4-star wing Justin Smith commits to IU

Indiana has a new recruit.

It’s Justin Smith, a 6-foot-7 wing from Lincolnshire, Ill. He’s a top 100 prospect in the 2017 recruiting class, considered the No. 4 prospect in Illinois and the No. 17 ranked forward in the nation, according to the 247 Sports Composite.

Smith took an official visit to Bloomington during the weekend of Sept. 10. Last week, he told ESPN that his list was trimmed to IU and Villanova.

On Monday night, Smith cut his list to one.

“I am humbled by the opportunities I was given to play for many great schools,” Smith wrote in a message posted to his Twitter account Monday night. “I am honored to have met great coaching staffs and people throughout this process. I am grateful for my teachers, coaches and parents, who have helped me develop as a student athlete. And I am thrilled to announce that I will continue my education and play basketball at Indiana University.”

Smith averaged 19 points and nine rebounds per game as a junior at Stevenson High School, where he earned an All-State First Team selection. He also considered Michigan, Illinois, Xavier, Stanford and Wisconsin.

Playing on the Nike EYBL travel ball circuit this spring and summer, Smith averaged 8.8 points across 15 games.

“He’s a big time athlete,” Scout.com’s Brian Snow said. “He can rebound the ball a little bit, he’s got a little bit of skill. He’s not a great shooter, but he can handle it and get to the rim. He can do a lot of different things. The biggest thing he brings is his athleticism.”

Smith is Indiana’s second commit for 2017, joining three-star Georgia guard Al Durham, who committed 11 months ago.

Smith first received his Indiana offer in May 2015 and took his first visit to Bloomington last August.

Forward Collin Hartman is Indiana’s lone senior this season, but center Thomas Bryant and forward OG Anunoby also have NBA upside and could enter the draft with strong sophomore seasons. Junior guard James Blackmon, too, is a candidate to leave school early for the professional ranks.

Smith will join junior college transfer Freddie McSwain as attacking wings on next year’s roster.

Because of his defensive approach, Snow says he can see Smith adding an impact to Indiana’s roster early next year.

“I think he can play right away just because, defensively, he should be ready,” Snow said. “He can guard threes and fours. He can rebound a little bit and he’s just such a good athlete and such a smart kid that I think he’ll pick up the system. While I don’t think he’ll be a big time scorer right away, I do think he’ll be able to contribute right away.”

IU continues to recruit five-star wing Kris Wilkes, a North Central product considered a top 20 player in the 2017 class. Smith’s commitment shouldn’t affect Indiana’s pursuit of Wilkes.

This past weekend, Indiana hosted four-star point guard Tremont Waters, who has additional offers from Kentucky, Kansas, Georgetown and home-state school Connecticut.


  1. Ok. Good recruit 6’7″ ok. Four star ok. Who’s recruiting better now? Butler or IU? Or are they about the same?

  2. IU gets the #76 recruit, a 6’7 wing, who picked IU over defending National Champion Villanova, and the press and fan reaction is “ok”. Where is the passion…where is the love? Thank you Justin Smith! We love you! Enjoy being in candy-stripes!

  3. Good questions, BeatPurdue. Maybe the fans are all focused on football right now! Or maybe, IU fans now take it for granted that Tom Crean will sign highly talented players year after year. And really, after the success of some of his “unheralded” recruits (VO, etc.), who cares about the star rating and national ranking of the players Crean signs. Crean and staff have demonstrated the consistent ability to recruit highly talented basketball players. And even more importantly, he has demonstrated the ability to help the less highly rated players develop into college basketball stars.

  4. BeatPurdon’t is a regular at Inside the Apologist…Nothing knew from his pollyannaish love for the preacher boy.

    What fans have already grown used to is talent that is never coached up beyond its individual parts. I would say IU fans have gone past taking his basketball X’s and O’s shortcomings for granted. I think the excitement for Crean has long worn off. Most fans recognize his ceiling. It’s hard to get excited when you watch other programs like Butler(with no more talent) get to Final Fours. Sure, there’s some pollyanna holdouts from the Church of Latter-day Final Four Aints….but there just isn’t the hope that comes with a coach who can build a team better than he build resumes for an NBA draft.

    There’s really one one true “star” he’s put in the NBA….There are a hundred Oladipos in the NBA. He does nothing exceedingly special nor could he ever carry a team on his own shoulders to win a championship. “Stars” are guys that are “musts” to win a title. Wade is in that class. Does that make Crean a quality coach…? Not to most fans outside the apologist farm of isolationism. I think the fact that so many top Hoosier ballers have no interest is the real writing on the wall. Indiana kids know a quality game of hoops.

