Leader emerges for Jerry Smith

Chapel Hill, NC -- Jerry Smith said Friday night at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions that a leader has emerged from a list of three finalists that includes Wisconsin, Louisville and Wake Forest. Smith also indicated that a pair of favorites are virtually neck and neck, and said he'll likely make his decision in the next week or so. Who will Smith choose?

Jerry Smith said Friday night at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions in Chapel Hill, North Carolina that he's getting close to making a college decision.

The Wauwatosa, Wisconsin native didn't play Friday night—and won't until next month's NBA Player's Association Camp in Richmond, Virginia. Smith bruised his tailbone three weeks ago in Chicago, and has decided to let the injury heal further before returning to the court.

Smith, who has made official campus visits to Wisconsin, Wake Forest and Louisville this spring, said he's narrowed his list down to those three programs. And it appears that one program has jumped to the top of the 6-foot-3 guards list.

Smith told Scout.com's Dave Telep before his AAU team's game against the North Carolina Gators that the Demon Deacons lead for his services.

"I'm getting pretty close to a decision," Smith said after the game. "I've got one more visit to Tennessee next weekend. I'm pretty excited. I'm down to three schools, Wisconsin, Wake Forest, and Louisville."

Smith told a group of reporters following the game that Wake Forest "is pretty high up there."

He also said that next weekend's visit to Knoxville, where family friend Bruce Pearl was named Tennessee head coach earlier this spring, wasn't written in stone.

"I'm not sure, I have to talk it over with my dad," Smith said of the scheduled official visit. "It's kind of up in the air. It would be wrong to go if I'm not seriously interested."

Smith said he'll likely announce his choice before schools ends early next month.

"Probably before the end of the school year," Smith said. "We still have two weeks of school left."

Despite informing Telep that Wake Forest had jumped in front, Smith indicated that the Cardinals and Deacons are still both in consideration.

"They're pretty close, they're neck and neck," Smith said.

What will be the deciding factor in the end?

"Probably the comfort (level) with the coaches," Smith said. "They're both great staffs, and I feel comfortable with both of them.

Asked if 6-foot-3 Edgar Sosa, who committed to Louisville earlier this month, would impact his decision-making process, Smith said, "You want to play with great players. I've seen Edgar play, and I've played against him. He's a great talent and it would be good to play with him."

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