When 5 star SG Antonio Blakeney received an offer from UK earlier this month some wondered if Rick Pitino would back off and move on. Today Pitino answered that question with a resounding NO! Pitino was front and center for all three of Blakeney’s games today and the 6’4 SG did not disappoint.
Blakeney flirted with a triple double in game one before ending with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assist. While shooting around before game two I let Blakeney know just how close he was to the triple double to which he responded with a smile “I’ll get it this game”. Blakeney then took a few minutes to chat with current Louisville SG Terry Rozier. Over 3 games today Blakeney went for 60 plus points and showed the smooth stroke that has #CardNation hoping when it’s all said and done he’s in Red and Black.
According to multiple outlets 4 star SG Prince Ali will visit Louisville September 6th. The Louisville football team will host Murray St. that Saturday night (7pm) so it should be a great weekend for Ali to take in all Louisville has to offer. Since de committing from UCONN the 6’4 SG has been playing as good as any guard in the nation and that has caught the eye of many coaches. Louisville, UCLA, Indiana, and Michigan are in the race for Ali with UCLA slightly out front. Ali will head to UCLA the weekend before so this will be a great chance for the Cards to impress. Follow Prince Ali on twitter @PrinceSmoove23
It was a pretty active day for former Cards in the NBA Summer League on Wednesday. Gorgui Dieng had the best overall game, while Luke Hancock and Kyle Kuric also saw action in their games. Here is how all three did…
*Gorgui Dieng – The big man absolutely dominated the glass, grabbing 19 rebounds to go along with his 13 points as the Timberwolves beat the Suns 86-77. He added 1 assist and 2 steals while shooting 6-13 from the field and 1-2 from the free throw line. He started and played nearly 35 minutes. In 4 games this summer, Gorgui is averaging 10.5 points and 10 rebounds per game. With the win, the Timberwolves advanced in the summer league championship bracket and will face the Sacramento Kings on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. ET.
It is becoming very clear that the Cards plan on signing a shooting guard in the 2015 class. This point became even clearer when Coach Pitino offered former UCONN commit Prince Ali (Insert your Aladdin joke here). Ali is rated as a 4 star SG by all services and lands as high as top 30 overall. It looks like The Cards, UCLA, Michigan, Arizona and IU are the teams in the race for the 6’4 guard and should all receive visits. We will have more on Ali Monday in our CSZ Recruiting Notebook.
A study has been released that says what we already know: the Louisville Cardinals have the best fans in college basketball. It is just pretty cool to see actual studies that prove these kind of things.
The following comes from the website that released the study. I am ok with the order. Everyone in the Top 10 is probably where they should be, right? I know whenever I think of college basketball’s best fans, Texas definitely is near the top of my list.
Our rankings are based on a statistical analysis of self-reported revenue data. We create a statistical model of revenue as a function of team quality (winning percentage, NCAA tournament qualification, etc…) and market potential (conference affiliation, median income, area population, number of students, etc…) and then compare the model’s prediction to the self-reported revenues. Yes, we get that this self-reported revenue data can be a bit quirky, but it’s what the schools choose to report.
As you have read in our CSZ Recruiting Notebook today 2015 SG Dwayne Bacon is climbing fast up the Cards wish list. Sunday Bacon went off for 43 points and showed why myself and others are getting on board with seeing Bacon in a Louisville jersey.
Rick Pitino said at his press conference what we are all expecting and that is that Terry Rozier is set up for a “Breakout year”. Rozier, who is in Vegas for the LeBron James skills academy sat down with CBS’s Jeff Borzello to talk about what he needs to to fill the shoes left my Russ Smith this season.
“If I told you replacing Russ would be easy, I would be lying to you,” Rozier said at the LeBron James Skills Academy. “It’ll definitely be tough. He played there for four years, and he’s tough. But that’s something that we’re doing right now, playing constantly, getting to know each other. Someone has to step up and do it.”
At yesterday’s press conference Coach Pitino made it clear he has no intentions of retiring any time soon. As a fan (and a Rick Pitino fan boy) this excites me but it still doesn’t change the fact that Rick is 61 and more than likely the Cards will have a new head coach in the next 10-12 years. The million dollar question has always been “Who will be the next coach at Louisville after Rick Pitino?”
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.
According to his Instagram Louisville guard Terry Rozier will attend the LeBron James Camp in Las Vegas later this week. The LBJ camp takes 20 of the top College Basketball players and over 80 of the best high school players and allows them to go against the best competition. Other than basketball the campers also deal with things such as Marketing, PR, and other media operations.
This is the second big camp Rozier has been apart of this summer. At the Kyrie Irving camp last month Rozier drew much praise from people within the camp including John Lucas. Like I’ve said before these camps are only a good thing for Rozier who most believe will be one of the breakout players this season. It will be fun to keep up and hear the reviews Terry draws this time.
No word on whether any other UofL players will be attending also.
There is no doubt the Cards will be a serious threat to make it to Indianapolis this season and most of that confidence comes from their ability to play defense. ESPN’s Dana O’Neil says the Cardinals will be one of the best defensive teams in the nation this season along with Arizona and Virginia.
