Pitino visits 5-Star 2012 SG Smith-Rivera

New targets are emerging this spring for Rick Pitino's program and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera is at the top of the list. Pitino was in Indianapolis earlier this week to see Smith-Rivera and the Cardinals are expected to intensify their recruitment of the five-star 2012 guard.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino traveled to Indianapolis, IN., Monday to see D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and the Cardinals are expected to turn the recruiting heat up on the five-star 2012 combo guard from North Central HS.

A potent scorer, Smith-Rivera is one of the most productive guards in the nation. Rated the No. 5 shooting guard in the Class of 2012, Smith-Rivera has drawn strong interest from elite programs this spring after backing out of his commitment to Xavier.

"There have been schools that have been in touch with me recently; Louisville, Xavier, Georgetown, UCLA, Texas, Baylor, Kansas State, Florida, and a few others as well," said Smith-Rivera.

Louisville has shown interest in Smith-Rivera in the past, but the Cardinals are expected to intensify their recruitment of the 6-3, 210-pound guard this spring.

"I am still pretty high on Louisville as long as Coach Pitino remains the head coach," Smith-Rivera said. "He is a wonderful coach and has done a great job there and he is great with the program. As long as he is there he will not have any problem bringing in other great coaches."

One of those new assistants is former Florida assistant Richard Pitino. Smith-Rivera is quite familiar with the younger Pitino and that could be an ace in the hole for Louisville.

"He was one of the main guys at Florida that started my recruitment there, but now he is at Louisville and he is trying to get me there," said Smith-Rivera. "It does help (Louisville), but I am not going to rush a decision because there are some other places I want to visit before I make a decision."

A versatile prospect, Smith-Rivera envisions himself a point guard who can score at the next level.

"My natural position is point guard, but when the game is on the line and there are shots to be made I get into the mode of a shooting guard. I have the ability to make shots with the game on the line," said Smith-Rivera. "Deron Williams is a player that I watch often and I try to pattern some of my game after. I think my pull up jump-shot is one of the best around and that is probably my go to move. I also have a nice spin move as well but there are a lot of other things that I can do as well."

Louisville already holds a commitment from five-star 2012 combo guard Rodney Purvis. Could Purvis and Smith-Rivera coexist in the same backcourt? Smith-Rivera believes so.

"I think we can definitely play together. I have known Rodney for a long time since we were little kids and his game is just like mine," said Smith-Rivera. "We both have the ability to score the basketball but we can dish the ball as well. If we are in the game together at the one and the two it is a win-win situation."

With the AAU season in full swing , Smith-Rivera and Indiana Elite are off to a great start, performing well at the Nike EYBL tournament in Hampton, VA. While he is focused on his on-court, Smith-Rivera plans to visit several schools this summer.

"I definitely will be (making visits) at Texas, Baylor, UCLA, Xavier, Georgetown, and to Louisville," said Smith-Rivera.

A one-time Xavier commit, Smith-Rivera is still considering Chris Mack's program.

"I am still pretty close to the (Xavier) coaching staff and I talked to Coach Mack not too long ago so they are still pretty high on my list."

After making those visits this summer, Smith-Rivera plans to make a decision on his college destination sooner rather than later. "I plan to make my decision sometime during the summer," said Smith-Rivera. "(My commitment) really will be a gut feeling when it is time to make a decision. All the schools have a lot to offer so it will be about the school that has a style that fits me best and just that gut feeling everybody gets when it is time to make a decision."

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