Illinois' Smith sitting out rest of season to recover

Updated: February 16, 2007, 4:56 PM ET
Associated Press

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- University of Illinois basketball player Jamar Smith will miss the rest of the season after injuring himself in a traffic accident earlier this week.

Coach Bruce Weber said he and Smith's family has agreed Jamar should sit out the remainder of the season.

This way "he can focus all of his attention on the physical, emotional, academic and other related issues he will face in the coming weeks," Weber said Friday in a statement posted on the athletic department's Web site.

Smith, 19, a sophomore guard who averaged 8.1 points, was driving a 1996 Lexus on Monday night when it struck a tree in heavy snow. He drove back to his apartment complex about a mile away before someone called police, university officials said.

Smith suffered a concussion and was treated and released.

His passenger, freshman center Brian Carlwell, was hospitalized with a more severe concussion. According to an athletic department statement, Carlwell was released from the hospital Friday and is expected to attend the Illini's game against Northwestern on Sunday.

Weber also said there was a chance that Carlwell might be able to play again in time for the Big Ten tournament next month. Carlwell, a 6-foot-11 freshman center, averages 1.7 points and 1.4 rebounds.

"That would be the best case and that's if everything goes right," Weber said. "We have to be very cautious."

Weber did not elaborate on the crash, and he declined to talk about it during a morning telephone call with reporters.

But Smith, who was cited by police for improper lane usage, may face more charges, according to prosecutors in Champaign.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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