Pitino and Willard to visit Smith today
6'6 J.R. Smith of Saint Benedict Prep in Newark, NJ is the prime wing target of the University of Louisville in the class of 2004 and the Cards are the prohibitive favorite for the athletic swingman's service's.
ITV spoke with both J.R. and his father, Earl, Tuesday evening and both indicated a commitment could be forthcoming very soon to the Cards.
"They're number one, that's what I can tell you," Earl Smith said about Louisville.
The elder Smith indicated that J.R. would visit Louisville in three weeks and told ITV the possibility of his son committing during the visit was strong.
"If he comes down and likes the atmosphere and players he'll probably make a commitment," Smith said.
J.R. will play in the New Jersey state AAU tournament this weekend and then head to Virginia the following weekend for another AAU tournament before making his visit to Louisville.
The elder Smith noted that UNC has not offered a scholarship to his son.
J.R. was even more emphatic than his father about the Cards.
"I'm going to commit to Louisville unless something miraculous happens," J.R. Smith told ITV. "They have great coaching and I like their individual instruction drills......I like their type of play and they get in people's faces."
And when will that commitment be forthcoming?
"I'll commit either on my visit or before," Smith said.
Smith, who befriended Louisville freshman guard Taquan Dean during his freshman year of high school, indicated Dean's presence at UofL is a big factor in his decision making.
"He's the type of person I want to be around," Smith said of Dean.
Smith told ITV that both Coach Pitino and Assistant Kevin Willard will visit him tomorrow.
Smith has played in a number of AAU events this spring and said he's working on his, "left hand dribbles," and creating his own shot.
Stay tuned to ITV for the latest on J.R. Smith's recruitment.