Minnesota transfer Malik Smith eligible for next season

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

The Gophers are feeling good right about now thanks to the news that Malik Smith will be on the court next season.

Minnesota sent out official word on Wednesday night that the 6-foot-2 senior guard from Florida International would be able to play come the fall. Smith signed on to play at FIU when Richard Pitino was coach. Then Minnesota fired Tubby Smith in the winter, hired Pitino away, so Smith followed.

FIU is one of a handful of schools that cannot play in the postseason next year due to APR punishment.

“We are certainly excited that the NCAA has approved the waiver for Malik,” Pitino said in a statement. “He is a great addition to the roster given his skills and invaluable knowledge of how we run our program.”

Smith was a third-team All-Sun Belt Conference pick last year, scoring 14.1 points per game. His 96 3-pointers in 2012-13 are an FIU record. Before playing at FIU, he played at Jacksonville College and South Plains College.

Pitino coached FIU to an 18-14 record last year. Minnesota went 21-13 under Smith, losing in the NCAA tournament's Round of 32 to Florida.

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