Will recent commits impact Nolan Smith's decision?

RICHMOND, VA -- When guards Edgar Sosa and Jerry Smith made verbal commitments to play for Louisville earlier this summer, logical Cardinal fans wondered if their decisions would impact Nolan Smith's ultimate choice of schools. Nolan Smith, who is teaming with both Sosa and Smith this week at the NBA Camp, weighed in on the subject Thursday night.

When guards Edgar Sosa and Jerry Smith, two of the top prospects in the Class of 2006, made verbal commitments to play for Rick Pitino at Louisville earlier this summer, logical Cardinal fans wondered if their decisions would impact Nolan Smith's ultimate choice of schools.

Smith, one of the top guards in the Class of 2007, has long been considered a heavy Louisville "lean" within recruiting circles, primarily because of family ties.

But even with Smith and Sosa a year ahead of him, and guards Andre McGee and Bryan Harvey two years his senior, Smith said those decisions won't influence his own choice when the time comes to pick a school.

"I'm not afraid to compete for my spot," Smith said Thursday following his teams lopsided loss at the NBA Players Association Camp in Richmond, VA. "I've known Edgar for a long time and we're good friends. I like playing with him, and I've gotten to know Jerry (Smith) this week, too."

Playing on the same team with both Smith and Sosa this week in Richmond, Nolan is getting first-hand experience playing with - in all probability - his future college teammates.

And don't be surprised if Smith's 6-foot-7 friend and AAU teammate, Michael Beasley, follows him to college. Beasley, one of the top players in the country, verbally commited to Charlotte some time back - but don't expect that one to hold up. And with the NBA's decision to impliment an age-restiction earlier this week, Beasley's top option might just be attending college together with Smith.

"If I'm going to Louisville, I'm sure he'll seriously consider going there with me," said Smith, who acknowledged his college decision would likely influence his friends. "We talk about going to college together all the time."

Smith said last month he could announce his college decision next month, and reaffirmed that again Thursday night. He'll attend the adidas camp in Suwanee, Georgia next month.


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