Rick Pitino met with the media on Wednesday afternoon to give a summer update on the team. It’s only July, and there wasn’t any breaking news, but it sure was nice to hear Coach talk some hoops and about this year’s team! I expected it to be about a 20 minute press conference, but it ended up being just over 45! You can click here to watch the video of the press conference from CourierJournal.com. Below, I will give you the key notes from it…
The new Pelican…
-Pitino started out by talking about Russ Smith. He said that Russ wasn’t pleased with dropping to the 2nd round in the NBA Draft, and wanted to prove people wrong. Instead, Pitino said he should prove people right, and that’s the people that believe in him.
-Also with Russ, he got a guaranteed contract from the Pelicans. That is huge news, as second round picks have to make the team and are not guaranteed a spot just by getting drafted.
Future Louisville Cardinal Jaylen Johnson was in the finals of the dunk contest Friday night at Freedom Hall during the Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic. He finished 2nd with 74 points, as Isaac Copeland scored 79. Copeland will play his college ball at Georgetown.
Here are the videos of Johnson’s dunks. He put on a Louisville shirt to get the crowd into it. And he brought out his mom for some help with the second dunk.
Halftime of the Derby Festival Basketball Classic is always an entertaining one. It is when they have the finals of the dunk contest and 3-point contest. At the Night of the Future Stars on the night before, they have the early rounds of those contests and then that sets up the finals for Friday night.
Tonight’s competitions both include future Louisville Cardinals. In the dunk contest, Jaylen Johnson will face off against Isaac Copeland (Georgetown) and Devin Robinson (Florida).
Here is a video of Johnson’s first dunk from Thursday night with a little help from his future teammates. Video courtesy of Jody Demling from Scout.com.
From the KDF Press Office:
April 14, 2014. Louisville, KY. – Tickets are still available for the 41st annual Derby Festival Basketball Classic presented by Papa John’s this Friday, April 18. The roster includes one McDonald’s All-Americans, 2 Parade All-Americans, as well as University of Louisville signees Chinanu Onuaku, Quentin Snider and Jaylen Johnson and Indiana recruits Robert Johnson and Max Hoetzel. The game features 10 players ranked in the Top 30 nationally by recruiting services Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247sports.com. Nearly all of the players scheduled to participate are ranked among the Top 50 nationally. The players will also participate in the Horseshoe Foundation Night of the Future Stars on Thursday, April 17, at Floyd Central High School.
Admission to the Horseshoe Foundation Night of the Future Stars is free with a ticket to the Basketball Classic. Some of the event’s most exciting moments have occurred during the Slam Dunk, 2-on-2 and 3-Point Shooting competitions. There will also be a one-hour autograph-signing session following the event, with a two-item limit for signing.
Today, this years KDF game rosters were announced and both teams have a lot of familiar faces that have graced the Cards recruiting board at one time or another.
(credit Evan Daniels)
Number at the end indicates national rank
Keita Bates Diop – Ohio State – No. 19
Leron Black – Illinois – No. 47
Trevon Bluiett – Xavier – No. 41
Chris Chiozza – Florida – No. 44
Bonzie Colson – Notre Dame
Brandone Francis – Florida – No. 37
Jaylen Johnson – Louisville – No. 62
Chinanu Onuaku – Louisville – No. 69
Devin Robinson – Florida – No. 24
Quentin Snider – Louisville – No. 32
Jonah Bolden – UCLA – No. 30
Angel Delgado – Seton Hall – No. 43
Isaac Copeland – Georgetown – No. 48
Max Hoetzel – Indiana
Robert Johnson – Indiana – No. 55
JaQuan Lyle – Undecided – No. 22
Dwayne Morgan – UNLV – No. 20
Goodluck Okonoboh – UNLV – No. 39
Romelo Trimble – Maryland – No. 35
Dion Wiley – Maryland – No. 28
Just a quick reminder, the 2014 McDonald’s All-American Game selection show is today at 6pm on ESPNU. The Cards eligible for selection are Shaqquan Aaron, Quentin Snider, Jaylen Johnson and Chinanu Onuaku. Shaq is an overwhelming favorite to make it with Onuaku coming in second according to popular belief. Good luck to all nominees and Go Cards!
