"Pitino put [Louisville] at the top," the players mother, Desiree Finney-Jones, told InsideTheVille.com Wednesday afternoon. "I have a lot of respect for how he runs his program. We're looking more now to the head coaches. It would be nice if he goes there [Louisville]. I think he would fit in there because they play his style."
Finney-Smith, who wrapped up a visit to Louisville Tuesday, will visit Iowa State Thursday, and is considering a visit to Texas June 15-17. The 6'8 small forward, who has no plans to visit to Florida, hopes to announce his decision before attending the Kevin Durant Skills Camp June 22-24.
While Kevin Keatts helped get Louisville's foot in the door, Finney-Jones said their relationship with the Louisville assistant won't be the deciding factor.
"Like I told Coach Pitino, we're not going anywhere because of an assistant…that doesn't matter, the head coach is most important this time," Finney-Jones said. "I really like Coach Keatts but I talked with Pitino the most."
Pitino definitely made a strong impression on the former five-star prospect and his mom.
"I saw him work out his players himself," Finney-Jones said. "Usually head coach assign that to assistants. He was right there doing those workouts. It doesn't get better than that. He's doing this for the love of the kids….it's about the kids. That meant something to me. He didn't need us we needed him more than he needs us."
Montrezl Harrell's decision to play for Louisville also could impact Finney-Smith's decision. Harrell, a former Virginia Tech signee, was slated to play power forward for the Hokies, allowing Finney-Smith to play his preferred position on the wing. Finney-Smith was forced to play out of position at power forward as a freshman, reportedly one of the reasons he decided to transfer from Virginia Tech.
"It was kind of good that they got Montrezl, to me it was," Finney-Jones said. "At least you know you've got a four [power forward] if he goes there. Louisville's got big men and they're recruiting big men."
With his visit to Louisville finished, Finney-Smith is moving closer to a decision. While the Cardinals are in great shape for Finney-Smith, Florida, Texas and Iowa State aren't out of the race for his signature.
"He's going to Iowa State tomorrow, Billy Donovan is in there, and we're supposed to visit Texas," Finney-Jones said. "I don't think we're going to Florida because we have already been there. We're trying to announce his decision before he goes to the Durant camp. I'm ready for him to buckle down and make a decision."
Finney-Jones, who is originally from Camden, New Jersey, said her uncle played basketball with former Louisville stars Billy Thompson and Milt Wagner. Though she was familiar with those two former stars, she didn't know what to expect from Louisville until visiting this week.
"We thought it was going to be the country in Louisville, but it wasn't 't…it was lovely. We thought it was in the middle of nowhere," Finney-Jones said. "I'm from Camden, New Jersey, so moving to Virginia was different. Louisville is a great city. It was amazing to me."