Inducted February 4, 2006
Brian Smith’s playing days spanned different eras in the long history of Bears’ basketball in a four-year career from 1981 to 1985. Smith’s Missouri State career bridged the transition from head coach Bob Cleeland to Charlie Spoonhour and also the move of basketball and other Bears athletics teams from NCAA Division II to Division I status and into the Mid-Continent Conference after nearly six decades in the MIAA. A native of Raytown, Mo., Smith got into 11 games as a freshman and was then a regular starter each of his final three seasons at MSU, including starting all 30 games for the Bears as a senior. The Bears won 17 games Smith’s freshman season and then posted marks of 18-10 and 17-13 his final two campaigns as MSU was in the first division of the fledgling Mid-Continent all three of Smith’s years in the league, including a trip to the league tourney title game when he was a senior co-captain in 1984-85. Smith was selected for the Mid-Continent academic all-conference team twice and was nominated for an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship when he graduated from Missouri State in 1985. Smith wound up with starting assignments in 72 of the 97 MSU games in which he played over four seasons. He hit .554 from the field and .773 from the foul line as a junior and .529 from the floor and .737 in free throw accuracy as a senior. He ended his career with 489 points and finished third in MSU career assists with 435. He became only the second player to lead the basketball Bears in assists in three consecutive seasons and the second player to get 100 or more assists in three seasons. He finished second in career steals and he and backcourt running mate Randy Stange shared the Coors Player of the Year award as seniors in 1984-85.