Social media buzzing for Illini basketball

Social media buzzing for Illini basketball

Thursday evening update

Unofficial "Mark Smith Day" might be winding down, but there's still fairly consistent tweets to and about the 6-foot-5 Edwardsville senior guard. As the day has progressed, the tenor of those tweets has taken on even more of a "Will he or won't he?" theme.

Will Smith make his planned trip to Columbus, Ohio, for an official visit at Ohio State? Or will those plans be canceled with the four-star guard committing elsewhere? Will that be Illinois?

Regardless, Smith remains a hot topic in the Illinois fan base — both on social media and various message boards. 

Another sampling of tweets from an Ohio State hoops beat writer to various Illini fans:

Early afternoon update

Today's unofficial visit is just a part of a busy week of recruiting for Mark Smith. He had an in-home visit with Michigan State on Tuesday and another with Duke on Wednesday. Next up is an official visit at Ohio State.

The 6-foot-5 Edwardsville guard, simply put, blew up during his senior year.

"My daughter plays volleyball at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, and we were at Wright State for a tournament in August when Mark and his parents were there for a visit,” Greg Shashack, of the Alton Telegraph, told The News-Gazette late last month. “At that time, it was an attractive option for Mark.

"He was always big and strong, but that hint of baby fat he had as a junior is gone. He’s got a sculpted Big Ten-ready body, and he’s faster and more explosive to the rim. He can shoot the three and take defenders off the dribble to the basket.

"I see Deron Williams potential, but I’m certainly not the best judge of talent. I thought Malcolm Hill coming out of Belleville East would struggle to contribute at Illinois, and we know how that projection turned out.”

Smith's visit to Champaign, of course, remains a hot topic on Twitter, and future Illinois guard Trent Frazier is getting in some of his own recruiting of a potential teammate.

****

It's unofficial "Mark Smith Day" in Champaign and Illini Twitter is abuzz. Not only for the prospect that the Edwardsville senior guard and Illinois Mr. Basketball might pick the Illini, but for the possibility Kansas transfer Carlton Bragg Jr. and California transfer Charlie Moore might do the same.

Any news this week would provide plenty of fodder for beat writer Scott Richey's next weekly offseason chat. 

New Illinois coach Brad Underwood has four open scholarships to fill for the 2017-18 season and is in the mix for Smith, Bragg and Moore — getting an unofficial visit from Smith today and landing among the finalists for the two transfers. All of the above has the Illini fan base rather excited. 

Smith, of course, is the Twitter news of the day:

If Smith does pick Illinois — clearly an option on the table — what are the chances Bragg and Moore might end up in Champaign, too?

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Moonpie wrote on April 20, 2017 at 5:04 pm

This is sooooo Sloppy Gazoo Sports.

And basically fake news.

Based on a lot of twittering twits all a twitter!

Flimsy as a Trumpie Twitter.

jk3363 wrote on April 20, 2017 at 6:04 pm

So fan/major sports blogs/major reporter opinions are "fake"?

Name one thing incorrect or false in a single one of those tweets. Go ahead, I'll wait (I guess I'll wait a while because you never respond to any critics beside from "omg moonpoo u dumb" Still waiting on that explanation as to why Tate is authoritarian by the way). 

It's opinions. Sometimes believe it not, people can get excited about Illinois sports. Or is positive posting = cheerleading and therefore fake? Your logic is nonsense if that's the case.