By Justin Renck and Steve Rummage:
Last week 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 plan 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.
There weren’t any major changes in the past week, but there are still some updates. The month of July should bring us plenty of new information with AAU season in full swing. There are major camps such as the LeBron James Skills Academy, Peach Jam, and AAU Nationals, which are held in Louisville this year.
Isaiah Bricsoe – After cutting his list to seven last week, there hasn’t been much from the Briscoe camp. One thing of note is 4-star PG Jalen Adams pledged to UConn last Monday. UConn is one of the 7 schools on Briscoe’s list and were considered one of the teams that had a real shot a landing him. Even though UConn could still land Briscoe, I would say this is only good for Louisville. Briscoe still remains the Cards’ top target at the PG position. -Steve Rummage
Bryant Crawford – Crawford still remains a big target at the PG spot for Pitino and the Cards. He visited UofL in June and left campus with an offer. He still wants to take some other visits, but Louisville is in a good spot with Crawford, and new assistant coach Kenny Johnson is the main reason. Johnson was recruiting Crawford when he was at Indiana, and since he left, the Hoosiers have fallen off the list for the four-star point guard. Johnson has kept recruiting him at Louisville, and it could end up paying off. -Justin Renck
Antonio Blakeney – There hasn’t been any change in the status of Blakeney in the past week. I still believe that Louisville is the leader for the five-star SG out of Orlando, Florida. Other schools on his current list are Florida, 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. He will be participating in the LeBron James Skills Academy starting this Thursday. He has a very busy month of AAU events, so look for some updates during July on him. -Justin Renck
Allonzo Trier – Trier’s stock continues to soar but so does the thought that he will end up at Arizona. Even though Louisville Asst. Kenny Johnson has a great relationship with Trier, the Findlay Prep move strengthens the Arizona chatter. Louisville is still in the mix but if Trier has not set up a visit to the ‘Ville by summers’ end, we will more than likely remove him from the list. -Steve Rummage
Deng Adel – Adel participated in the 2014 Kevin Durant Skills Academy and once again turned a few heads. Former NBA player and TV/Radio Basketball Analyst Michael Cage said of Adel “coached Deng Adel, can get to the rim athletic showed range on shot and good off the bounce 6’8 wing will only get better upside.” Again look for the Cards to try to get a commitment from Adel before summers’ end. -Steve Rummage
Ray Smith – Ray’s dad, Bobby Smith, told SNY.tv that Ray’s list will likely fluctuate throughout the summer. He recently cut his list down to 9, but Kentucky is now showing interest, and they may be added to that list. But what the Cards have going for them is an official visit coming up from Smith. It was originally scheduled for the weekend of September 26. Smith told CSZ that they may move that up to August, but now it sounds like that date may be back on again. Regardless of when it is, getting Smith here for an official visit will be a good thing. I wouldn’t say that Louisville is the favorite, but they are in the mix. -Justin Renck
Derrick Jones – As we told you the other day, Jones will visit Louisville sometime in August, along with Kentucky, Kansas, Indiana, and Florida. Kenny Johnson is also the main recruiter for Jones. He visited UConn last week and enjoyed that trip. Like I said in the last Recruiting Notebook, when it comes to the small forward spot, it just seems like it’s Deng Adel’s to take or leave. -Justin Renck
Raymond Spalding – Nothing new on Spalding in the past week, so I will catch you up on what I said about him last week. 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 last weekend on an unofficial visit. I would say that Louisville is the leader here. -Justin Renck
Carlton Bragg – OSU has been one of the leaders for the Cleveland native for some time now. This past weekend the Buckeyes received a commitment from 4* Center Daniel Giddens which leaves them with one open scholarship. If that last scholarship is taken by someone other than Bragg, it will be interesting to see how hard the Cards push for a visit. If the Cards can get Bragg on campus they will be a SERIOUS contender for the 5-star PF services. – Steve Rummage
Stephen Zimmerman – Last week Zimmerman finished his stint with the USA U18 National Team where he again showed he is one of the nation’s elite centers. Zimmerman still plans to visit Louisville on September 26th, but what exactly is Zimmerman looking for in a college? Zimmerman told DraftExpress.com “I think a college that’s going to develop me most, get me ready for the next level. My ultimate goal is to go to the NBA, so whatever school can really help me go there.” Rick will more than likely try to sell Zimmerman on the fact he believes he can play both the PF and C position and that should put the Cards in a good spot with the 5-Star Center. -Steve Rummage
Cheick Diallo – Last week Diallo visited the UK campus and came away impressed. Diallo also told Adam Zagoria that UK, Kansas, St. Johns, Pittsburgh, and Iowa St. were recruiting him the hardest. To this point it doesn’t sound like Diallo plans on visiting the UofL campus nor does it sound like UofL has Diallo in their 2015 plans. Things can always change but at this point we are removing Diallo from our 2015 list. -Steve Rummage