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4/7: Big Ten Morning Power Bar: Battle for Mark Smith Heats Up

Spring recruiting is picking up throughout the Big Ten.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Kansas vs Michigan State Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina cut down the nets in Arizona on Monday night to officially conclude the 2016-17 season.

Another intriguing college basketball season started Thursday at 1 pm EDT. It was the official start of one of the many summer recruiting periods. Under this period, coaching staffs around the country can host prospects on campus and visit them at home.

The Big Ten coaching fraternity wasted no time in trying to jump on the 2017-18 season. Let’s take a look at some of the top recruiting headlines this week.

-Mark Smith Gets Visits From Illinois and Michigan State.

The four-star shooting guard and Illinois Mr. Basketball is a hot commodity in the first official weekend of spring recruiting.

Michigan State has made Smith a priority as they look to add to an already top 20 recruiting class in 2017. Smith would provide some balance positionally to a class that has two top-100 forwards. Check out the Michigan State coaching staff enjoying some Dairy Queen as they visited Smith yesterday in his home town.

Michigan State wasn’t the only Big Ten school to visit Smith Thursday.

New Illinois coach Brad Underwood also made the drive to talk with Smith. The Illini are looking to add to a 2017 class that saw the loss of Jeremiah Tilmon earlier in the week. Illinois still has two top-150 point guards in Trent Frazier and Da’Monte Williams in their 2017 class. Adding Smith would seem to fit well with Underwood’s offensive style.

Word also came down from Smith’s AAU coach that Kentucky offered Smith on Thursday night during an in-home visit. Stay tuned on this one because Smith’s recruitment just seems to keep blowing up.

-Archie Miller Meets With 2017 Recruits.

Various reports out of Bloomington yesterday indicated that new Indiana head coach Archie Miller is individually meeting with 2017 members Al Durham, Clifton Moore and Justin Smith to discuss their status in the Indiana recruiting class. Durham and Moore previously announced that their status was in the air after former coach Tom Crean was let go in late March.

It appears the initial meeting with Justin Smith worked. Smith confirmed on Twitter that he was sticking with the Hoosiers after a talk with Miller on Friday.

This is a huge win for Miller and the Hoosiers. The four-star forward will provide depth and athleticism to a frontcourt that will potentially replace Thomas Bryant and O.G. Anunoby. The potential is there for Durham to play an important role for the Hoosiers next season.

Eyes now turn to an updated recruiting status of Moore. Make sure to check BTPowerhouse for any updates this weekend.

-Purdue Hosts 2017 Big Man.

Caleb Swanigan declared for the draft earlier this week, but will not hire an agent right now. If Swanigan unexpectedly comes back, the Boilermakers will be full on scholarships. However, Purdue is recruiting this spring like it will have an open scholarship.

This weekend Purdue hosts 6’10” center Malik Ondigo. The three-star big man boasts offers from schools such as Colorado, Texas Tech, Nevada and Washington State, amongst others. Purdue is his first official visit.

It will be a big question on how much Ondigo can help the Boilermakers’ frontline next season, but Purdue could certainly use more depth to help replace the potential loss of Swanigan.

-Michigan Looks to Add Guard to 2017 Class

The Michigan Wolverines have three right now in their 2017 recruiting class. The Wolverines will look to potentially add another guard with their hosting of 6’3” point guard Shakwon Barrett.

The lanky guard would give the Wolverines a second point guard in a class that includes two other backcourt players (Jordan Poole and Eli Brooks).

Barrett isn’t a known commodity, but could offer Michigan skill and depth at a key position in John Beilein’s offense.