Louisville Lands Juco Standout

The Louisville Cardinals corralled their second commitment of the year on Tuesday. A junior college standout is heading home.

Donta Smith, a 2001 all-state performer at Oldham County in Kentucky, is returning to his home state. Smith, a junior college freshman at Southeastern Illinois Junior College, committed to the Cardinals on Monday.

He's expected to be ranked among the top junior college players in the nation last year.

For the juco frosh, it was like a dream come true. "I didn't really think this would happen but it did and I'm glad it did," Smith said. "I guess Travis Ford told coach Pitino that I improved my skills and they started recruiting me. I got a letter from his once and I thought it would be just like any other letter."

He was wrong.

At Southeastern, he averaged 16 a game. More importantly, he grew. The first-team all-stater shot up from 6-5, 180 to 6-7 and 225 pounds. Western Kentucky was the lone school recruiting him out of high school. Prior to committing to the Cardinals, he had interest from Iowa State, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Tennessee and Cincinnati. OU and ISU had offered.

Smith's family couldn't be happier; most of them are Louisville fans.

His commitment probably also changes the face of Louisville's recruiting in the Class of 2004. It would appear that guys like J.R. Smith and Lorenzo Wade would now be longshots and there probably isn't enough room for them. Sources indicated to us that Wade's official visit scheduled for later in the week would probably not take place.

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