Smith Staying with Wisconsin

Orono (MN) shooting guard Jordan Smith could have taken a full-ride scholarship to Saint Louis and become a fixture in the Billikens' rotation. But as he broke the news to Badger Nation, Smith was emphatic in saying that Wisconsin was still the perfect choice for him.

MADISON - On the surface, it would appear Jordan Smith had a complicated decision. On one hand, he had his committed decision to the University of Wisconsin, a Big Ten power that offered him a preferred walk-on opportunity with the chance to earn the scholarship. On the other one, he had his first major scholarship offer to Saint Louis and a chance to be a fixture in that lineup down the road.

It was never as complicated as it was made to seem. Citing his long-term relationship with UW associate head coach Greg Gard, his familiarity what players on the roster and his love for the campus, Smith broke the news to Badger Nation that he was going to stick with his commitment and play basketball for the Badgers starting this fall.

"I'm excited to be a part of the Wisconsin program," Smith told Badger Nation Wednesday night.

After not getting any major Division 1 interest following his senior season, a season where Smith led the Orono (MN) HS to a 28-4 mark in the Class AAA State Championship, Smith dialed up Gard, took a visit to Wisconsin and decided that UW was the best place for him.

According to Smith, the Billikens' coaching staff read the reports of his decision and decided to up the offer. Inviting Smith down to campus, Saint Louis coach Rick Majerus offered the 6-foot-1 shooting guard a scholarship offer. After mulling the decision over with his parents full support, Smith knew in his heart where he wanted to go.

"It would be tough not to go down and see what they had to offer," said Smith, who also fielded phone calls from Butler coach Brad Stevens and Penn State coach Ed DeChellis. "It was a good experience and all the people there seem like good people but I think now that I have seen that and being there for a weekend, it reaffirmed my decision that I still wanted to go down to Wisconsin.

"I'm comfortable with Coach Gard. I have spoken to him on and off for the past five years, he's come to watch me play and I've gotten to know him. Plus knowing Jordan Taylor, Mike Bruesewitz and Jared Berggren, the decision was kind of made for me. Saint Louis had a scholarship, making it a free school. Other than that, Wisconsin was the clear choice."

Playing six year of high school basketball, Smith became Orono (MN) High School's all-time leading scorer with over 2,500 points. As a senior, he averaged 21.5 points per game, scored in double figures in 29 of 32 games (including 72 points in the school's three state tournament wins).

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