After directing one of the top turnarounds in Missouri Valley Conference history, University of Evansville head men’s basketball coach Todd Lickliter has announced the addition of Antoine Smith Jr. and Preston Phillips.
“We are pleased to officially welcome Antoine and Preston as our newest Aces,” Lickliter exclaimed. “They both possess a versatile skillset and a team first approach that aligns with both our early signees and returners.”
Antoine Smith Jr., a native of Westerville, Ohio, is a member of Collin County Community College and was recently named 1st Team All-Conference in the North Texas College Athletic Conference. He was also awarded All-Region 5 Team and Newcomer of the Year. In 23 games this year, Smith averaged 15.0 points per game and 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting 49.0% from the field and 36.0% from three-point range.
In 2018-19, the 6-foot-7 forward spent his freshman season at Incarnate Word. He started 14 and played in all 31 games while averaging 7.3 points. He shot 45.3% from the field and 36.6% from three-point range. Before transferring to Collin County, he redshirted at Incarnate Word for the 2019-20 season.
He is joined by Preston Phillips, a native of Elkhart, IN., who most recently played at Don Bosco Academy (Ind.). Phillips, a forward measuring in at 6-foot-9, was a sharpshooter from all areas of the floor. Inside the arc, he hit 71% of his attempts and from outside, he checked in at 43%. He averaged 13 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists per game.
Prior to Don Bosco, Phillips was an IBCA All-State Honorable Mention at Jimtown High School, averaging 14.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. He was awarded 1st team All-NIC, the first player in Jimtown history to receive the award. Phillips was also recognized for his work in the classroom, earning IBCA Academic All-State Honorable Mention honors as well as a spot on the NIC All-Academic Team.
Smith and Phillips join a trio of early signees including Indiana All-Star Blake Sisley, All-Region 24 Team honoree Blaise Beauchamp and TSSAA D2 All-Region player Troy Boynton.
“The vision of our staff was to prioritize the right student-athletes that will assist in building on our foundation,” Lickliter added. “We feel as if all of our newcomers, individually and collectively, will complement our team and each other. Their winning approach will be valued, on and off the court. They will be tremendous additions in the pursuit of our championship goals.”