Mike Pegram, Peegs.com

Justin Smith knows IU well, ready for cut down

Four-star Illinois forward Justin Smith talks Indiana and plans to cut down his list

When we caught up with four-star forward Justin Smith during the recently completed July evaluation period, he was ready to get serious on his college decision.

"I am looking to cut my list down. I don't know how many yet," Smith said.

At the time he spoke to getting out a short list after July. In other words, unless plans have changed, that news could come at any time now.

The Lincolnshire (Ill.) Stevenson player said roughly eight programs had made him a real priority over the summer.

"Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Villanova, Michigan, Stanford, and a couple more," Smith said.

Smith said taking the full allotted five official visits is not set in stone, saying he'll "just taking one visit at a time."

When it comes down to it, much will be based on the relationship with the program.

"Just the way that they communicate with me. Not just the 'we want you to come here and we want this, this and this.' It is more making me feel we're just having a conversation," Smith said.

It sounds like Indiana has a good chance make the cut as Smith had a lot of praise for the Big Ten program.

"Just the way they develop players," Smith said.  "Coach (Tom) Crean and his staff do a really good job of developing players. They make players who may not be highly touted out of high school and turn them into pros. Just the way they develop and have confidence in their players. "

He's been to Bloomington on more than one occasion.

"Three or four times," Smith said.

The Hoosiers aren't the only program to bring him in for an unofficial.

"Michigan, Illinois, Purdue, Northwestern, Rice, DePaul, Wisconsin," Smith said.

Still looks like a fall decision for the small forward.

"I want that out of the way," Smith said.

Note: Jeff Rabjohns contributed to this report. 


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