CSZ Basketball Recruiting Notebook 6/30/14

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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…

Point Guard

Isaiah Bricsoe – The 5 Star PG is high up on the Cards’ wish list for the 2015 class. This past week Briscoe cut his list to 7 schools: Louisville, UConn, Arizona, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Villanova, and Rutgers. To a lot of people’s surprise, Syracuse was left off this list, leaving most to believe Arizona and Louisville may be the teams to beat for the 5-star PG. Briscoe said he plans to visit both Arizona and Louisville this summer and cut his list to 3 before making a fall decision. Briscoe also scored 61 points in the Tri State Classic earlier this week. – Steve Rummage

Bryant Crawford – The 4-star PG visited Louisville on June 11 and left with a scholarship offer. The main competition here seems to be Villanova. This could be a case where the Cards are waiting to see what 5-star PG Isaiah Briscoe does. Crawford really seems to like the Louisville program, and if he is ready to commit, I am not sure how long Rick Pitino can wait on Briscoe. You don’t want to wait too long and miss out on both. So if Crawford is ready, you probably have to take that. But that isn’t really a downgrade. Crawford is a 6’2 PG and is a 4-star prospect on all four major recruiting sites. Not bad at all. Louisville seems to be in good shape with him.  – Justin Renck

Jalen Adams – After receiving an offer from Louisville this past Saturday, Jalen Adams was quoting in sayin “This changes everything.” Adams Committed to UCONN today.   -Steve Rummage

Shooting Guard

Antonio Blakeney – After the recent updates to the rankings for 247 Sports and Rivals, Blakeney is now a 5-star prospect on all four major recruiting sites. There are a few guys on this list that we can say, with confidence, that Louisville is the frontrunner. Blakeney is one of those guys. The 6’4 guard from Orlando, Florida also has the Florida Gators near the top of his unofficial list, but when they got a commitment from 4-star shooting guard KeVaughn Allen, the Cards looked a lot better. He took an unofficial visit to Louisville back in January, and hasn’t visited anywhere else since. The staff is trying to set up an official visit for Blakeney sometime this fall. Someone close to Blakeney has told CSZ that Louisville is definitely the team to beat here. Other schools on his current list are Florida State, Kansas, Oregon, Missouri, North Carolina, LSU, and USC. He hopes to cut down the list after the summer. Look for the Cards to definitely make that list. – Justin Renck

Allonzo Trier – Trier is fresh off playing for the the USA U18 Men’s National Team, where he more than impressed the people who were able to see him play. Trier had no problem holding his own against guards like Stanley Johnson, Justice Winslow, and Tyus Jones. Trier recently moved from his Maryland High School to play at Findlay Prep in Nevada. And while Kenny Johnson seems to have a good relationship with Trier, Arizona has a pipeline out of Findlay. Arizona is also trending heavily on Trier’s 247Sports Crystal Ball. Looks like the Cards have some work to do here. – Steve Rummage

Small Forward

Deng Adel – Adel has had a nice start to the AAU season. He has seen his stock soar and has found himself ranked in the top 20 nationally in nearly every ranking. As far as recruiting, not much has changed on the home front. The Cards are still the HEAVY favorite to land the Australian SF. After visiting UofL this month, Adel plans to check out Florida, SMU, UConn, and Virginia Tech before possibly making a late summer decision. Adel has spoke nothing but very highly of the Cards and barring something unforeseen, look for Adel to commit to the Cards when it’s all said and done. -Steve Rummage

Ray Smith – Last Wednesday (June 25), the 5-star small forward out of Las Vegas revealed that he had cut his list down to 9 schools, and the Cards made the cut. This past weekend he visited UConn and told CSZ that “the visit was good.” His 9 remaining schools are (in no order) Louisville, Arizona, Georgetown, UConn, Arizona State, UCLA, Texas, California, and USC. He was supposed to make his official visit to Louisville on September 27, but Wyking Jones and the staff are trying to move that visit up, possibly to sometime in August. That should tell you how much they covet this recruit. It looks like Arizona and Georgetown are also going to get official visits from Smith. But the fact that Louisville is going to get 1 of those 5 official visits means that the Cards are in good shape right now. – Justin Renck

Derrick Jones – Likely third on the small forward list if Deng Adel or Ray Smith don’t commit to Louisville would be Derrick Jones from Wayne, Pennsylvania. Jones is a 5-star on ESPN and a 4-star on the other three sites. According to Zagsblog.com, Jones will be taking an unofficial visit to UConn today (Monday). He plans to visit Louisville, Kentucky, and Syracuse after the July evaluation period. So I wouldn’t put him too high on the list of likely future commits, but with a visit possibly planned, you never know. – Justin Renck

Power Forward

Raymond Spalding – The local product from Trinity High School visited Louisville on June 11 and left campus with an offer from Rick Pitino. Growing up as a Cards fan, this put Louisville right at the top of his list. We here at CSZ think that the reason there wasn’t a commitment right away is because Pitino is waiting to see what big man Stephen Zimmerman will do. You can read about him below. Indiana, Xavier, and Butler are the other main 3 involved with Spalding. He visited Tennessee this past weekend on an unofficial visit. But we learned on Sunday night that according to someone close to Spalding, IU may not be as serious a contender as previously thought because of the uncertainty surrounding the job status of Tom Crean. In my opinion, if Pitino wants Spalding, he can get him. The fact that he is waiting to see what Zimmerman does (our opinion) is no slight to Spalding at all. He is rated as a 4-star propect across all four major recruiting sites. Pitino just probably knows he has him if he wants, so let’s maybe see if we can get the 5-star Zimmerman. If the Cards get either, it will be a good pickup. – Justin Renck

Carlton Bragg – Although the Cards are in line to get a visit from Bragg, they seem to be down his list after a few schools. He told Jeff Borzello of cbssports.com that when he cuts his list down to 6 or 7 in September, Illinois, Kansas, and Kentucky will definitely be on that list. So that right there probably puts the Cards 4th at best. When talking about Louisville in that article, he does say this: “Terry Rozier was a former player in Ohio with me, I played against him,” Bragg said. “He gives me some input. I love their style too. Plus they’re Adidas, so I love them. I love Adidas.” – Justin Renck


Stephen Zimmerman – Zimmerman is still slated to visit the Cards officially on September 26th. (UofL Football hosts Wake Forest that weekend) The Cards are without a doubt in the mix for the 6’11 PF/C, but the question you continue to see around the country is “Can anyone pull Zimmerman out of the west coast?”  Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Indiana, UCLA, and UNLV are all lined up to give their pitch to Zimmerman. The Cards will get their chance in September. – Steve Rummage

Cheick Diallo – Diallo is probably the best defensive center in the class of 2015. The Cards are still on Diallo’s short list along with Kentucky, Syracuse, Arizona, Kansas, St. John’s, Pittsburgh, Florida, and Iowa State. Unfortunately all signs point to the Cats here. Diallo took a visit to see UK this past weekend and seemed to enjoy himself. The Cats also have their recent hire of former Pitt asst. coach Slice Rohrssen, who has a great relationship with Diallo, working in their favor. Diallo did tell Adam Zagoria that he was looking to possibly make a December decision but until the Cards get a visit, I wouldn’t hold my breath on this one. -Steve Rummage

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