Smith-Rivera talks favorites

D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, a five-star guard from Indianapolis, has Louisville on his short list of favorites. The bullish 6-3 Smith-Rivera broke down his favorites at the NBA Camp.

D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera has visited Louisville, Xavier, Texas, Georgetown and UCLA this spring, and the five-star 2012 guard from Indianapolis (IN) North Central could be ready to make a college decision this summer.

Smith-Rivera is competing at the talent-laden NBA Top 100 Camp in Virginia this week, and his focus, for the moment, is to solidify his status as one of the elite combo guard prospects in his class against the best players in the nation.

"I'm hoping to become a better all-around player," Smith-Rivera said. "They have me out here playing a lot of point guard to polish my game and work on my skills."

Though Smith-Rivera has a major opportunity to display his ball-skills on the John Paul Jones court this week, the physically strong 6-foot-3, 215-pound guard can't totally dismiss his recruitment.

"A lot of the schools that I've been to visit have moved up pretty high on my list," Smith-Rivera said. "[Recruiting] is getting a lot tougher. It's hard to pick and choose between these schools. It's just going to be a gut feeling. All the campuses are really nice. At the end of the day it's about what's best for [me]."

Though Smith-Rivera's list officially stands at five schools, one source close to the five-star guard indicated that Louisville, Texas and Xavier might have an edge in his recruitment.

"It's very high," Smith-Rivera said of his interest in Louisville. "Since they got in my recruitment they've been coming at me very hard, as hard as any other school recruiting me. That shows how much they want me. Coach Pitino is a great coach who I've watched over the years. His work ethic and the system he puts you in would be a good fit."

Louisville got back involved with Smith-Rivera this spring when Richard Pitino rejoined his father's staff.

"Louisville, there was a lot of love there [during the visit]," said Smith-Rivera. "A lot of people already knew who I was because I'm from the Midwest so a lot of those people were cheering me on when I walked by. It was pretty nice."

A one-time Xavier commitment, Smith-Rivera is still strongly considering the Atlantic 10 school even though he formally backed out of his previous verbal commitment to Chris Mack's program.

"Xavier, I've been there numerous times and I feel comfortable," Smith-Rivera said. "I feel real close to the coaches so it's a good fit. The coaches love what they do and it shows in their work ethic and they produce NBA players now, too."

Texas makes the list because of the Longhorns recent history of sending guards to the league.

"Texas sends a lot of guards to the NBA and that's the goal," Smith-Rivera said. "The way they work their guys, I saw their work out system and how they help guys get better and that's what I want to do. I want to get better and be one of the best guards."

The allure of the west coast has UCLA on Smith-Rivera's short-list of favorites.

"It was beautiful," Smith-Rivera said. "It was exactly what I expected. It was a beautiful campus. I keep them on my list because the system they run and I feel the coach would put me in a position to shine."

Smith-Rivera also likes Georgetown's history.

"Georgetown is one of the smaller schools that I like," Smith-Rivera said. "It's in a D.C., a historical place. You can't go wrong with Georgetown."

Smith-Rivera isn't looking to expand his list beyond the five schools he visited this spring, and his family has been discussing making a decision about his future this summer.

"Hopefully I can make a decision this summer, but I don't really know," Smith-Rivera said. "It's a matter of when and how I feel about the decision. "

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