Can Malik Smith Be A Starter for Minnesota Golden Gophers?

By Trevor Lowry
Malik Smith
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Golden Gophers will have a couple of talented guards in the 2013-14 college basketball season, so can transfer Malik Smith be a starter?

Well, Austin Hollins and Andre Hollins are going to start. They were the two leading scorers on the team this past season and that very well could be the case in the upcoming one. In fact, after how good Austin did in the NCAA tournament, it wouldn’t surprise me if he had a huge season and was considered one of the best players in the Big Ten.

One thing that Smith has going for him is the fact that Richard Pitino was his coach last season at Florida International. If anyone knows what kind of a player Smith can be, it is Pitino. It helps that Smith put up 14.1 points per game last season and was a beast from behind the arc, making 96 threes at a rate of 36.2 percent.

However, if Minnesota goes with a bigger lineup, Smith may come off of the bench. Just because he made threes for one team does not mean he will do that at another school, especially since Smith will be playing in one of the best conferences in the nation now–Big Ten.

I would personally go with a three-guard lineup, but I am also not a college basketball coach or a coach at anything for that matter. Pitino will put the best lineup out on the court or at least what he thinks is the best.

Sure, Smith has the talent to be a starter if he performs for the Golden Gophers like he did at FIU, but that is not a guarantee. Still, he is a great pickup and will be a very intriguing player entering the season.

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