Louisville lands 2010 PG

Russell Smith, a high-scoring point guard from South Kent (CT) via Archbishop Molloy in New York, made it official for Louisville during his official visit. Smith is the Cardinals first commitment in the Class of 2010.

Russell Smith arrived in Louisville Sunday for his official visit without an offer from the Cardinals. By Sunday night, Smith had an offer and Rick Pitino had his first 2010 commitment.

"Louisville it is," Smith confirmed on his facebook page Monday morning.

The news came as no surprise. Smith was leaning strongly toward Louisville and was waiting only on offer from the Cardinals to make it official.

"Once we got to practice the offer was definitely made," said Russell Smith Sr. "Russ and I had talked at the hotel after that and he said he liked the city, the atmosphere and Coach Pitino and Coach Willard and the confidence they have in him. He felt real welcomed and he said this is where he wants to be and wants to commit. He was real excited.

"So we were at the restaurant eating steak and Russ turned to Pitino and said 'I want to commit to Louisville.' And Coach Pitino congratulated him on becoming a Cardinal and said he was going to teach Russ a lot of things."

Smith fills an important need in the back court for Louisville. The Cardinals lose both starting guards Edgar Sosa and Jerry Smith, plus small forward Reginald Delk and Smith will provide needed depth next season behind Peyton Siva.

"The visit is going really great," Smith said. "We got here about 10:30 yesterday morning and went straight to practice. We watched practice for about two hours. In between practice, Coach Pitino talked to us about what what part Russ would play in his program, mainly how he uses three and four guard rotations."

A prolific scorer at New York Archbishop Molloy – he averaged 24.9 points per game as a senior - Smith has shown flashes at South Kent that he's capable of running an offense and making his teammates better because of his passing ability.

"Russ can score in a variety of ways, that's what he does," South Kent head coach Kelvin Jefferson said. "He's put the ball in the basket at every level. Since he's been here we've asked him to expand his game because he's actually a very good passer. A lot of times he doesn't show that part of his game. I think that's why Coach Pitino has been intrigued because when they came here they saw him sharing the ball, getting others involved and making other players better.

"When he adds that aspect to his game he's very good."

With Smith in the fold, Louisville is now awaiting a decision from five-star New York power forward Tobias Harris. Harris visited the Cardinals two weeks ago and will announce his decision Nov. 19. Harris is also considering Syracuse, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Maryland and Georgia Tech.

Smith is expected to sign a national letter of intent with the Cardinals this week. The final day of the early signing period is Nov. 18.

"Louisville plays tomorrow against Arkansas so they want to announce it before the game," Smith said. "There are two letters he signs. He's going to sign today."

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