Jerry Smith commits to Cards

Jerry Smith, of Wauwatosa (Wis.) East High School, decided that he will play basketball at the University of Louisville. The 6-foot-3 guard spoke with Evan Daniels of about his final decision.

Jerry Smith of Wauwatosa, Wis., decided that Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals were the best fit for him.

Although the Cards got involved with Smith late in the recruiting process, they turned it on when they needed to.

"I like (Rick) Pitino and Louisville a lot, every since I was growing up," Smith said. "They weren't recruiting me as much, but when they came, they came hard."

Smith averaged 19.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game last season, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and was a first-team all-state selection for the second consecutive year. He picked the Cardinals over Wake Forest and Wisconsin.

For a while, it seemed as if Louisville was on the back burner because Wisconsin was close to home and because of Wake Forest's academics. But in the end Pitino was the final factor.

"Pretty much because of Pitino and the style of play," Smith Jr. responded when asked why he chose Louisville.

Smith told Pitino the news last night, and Pitino told him that he would most likely get to play right away when he arrives in Louisville.

"They just said that I have a good chance of playing a lot as a freshman," Smith explained. "They didn't guarantee anything. But they told me I could compete for minutes right away."

Smith joins Edgar Sosa as the first two members of Louisville's 2006 class.

Smith, the No. 42 ranked player in the nation according to, was one of two guards the Badgers had offered for their one remaining scholarship for the class of 2006. Now that he is off the board, UW awaits word on Delafield (Wis.) St. John's guard Trevon Hughes, who could have a press conference as early as Friday, reported late Wednesday night.

Hughes, ranked No. 47, is expected to choose either Wisconsin or Iowa, though his prep coach, Brian Richert, said Wednesday that Illinois, Gonzaga and Georgia are also in the mix.

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