Senior guard Mark Smith says goodbye to Mizzou, enters transfer portal
After three years with Missouri men's basketball, senior shooting guard Mark Smith entered the transfer portal over the weekend.
Smith was one of five Tigers in their traditional final year of NCAA eligibility, but holds the option for an extra season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
There's no guarantee Smith will use that extra year.
If he does, it won't be in Columbia.
The expectation within the program has been that all five players who participated in senior day ceremonies March 6 (Dru Smith, Mark Smith, Jeremiah Tilmon, Mitchell Smith and Drew Buggs) won't return to the program.
"I just want to say thank you to Coach (Cuonzo) Martin and the Mizzou coaching staff!" Mark Smith said in an Instagram post. "It's been a great three years making memories with my brothers! Thank you to the Mizzou fans for embracing me over the past three years. Mizzou will always hold a special place in my heart!"
Smith spent his sophomore through senior seasons in Columbia after starting his career at Illinois. A central figure in recent Braggin' Rights matchups, he was always on the winning team in the Missouri vs. Illinois showdown, including an Illini victory.
Before going to Champaign, Smith was a standout basketball and baseball player at Edwardsville High School in the suburban St. Louis area.
During the 2020-21 season, Smith started 24 of the Tigers' 26 games and appeared in all of them. He was second on the team in minutes played (29.6 per game) and fourth with 9.7 points per game.
In his first two years at Missouri, Smith played in 43 combined games, missing a few stretches with injuries.
As a sophomore in 2018-19, Smith shot 45% from 3-point range, the highest percentage in the Southeastern Conference for players with 100 or more attempts. The 45% mark from beyond the arc was the fourth-highest by a sophomore in Missouri history and the eighth-highest ever in program history.
His 3-point shooting percentage regressed in each subsequent season, with a 37.1% clip as a junior and 31.5% this season.
In his NCAA Tournament debut and Missouri finale, Smith scored 11 points on 3-for-5 shooting from 3-point range.
Smith enters an overflowing transfer portal with more than 1,000 men's basketball players looking for new destinations, per multiple online reports.
The Tigers have two open scholarship spots as of Monday.
Mizzou football lands three-star O-lineman Armand Membou
Missouri gained its sixth commitment in its Class of 2022 on Saturday, picking up a verbal pledge from Armand Membou, a three-star offensive lineman from Lee's Summit North.
Membou is the fourth in-state commit in the class and the third from the Kansas City area, joining tight end Max Whisner and wide receiver Mehki Miller.
According to the 247Sports composite, the 6-foot-4, 275-pound Membou projects as a guard at the collegiate level. Membou also held offers from Oregon, Nebraska, Kansas State and others.
Membou picked up his offer from the Tigers last September, with Iowa State and Kansas also making scholarship offers within 24 hours.
The Tigers' 2022 recruiting class ranks No. 6 in the SEC and No. 20 nationwide.
Mizzou softball wins series against Auburn
No. 18 Missouri softball took two of three from No. 24 Auburn over the weekend, beating the fellow Tigers on Friday and Saturday before its first home loss Sunday.
Missouri won 2-1 in nine innings Friday, securing the victory on an Auburn throwing error.
Jenna Laird drove in the game-winning runs en route to a 6-5 triumph Saturday.
Missouri was shut out 3-0 on Sunday.
Missouri (24-7) is scheduled to return to action Tuesday at Saint Louis before a conference series at South Carolina from Thursday to Saturday.
Contact Eric Blum at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @ByEricBlum on Twitter.
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