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
By Justin Renck and Steve Rummage:
A few weeks ago we started a new weekly series that will update you on where the Cards stand with their top basketball recruiting targets for the class of 2015. We release a new post every Monday and give any updates there may be. Rather than talk about every recruit out there that Louisville has just talked to or looked at, we will focus on the main guys that the Cards are going after and have a shot at landing. So you can get familiar with these names and not have to worry about 20 different players to learn about.
With the July evaluation period in full swing, this past week brought us a good amount of updates to the notebook. The Cards have landed two commits so far, and spent a lot of time watching some of the top guards in the class. Enjoy this week’s notebook!
Isaiah Bricsoe – Briscoe continued to show why he is a 5-star PG this week, leading his team to the Peach Jam Championship. Briscoe really is the total package when it comes to playing the point guard position. Arizona and Louisville still look like the favorites to land Briscoe. This week Briscoe had this to say about the Cards to Adam Zagoria. “[Pitino] is a Hall of Fame coach. From what I hear, he lets his guards go. I can see that he runs a three-guard offense, lot of pick-and-rolls and things like that. I just want to go somewhere where I can play my game.” Pitino spent a lot of time watching Briscoe this week and left no doubt that the Cards are VERY interested in him. Briscoe told Steve Jones of the Courier Journal that the Cards played his style of play, so are the feelings mutual? Most are pegging Briscoe to Arizona but if Allonzo Trier were to pop for the Wildcats, keep a very close eye on Briscoe. -Steve Rummage
Raymond Spalding has just become the 2nd commitment in the class of 2015 for Rick Pitino and the Cards. The power forward from right here in town (Trinity High School) is listed at 6’9 and 200 lbs and he is a 4-star prospect across the four major recruiting sites. He chose the Cards over Indiana and Xavier. Duke had also started to show interest as of late.
Throughout this summer and the AAU season, Spalding has seen his stock rise. He was on the radar for the Cards of course, but he wasn’t thought to be a front-runner in the minds of the coaches. Even when he visited in June and left campus with an offer, you got the feeling that 5-star Stephen Zimmerman was still option #1 and Spalding may be the backup plan.
With the July evaluation period in full swing, there is always some kind of recruiting news going on. This isn’t going to be as detailed as the weekly notebook that we put out on Monday’s (which you should check out), but it will just be some quick-hitters to update you on who Coach Pitino and his staff (Kenny Johnson and Wyking Jones) watched on Wednesday evening while they were at the Under Armour event in Georgia.
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.
The Cards have just gotten their first basketball commit for the 2015 class! Deng Adel, the 6’7 small forward, has pledged his commitment according to Evan Daniels.
Deng Adel, a five-star wing, just verbally committed to Louisville, per a source.—
Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) July 14, 2014
Deng Adel is an impressive wing athlete. Scores attacking the rim and can make jump shots. Adel is ranked No. 18 in the 2015 class.—
Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) July 14, 2014
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.”
The July evaluation period is in full swing with AAU events across the country right now. According to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com, Louisville has offered 4-star point guard/shooting guard Donovan Mitchell. He got the offer while playing in the Reebok Classic Breakout in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is 6’3 and plays for Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.
Mitchell said that he definitely plans to visit Louisville. He also got an offer from Memphis yesterday. Other than Louisville and Memphis, some of Mitchell’s other offers include: UConn, Indiana, Creighton, Marquette, Cincinnati, Maryland, St. John’s, and more.
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.
According to Adam Zagoria of zagsblog.com, small forward Derrick Jones (Radnor, Pennsylvania) will visit Louisville sometime in August. His AAU coach said that Jones will also visit Kentucky, Kansas, Indiana, and Florida in the same month. This is not necessarily his top 5, as he visited UConn last week and says he enjoyed that trip.
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.
By Justin Renck and Steve Rummage:
We are excited to begin a new weekly series that will update you on where the Cards stand with their top basketball recruiting targets for the class of 2015. The plan is to release a new post every Monday and give any updates there may be. Rather than talk about every recruit out there that Louisville has just talked to or looked at, we will focus on the main guys that the Cards are going after and have a shot at landing. So you can get familiar with these names and not have to worry about 20 different players to learn about. Hope you enjoy, here we go…
According to Adam Zagoria of zagsblog.com, 5-star point guard Isaiah Briscoe just cut his list down to 7 schools: UConn, Arizona, Louisville, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Villanova, and Rutgers. Zagoria also says that Briscoe will visit Louisville and Arizona this summer and cut his list down to 3 by the end of the summer. He will decide his school by the fall.
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