Loving the Cheer at 55 seconds in: Basket Basket Basket B-A-S!! K-E-T!! Basket Basket basket!!
Louisville Men’s Basketball Signing Class Among Nation’s Best
(From UofL SID Kenny Klein)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Four impressive high school products have each signed a national letter-of-intent to continue their basketball playing careers at the University of Louisville, ranking this Cardinal group among the nation’s top recruiting classes.
The list of highly-touted signees consists of Shaqquan Aaron, a 6-7, 175-pound guard from Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, Wash.; Jaylen Johnson, a 6-9, 215-pound forward from Ypsilanti (Mich.) High School; Chinanu Onuaku, a 6-10, 230-pound forward/center from Lanham, Md. and Riverdale Baptist High School; and Quentin Snider, a 6-1, 170-pound guard from Ballard High School in Louisville. All four are ranked among the nation’s top 70 prospects.
“This is a tremendous class that is deep, talented and all have great potential to improve,” said UofL head men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino. “Not only is it a well-balanced group with outstanding basketball players, but they really fit our system. We look for offensive players who can be a triple-threat — shoot, pass and beat their man off the bounce — and this group can certainly do that.”
(click for more)
The Cards will sign all 3 of their 2014 basketball commits today. According to Steve Jones of the Courier Journal PF Jaylen Johnson (Pictured below) and C Chinanu Onuaku have already inked their name and SF Shaq Aaron will sign later tonight. Look for the Cards to sign 1 or 2 more between now and the spring, but it’s always good to get the names on the dotted line sooner than later.
Rick Pitino and his staff got GREAT news this morning when 4 Star PF Jaylen Johnson committed to play for the Cardinals. Johnson was scheduled to visit the Louisville Campus on September 20th, but with the Cards looking at around 6 other “Bigs” decided to pull the trigger. Johnsons mother told Evan Daniels of Scout.Com that this decision was made over 2 weeks ago. Jaylen Johnson has been one of the fastest rising players over this past AAU season. Johnson is extremely mobile for his size, even bringing the ball up the floor a lot in the Adidas Nations Championship game. Johnson is also a great passer for his size and will tear Zones apart at UofL.
4 Star PF Jaylen Johnson will take an Official visit to Louisville on September 20th. Johnson stands 6’10 and has an excellent skill set for that size. Johnson just turned 17 years old so the ceiling is as high as he wants it to be. Count me as one who really hopes Johnson lands in the Ville and this visit could be key. Johnson’s coach stated in this article with the Courier Journal that Louisville is intriguing “because they’ve had success with guys like Jaylen.” The Louisville football team will play at home against FIU on September 21st so this should be an excellent visit for Johnson. Johnson also as set up officials to Iowa State – Sept. 13, Oregon – Sept. 27, and Florida State – Oct. 4 but I’d keep a close eye on Johnson in the weeks following September 20th.
The entire Louisville basketball staff was there to watch 4* PF Jaylen Johnson today according to @DoriansPride. Johnson is a 6’9 PF out of Michigan with a very versatile skill set. Johnson was on the Louisville campus not to long ago and came away very impressed and since that time Pitino has tracked his progress a various tournaments, but now Johnson seems to be moving up Pitino’s wish list. And when you have a sequence like this: 4 star PF Jaylen Johnson assists on a dunk, jams one down himself, takes a charge and then gets another bucket. Team now up five (@CmAnderson247) its easy to see why Pitino loves Jaylen’s game. Johnson currently holds offers from Louisville, Iowa St, Maryland, Michigan St, Arizona St, Cincinnati, FSU, USC, Vandy, and VCU with many more offers sure to come. Pitino is positioned to take more than 1 PF and whether Johnson is one of them or not the interest is there from both sides and Jaylen Johnson is a name to keep close eye on.