted by at least 20 schools, including Arkansas, Mississippi State, Purdue, Notre Dame, Oregon, Maryland, Arizona State, North Carolina State, Xavier, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Iowa State, Northwestern, Georgetown, DePaul, and Boston College among others before choosing the Hogs.
Smith started all 32 games as a junior in 2019-20 and averaged 10.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.0 steals in 30.4 minutes per game — all career-high marks — while shooting 49.2% from the field (including 10-of-38 from 3 for 26.3%) and 67.3% from the free throw line.
In 3 career games played against Arkansas — a 71-64 home loss last season and a home-and-away split in ’18-19 — Smith registered a combined 9 points (on 3-of-13 field goals and 3-of-6 free throws) and 9 rebounds in 51 minutes.
Smith will have one season of immediate playing eligibility in 2020-21.
He becomes Musselman’s third grad-transfer — and seventh player overall — in the 2020 recruiting class as he joins Vance Jackson, Jr., and Jalen Tate.