U of L still atop Nolan Smith's list

Chapel Hill, NC -- It's been well publicized that Louisville has the edge in Nolan Smith's recruitment. In fact, Smith indicated two months ago that he might verbally commit to Rick Pitino's Cardinals this spring. However, that hasn't yet happened. Still, Louisville appears in great shape to land Smith. And Pitino might not have to wait much longer for Smith's decision.

Nolan Smith has made a noticable change this spring. He's now wearing No. 43 for the DC Assault - the same number his late father, Derek Smith, wore while playing for the University of Louisville from 1978-82.

"I'm wearing my dad's old number in rememberance of him," Smith said Friday night at the Tournament of Champions in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

It's been well publicized that his father's old college - U of L - is also where the younger Smith is leaning to play collegiately himself. In fact, Smith indicated two months ago that he might go ahead and verbally commit to Rick Pitino's Cardinals this spring.

However, that commitment has yet to happen. Still, Louisville appears in great shape to land the talented rising junior from Upper Marlboro, Maryland. And Pitino - and Cardinal fans - might not have to wait much longer.

"Louisville is definitely on the top of my list right now," said Smith. "My decision could be coming soon. My mom wants me to take my time and not rush into a early commitment. But I'll probably make my decision sometime later this summer."


Last month, Smith tattooed his father's
likeness on his right arm to honor him.

When exactly might that happen?

"Most likely after Vegas - after that tournament," Smith said in reference to the mid-July event.

Smith said he's likely to make another visit to Louisville before making a decision - even though it won't be of the official variety. Smith previously made an unofficial visit to U of L over spring break.

"Maybe not an official visit, but another unofficial one to talk to the coach again," he said.

Two factors bode well for Louisville, who also lists Charlotte, North Carolina, and Syracuse, in the Cardinals quest to land the 6-foot-3 guard. The first, Smith's older sister who just recently completed her first year at U of L.

"She'd love for me to be there with her, and I'd love being there with my sister to keep her company," Smith said. "Her last year there I'd be there so it would be a lot of fun."

The other, his budding friendship with 6-foot-9 Brian Johnson, a talented redshirt freshman forward from Smith's home state.

"He's going to be a freshman next season because he sat out," Smith said of Johnson. "So my freshman year he'd be a junior and we'd have two years together. He went to O'Connell, and I used to hang out with him and work out sometimes. I've known him for a couple years."


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