MU forward Mitchell Smith signing with agency, trying pro ranks

Missouri forward Mitchell Smith blocks Illinois center Kofi Cockburn as he goes up for a basket Dec. 12 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. Smith announced via his Instagram on Tuesday that he had signed with JCK Sports Group and was going to attempt to sign with a professional team.

Joel Lorenzi

Two-thirds of Missouri’s band of Smiths is out the door.

After guard Mark Smith declared his commitment to Kansas State earlier this offseason , redshirt senior Mitchell Smith announced Tuesday morning on Instagram that he’ll forgo his extra year of eligibility and sign with JCK Sports Group.

“Always calm before the storm,” he wrote. “Big business decisions. Excited to join the family @jcksg. Time to work baby.”

The 6-foot-10 forward averaged 4.5 points and five rebounds this season in 20.5 minutes per game. While a spotty shooter at times, the big man hit some shots from deep and gave the Tigers range that they didn’t have with center Jeremiah Tilmon. He served as a nice rebounding presence and a player Cuonzo Martin trusted because of his versatility on defense.

Martin’s trust in Mitchell Smith peaked when Missouri hosted Alabama on Feb. 6. MU was clinging on to a one-point lead, and Martin chose to leave him in the game. The senior forward flew from ball screen coverage to the rim, where he got the game-winning block on Southeastern Conference Player of the Year Herb Jones’ layup attempt.

JCK’s clients mostly consist of international players, but the agency also represents several G-League players and Houston Rockets point guard Chris Clemons. There isn’t much NBA draft buzz for a near-24-year-old forward with his numbers, but Mitchell Smith might find his niche overseas.