Nolan Smith Getting It Done For Louisville

 UofL assistant basketball coach Nolan Smith during his introductory press conference Monday afternoon. Smith came from Duke University, where he was noted as a strong recruiter and up-and-coming coach. April 11, 2022 Kenny Payne And Nolan Smith
Matt Stone/Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

After Kenny Payne took the head coaching job at his alma mater of Louisville, one of his first hires was Duke assistant Nolan Smith, who might as well be his godson. They go way back.

At Duke, Smith developed into a formidable recruiter and while it’s still early at Louisville, he is helping to build a solid class.

The first recruit he and Payne landed was 6-6 Kaleb Glenn and now they have earned a commitment from 6-6 Curtis Williams, a 4-star recruit out of Bloomfield, Michigan.

People who remember Denny Crum’s system and preference will realize that these two would have fit right in to a Crum-era team.

And that’s interesting, because Crum was an early advocate of what would evolve into positionless basketball. Payne got a dose of that from John Calipari at Kentucky, and of course Smith got his from Mike Krzyzewski at Duke.

Louisville has some messes to clean up still, thanks to Rick Pitino and Chris Mack, but it’s clear that Payne is going to draw talent. Soon we’ll know what he can do with it.

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