  5. Now Wilson…? There’s a different story entirely. He’s already accomplishing far more while working in a program that was basically defunct of any real interest or belief…and, absolutely, no history. He’s done it on the quiet with gritty players who believe in his mind for the game. That’s the sort of coach Indiana deserves. He’s doing it early Bobby Knight style…Football is now where the passion resides.

  6. So sick and tired of reading the BS from HH. Same old. Same old. Jeremy/Mike, please burn my password and maybe send me an email if and when the coast is clear.

  7. Ron, So many instances that I wished now I’d posted the same. Continual brain dead, burnt out BS. Just total nonsense.

  8. It’s hard for some of you apologists to digest.

    Price and Miller have commented extensively on the lack of interest from Indiana recruits.
    Anyone can be designated a “star.” But star performances eclipse all rankings. These are the guys who capture the biggest stages, put teams on their backs, separate themselves from the generalized and overused designation of “stars,” to carry teams(often beyond a coach’s limitations) into rounds beyond Sweet 16’s.
    Star coaches pretty much do the same. They aspire to push teams into new realms beyond the generalized assessment of the overall talent. They tend to appear with some amount of regularity in Elite 8s and Final Fours.

    You are not a “star” coach at Indiana if, in 8 years, you have failed to get your “top” talent to play into the second weekend of March Madness(This is a relatively low bar…You have to win six games in March Madness to win the title…Crean has yet to win more than two…A Sweet 16 aint so sweet…It’s only getting 1/3 of the way through the brackets toward a championship). You are either a very average to poor coach….or your talent has been severely overrated. It’s not such a horrible thing to be an average coach. There are hundreds of average coaches in college basketball who could attract wonderful talent to a place like Indiana.

    “Star” is a lazy term for lazy minds. The banners(five in Assembly) are the stars few can claim a ride.

    Crean is no different than the phenomenon propelling a certain ‘Donald.’ They both pretty much launched their public “stardom” via witch hunts….Because it’s Indiana…Make America great again…Because it’s Indiana…Make America great again. You WRECKED THE PROGRAM! You WRECKED THE UNITED STATES! Dance around a Bible a few times. Yup…True stars.

  9. And you don’t see/read the constant regurgitation with the undermining of Wilson from Mr. Poppycockdunker? Come on, Jeremy. You know exactly why the post above was initiated. I took the bait…That’s on me.
    But this hollow blabber in blind support of Crean(a coach that hasn’t even sniffed getting halfway through an NCAA tournament with highly regarded teams) is simply that: Hollow. And juxtapose that sort of regurgitation and slathering/oiling of preacher boy with the regurgitation of the way our football fan base is constantly ridiculed and Wilson is forever second-guessed for every decision he makes…(an almost daily ritual from Poppycockduner)?
    Fan base? Empty seats? Vinny Boombatz could coach the Hoosier basketball team and Assembly would always be rockin’. Zeller and Hulls…and Ferrell didn’t need Clapopatra to top out at Round of 32 wins.

    It is no coincidence that a number of the coaches Stevens invited to his summit — Barbara Stevens, Corbin and York — have won championships. It would be a mistake to conclude that Stevens is content with coaching lovable underdogs. The guy who lives to destroy his wife in a Milton Bradley card game wants more than that.

    Asked what it would take for him to unfold his arms on the Celtics’ sideline and let out a primal scream, Stevens doesn’t hesitate.

    “I feel like that would be when you win it all,” he says. “That’s why we do this, right?”(courtesy: ESPN)</blockquote

    "Win it all." Wow…What a concept…Shhhhh? Sweep that under the rug…Let's talk about more season-destroying injuries. When do you hear anything approaching that measure of self-evaluation/soul-searching/introspection from Crean as it pertains to "winning it all?" It is nonexistent. It's easier to tweet about the guy walking on clouds than utter any demands of himself and getting Hoosiers back to Final Fours.
    Do you get that? I will continue to regurgitate it until Crean gets it. He is not being paid millions of dollars in front of the greatest basketball fans in the country to fart out his mouth.

    1. Crean’s not reading this blog, so you’re comments aren’t reaching him. And you may not agree with Podunker (name calling again too by the way), but he doesn’t write 10 paragraphs on his view point five times a day.

      And you won’t keep regurgitating on this blog anymore, because you won’t be here to do so. You’ll be on permanent Scoopcation with Laffy.

  10. Thank You. I`m new here but could see an attitude problem. We all want the Hoosiers to win but the constant put downs did not do anyone good. Just because you back the coach does not make you a bad fan. Have never understood the people that want their team to lose so the coach would be fired.

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