Bria Smith apparently has a mischievous side as well.

The No. 8 prospect in the recruiting class of 2011 wore a Tennessee T-shirt to Christ the King High School Thursday morning, an occurrence that would have crushed Jeff Walz, coach of the University of Louisville women’s basketball team, had he known.

Not to worry, Jeff. She just wanted to keep people guessing. At 1 p.m., Smith announced that she was going to U of L, prompting squeals of joy on Floyd Street in Louisville

“He was jumping off the walls,” she said of Walz’s reaction in The New York Post. “He was like, ‘Tell everybody I’m jumping off the walls right now.’ It was funny.”

Louisville, which was in her original top three, provided her with everything she was looking for. She wanted a budding national program with a strong fan base and teammates and coaches she felt comfortable with. The Cardinals went 22-13 last season and lost in the Sweet 16 under coach Jeff Walz. Smith believes he can get her ready to play against some of the top guards in the country and at the next level.

There was a familiarity with the Kentucky school. Smith took an unofficial visit there during her initial recruitment and an official visit last month over Easter Break. She has already gotten to know fellow Louisville recruit Sarah Hammond, a fellow McDonald’s All-American.

Women’s basketball is going to be fun around here.

*    *   *

Cardinal Couple, the U of L women’s site moderated by Paul and Sonja Sykes, is stuck on Wednesday, unable to add new posts for a while. Here’s Paul’s report on Louisville’s 2-0 win over South Florida Thursday in the Big East softball tournament:

Cardinal pitcher Tori Collins was stifling in her performance, allowing USF a scant two hits in seven innings of work. The teams battled through five scoreless innings until the Cards posted a run in the top of the sixth. Taner Fowler started the inning with a single and Tesha Paysen came in to run for her. She advanced to second on a passed ball and took third when Hannah Kiyohara grounded out. Katie Keller hit a fly to left field that Paysen tagged on and scored for the only run Louisville would need.

The Cards added an extra run in the top of the seventh when Colby Wherry blasted a homer over the left field fence.

Louisville plays Notre Dame Friday at 5 p.m.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

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