I’m not going to say Anas Osama is my favorite Louisville Cardinal……but then again I’m not saying he isn’t either.
The AAU Nationals will be coming to Louisville July 22-26th this year. The event will be held in the Kentucky Expo Center and will feature many of Louisville’s top targets. CSZ has learned 5 Star SG Antonio Blakeney will be one of those targets. This will be a great annual event for the city and for Louisville Basketball recruiting.
From AAU website:
“The City of Louisville along with the Kentucky Exposition Center are proud to host the AAU Division I 10th & 11th Grade National Championships, the AAU 10th Grade Super Showcase – Gold Division, the AAU 11th Grade Super Showcase –Gold Division and the AAU 12th Grade National Championship. Games will be played July 23rd – 28th at the Kentucky Exposition Center.”
For more info on the AAU Nationals follow @AAU_Basketball
Also visit AAUBoysBasketball.org
Former Louisville Center Samardo Samuels will join Russ Smith on the New Orleans Pelicans summer league roster. Samuels went undrafted in the 2010 draft before signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Samuels averaged 9.5 ppg and 3 rpg for Olimpia Milano in Italy last season.
The Pelicans will play in the Las Vegas summer league that starts July 11th.
New Orleans will play NBA D-League team July 11th 7:30 CST, the Lakers July 13th at 1:30 CST, and San Antonio July 14th at 3:30 CST before beginning Pool play.
With this years draft over CBS’s Gary Parrish predicted next years Draft Lottery. To the surprise of some (Maybe) he had our Montrezl Harrell going at #5:
5. Montrezl Harrell (Louisville)
Harrell’s return to Louisville was arguably the biggest surprise among all decisions made by underclassmen because he would’ve likely been a lottery pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. The goal, clearly, is to spend another season developing in college and improve his so-called stock. If he does those things, yes, this 6-8 super-athletic forward can go in the top five.
I think some are under estimating just how good Trez could be this year for the Cards. When the decision was announced that Montrezl would return to Louisville it immediately put the Cards in the Final Four conversation. Let me put it like this, there will not be another team in American College Basketball with a more dominate PF than the Cards will have next season. So Cards fans enjoy every dunk, every scream, every big time hustle play, and every “OH MY” moment this season because it is almost certain to be the last for Trez in a Cardinals uniform. #L1C4
If you have any doubts that Russ Smith will succeed in the NBA then watch this video now!
247Sports.com released there updated 2015 basketball rankings and some Louisville targets made some moves.
New Ranking indicated:
Isaiah Briscoe: #9 overall, #2 PG
Tyler Dorsey: #10 overall, #3 PG
Bryant Crawford: #98 overall, #18 PG
Antonio Blakeney: #12 overall, #1 SG
Allonzo Trier: #16 overall, #2 SG
Deng Adel: #22 overall, #5 SF
Dwayne Bacon: #11 overall, #4 SF
Ray Smith: #6 overall, #3 SF
Derek Jones: #28 overall, #7 SF
Brandon Ingram: #27 overall, #6 SF
Raymond Spalding: #64 overall, #16 PF
Carlton Bragg: #7 overall, #3 PF
Stephen Zimmerman: #14 overall, #2 Center
Cheick Diallo: #3 overall, #1 PF
Another one from our guys at Courtside Films:
According to this Evan Daniels tweet 2016 Center Abdul Ado (TN) will visit the Cards this Friday.
Abdulhakim Ado, a 6-11 2016 center, will visit Louisville on Friday, a source tells Scout.—
Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) June 25, 2014
Ado is ranked as high as the 3rd ranked (247Sports) Center in the nation. The 6’11 Center currently has offers from Vanderbilt and Memphis and that list is sure to rise. You may continue to hear much more about Ado and Louisville in the future so remember the name. Follow Abdul Ado on twitter @
The writers at CBSsports created a draft for College coaches and the guidelines were as follows:
If you could pick any man to run your college basketball program for the next five years, and you don’t have to worry about that man retiring or changing jobs, which man would you pick? Forget credentials. Forget records and recent results. Only look forward. You can pick any man to run your program for the next five years. Which man would you pick?
Greg Doyle took the bust of the draft John Calipari with the first pick and left our own Rick Pitino for Jeff Borzello at #2.
2. Rick Pitino
Drafted by: Jeff Borzello
Why him? I assumed Doyel was taking Calipari (as I would have done the same thing), so I had my choice narrowed down to two: Sean Miller or Rick Pitino. I think Miller is the better recruiter, Pitino the better coach. After going back and forth, I went with Pitino — primarily because our rules say I don’t need to worry about him retiring or leaving during this five-year span. Pitino consistently trots out teams capable of making the Final Four, whether they’re filled with five-star recruits or under-recruited prospects. To me, Pitino is still the complete package in a head coach. He recruits, he gets guys to buy in to his system, and he always has his team playing its best basketball at the right time. He can play different styles, he can recruit different levels. Miller was a close second in my mind, as I think he’s going to be an absolute star for the next couple decades. – Borzello