UPDATE: September 14, 8:00 pm CT: Wisconsin was not in Justin Smith’s top four choices (Indiana, Villanova, Stanford, Xavier).
Class of 2017 and four-star forward Justin Smith (Buffalo Grove, IL) cut his list down to just seven colleges recently.
Wisconsin is one of the final seven, battling out Big Ten foes Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois, as well as Villanova, Xavier, and Stanford. Smith is the 67th ranked prospect in the country, per 247Sports.
The Badgers offered Smith last October while he was on an unofficial visit. The Badgers are loaded at forward over the next few years with Ethan Happ, Khalil Iverson, Charlie Thomas, Aleem Ford, and 2017 recruit Nathan Reuvers. Smith would be another forward who excels at the rim with elite athleticism, reminding you of Iverson.
With the log jam at forward, Smith isn’t necessarily a need for the Badgers, especially with all of the talent in Wisconsin in 2018 with Tyler Herro, Joey Hauser, and Jordan McCabe choosing schools soon.
Villanova, the reigning national champion, may have special interest for Smith. Smith attends Adlai E. Stevenson High School, the same high school that Villanova guard Jalen Brunson attended. The two were teammates, and Smith just got to watch Brunson be a key member of the Villanova squad that won it all last April.
The Fighting Illini are also considered a favorite because Smith is an Illinois native. Illinois has two commitments from highly touted recruits from the state of Illinois in their 2017 class.
Photo courtesy of Justin Smith’s personal Twitter account.