New 2010 target?

Rick Pitino is working to piece together his 2010 recruiting class. The Cardinals hosted J.J. Moore this weekend and expect Tobias Harris to visit soon. Now, the Louisville coach is showing interest in 2010 South Kent (CT) Prep guard Russell Smith.

Louisville's Rick Pitino put in a call last Friday to express interest in Russell Smith, a talented combo-guard from New York.

"We're trying to figure out with our schedule a time to get down to Louisville for a visit after having a long conversation with Coach Pitino on Friday for about an hour or so," said Russell Smith, Sr.

Louisville kept tabs on Smith over the summer at the Adidas It Takes Five Classic in Cincinnati and has been up to South Kent this fall checking in on him and 2010 small forward J.J. Moore.

"It was a great conversation," Smith said. "He came up to South Kent to watch Russell a couple of times and he said he loved what he can do."

What Smith can do is play both guard positions in the backcourt. That makes him a possible candidate for the Cardinals, who lose starting guards Edgar Sosa and Jerry Smith after the season. With Peyton Siva and Preston Knowles back next year, Smith could provide backup at both guard positions.

"He said he likes how he scores the ball and gets other guys involved," Smith said. "They're looking for a combo guard in this (2010) class. They're losing two guys this year and they're only going to have one guy next year [at the point]. Coach Pitino said he wanted to get Russell down there for a visit."

When that will happen is still up for debate, but Smith said he expects his son to visit UofL in the next few weeks.

"It's hard to say when we'll get down there but we're going to try to do it in the next few weeks," Smith said. "We're trying to work it out with his school schedule. Most likely Coach [Pitino] is going to come back up in a few weeks and see him again."

Have the Cardinals put an offer on the table for Smith?

"Not yet," Smith said. "I'm getting calls now from UConn, Marquette and some others. His recruitment is heating up. He's one of the top guards in his class. Not taking anything away from the others but we want to see what Louisville might really offer. He was happy when I told him Pitino called on Friday."

Smith has already visited LaSalle. He's planning to make a few other visits this fall.

"The only school we've visited is LaSalle," Smith said. "We did that because it's close to home and they've recruited him from the beginning. But now we're getting so many calls. We're going to go out to Baylor and maybe Arizona and Houston."

Smith said he didn't know whether or not his son would sign during the early period, which begins next month.

"It depends," Smith said. "I know the signing period is in November. If he has to commit now and wait to sign until the spring that's an option. It depends on the [situation]."

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