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5/19 Big Ten Morning Power Bar: Illinois Makes Mark Alstork’s Final Four

The Fighting Illini make the cut for Alstork, Rutgers in Naz Reid’s trimmed list, and Jalen Smith set to visit Maryland.

NCAA Basketball: Wright State at Penn State Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Check out the Big Ten’s latest recruiting news. Every week, the BTPowerhouse Friday Power Bar will detail what’s going on across the league on the recruiting trail.

-Fighting Illini Make Final Cut for Mark Alstork.

Outside of Cameron Johnson, the most intriguing and potentially impactful player remaining on the graduate transfer market can be found in Mark Alstork. On Thursday, the former Wright State guard announced the final four schools he will be considering. Alongside Pitt, LSU, and South Carolina were the Illinois Fighting Illini.

Though he’s primarily known as a scorer, Alstork impacts the game in a variety of ways when on the court. He is an excellent rebounder, and frequently looks to get others involved as well. Last season the guard averaged 19 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in 32 games, eclipsing the 1000 point mark. The performance garnered Alstork First Team All-Horizon League honors.

Alstork already knows the transfer process all too well. Following his freshman season at Ball State, the Dayton, OH native returned home to play for the Wright State Raiders. After sitting out a year, Alstork took the Horizon league by storm.

This offseason, Alstork tested the NBA waters without an agent. He ultimately electing to play one more year in the college ranks. Make no mistake though; his goal is to make it to the Association:

“I’m really taking it as I’m going to the NBA draft and NBA team workouts and potentially get signed or get drafted that’s what I’m going to do,” Alston told the Detroit Free Press in April.

Thankfully for Illinois fans, the wait for a decision won’t be long. Alstork is expected to announce his destination this Saturday.

-Naz Reid Trims List, Rutgers Among Final 10.

Five-star big Naz Reid announced his final 10 schools on Monday, and Rutgers remains in contention. The Scarlet Knights join a slew of powerhouse programs in Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Louisville, Arizona, UCLA, Uconn, and LSU. Rival Seton Hall also made the cut, creating a local turf war for the Ashbury Park, NJ native’s services.

It’s still early, but the signs all point positive that Rutgers is hanging with the elite programs thus far. Coach Steve Pikiell has exhibited fearlessness on the recruiting trail early in his tenure, and it appears to have made an impact on Reid.

The top ranked player in New Jersey and 12th overall, Reid punishes the rim with an effortless tenacity. He also showcases a natural finesse when advantageous. More impressively, though, is Reid’s smooth outside jumper and ability to put the ball on the floor.

-Jalen Smith to Visit Maryland.

On Tuesday, Baltimore area native Jalen Smith announced he will take an official visit to College Park this June. Smith has already taken several unofficial visits to Maryland, most recently this past February. It hasn’t gone unnoticed. 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions give the Terrapins an early nod, though just three picks have come in thus far.

Maryland has certainly made it known they want Smith in red, black and gold. Smith told Rivals:

“Coach (Mark) Turgeon wants me bad. He got my teammate Darryl Morsell there with him and they have been hounding me to get there ever since.”

Last year the five-star big really turned heads with his electric play, averaging 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game. The junior dominated, capping the season off with the Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year.

Smith would obviously be a huge addition for the Terrapins if they were to land him. His signing would also help ease the sting of losing out on fellow DMV prospect Prentiss Hubb to Notre Dame.


Check back next week for more Big Ten recruiting headlines.