Illini fans don't panic, but Jamar Smith has a torn meniscus and by doctors' orders has been told to stay off it for at least two weeks. "It's been real tough for me, because I'm all about getting better." Smith said.
Leading up to the won't be out-worked philosophy, Smith says, "Everyday my dad would go up to the gym with me and I would shoot 700 shots a day. Every kind of shooting drill possible three pointer, crossover, baseline, elbow, you name it".
From the time I met this kid I new how much he loved the game, "My dad always tells me when I get tired, imagine what other players are doing right now, they are trying to beat you and take your spot" stated Smith. "My dad will not allow me to take time off, he knows how good I can be." Smith said.
For all of you ranking gurus, this is what Smith had to say about that. "Rankings don't mean a thing, sometimes a guy can get ranked real high because of one game. Last summer I played against some of those players and held my own. One game I was playing against one of the top guards and it was the other way around, they couldn't stop me and they told me I had mad game." However he also said he doesn't get caught up in all that because it's not that important.
Don't be surprised to see this shooting guard in Champaign this weekend; he knows this is the first scrimmage of the season.
Being the next recruiter is a job Smith really likes as well. "Right now everyone knows I'm working on guard Jon Scheyer, but a kid that I think is very good, and the Illinois coaches like a lot, is Joevan Catron. He's a big 6-5 power forward and I'm really working on him," said Smith.
Smith said he's heard all the rumors about his ball handling. After he's finished with his shooting drills, Smith works on his dribbling, sometimes with two people guarding him the entire workout.
One thing is certain, when Smith arrives at Illinois, I don't think Coach Bruce Weber will have to worry about this kids work ethic it will be fine.