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 coming to a close, this past week brought us some updates. Enjoy this week’s notebook!
Donovan Mitchell – You may notice that we moved Mitchell from the SG section to the PG section. This is because by all accounts the Cards are recruiting Mitchell to fill the PG spot in this class. Mitchell continued his rise by absolutely putting on a show this week in Las Vegas. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman tagged Mitchell has the most underrated player in the class of 2015. The 6’3 point guard is well on his way to 5 star status. As far as Louisville goes Mitchell plans to visit the Cards August 8th and Pitino has made it known that he is their guy at the point guard position. Mitchell received his first Louisville crystal ball prediction on 247 sports this week and the Cards now lead by a hefty margin. Next weeks visit will be big for Louisville and Mitchell but I wouldn’t be shocked if we are posting a “Donovan Mitchell to Louisville” story on CardinalSportsZone.com sooner than later! -Steve Rummage
Isaiah Briscoe – Briscoe’s “Playaz” team was also in Vegas this week and the Cards did take some time to watch. While Louisville is still giving Briscoe attention and are not completely out of the race just yet it doesn’t look very promising. Pitino and his staff seem to be locked in on Donovan Mitchell at the point guard spot. It looks as though Arizona and St. Johns now have the inside track to land Briscoe. -Steve Rummage
Bryant Crawford – Crawford’s name is one that you really aren’t hearing much right now. He seemed to be a sure thing to commit back in June when he visited UofL, but nothing ever happened. From the sounds of it, he really likes Louisville and would commit, but the staff may not feel the same way about him. They want to explore other options. It definitely seems like Blakeney, Mitchell, and maybe even Prince Ali may be ahead of Crawford at this point when it comes to who the staff is going after. -Justin Renck
Antonio Blakeney – For weeks now, we have been telling you that Louisville is still at, or near the top, of Blakeney’s list. If there were any questions as to whether or not that feeling was mutual, it was answered last week at the AAU Nationals here in Louisville. Blakeney’s AAU team played in 4 games at the KY Fair and Expo Center. Rick Pitino was front and center for ALL FOUR games. Florida State and LSU also had their head coaches there. Kentucky and North Carolina had assistants watching him. I am sticking to my feeling here that the Cards are still in a very good position with Blakeney. Blakeney cut his list today to Louisville, Missouri, UK, FSU, Oregon, LSU, and USC and plans to take officials soon. Louisville should be a lock to get one of those. -Justin Renck
Allonzo Trier – Louisville continues to keep tabs on Trier. Louisville assistant Kenny Johnson has a developed relationship with Trier so the Cards continue to have a chance in the Trier race. All signs seem to point to Trier landing at Arizona. Trier is defiantly one to watch but I wouldn’t expect to ever see him in a Louisville uniform. -Steve Rummage
Prince Ali- Prince Ali did not travel to Louisville with his AAU team this week, thus ending his AAU career. Ali still plans to visit Louisville the weekend of September 6th. UCLA, the presumed leader for Ali, will receive a visit from Ali the weekend before. The 6’4 SG seems to be high on Louisville’s list at that position behind only Antonio Blakeney so look for the Cards to roll out the red carpet. One interesting note to watch here is UCLA offered 4 star SG Brandon Sampson this week and is trending UCLA. If Sampson were to pop for the Bruins before Ali things could get real serious for Louisville’s SG recuits. Ali more than likely would be ready to be a Card but I have feeling Blakeney may be given the first crack. Again just something to watch for. -Steve Rummage
Dwayne Bacon – Bacon plans to cut his list in the next week or so and Louisville should be on that list. Bacon is an extremely talented player but seems to be behind Blakeney and Ali for the Cards. If Louisville were to miss one of those two look for them to put the full court press on Bacon. -Steve Rummage
Deng Adel (Commit) – Adel was very impressive this week at the Adidas Super 64 in Vegas. The 6’8 SF lead his Florida Elite team all the way to the semi finals before losing. Adel gained 5 star status this summer and doesn’t look to be stopping any time soon. Question is just how high will Adel rise in the rankings? I don’t think top 15 is out of the question. Adel continues to give Cards fans reasons to believe he will be very special for the next couple years. -Steve Rummage
Derrick Jones – Jones still has plans to visit Louisville, along with Kentucky, Indiana, Kansas, and Auburn. He has already visited UConn. Since there is still a visit planned, you never know if something may happen. But with Deng Adel already committed, and Pitino’s heavy focus on other backcourt players, I don’t see Derrick Jones ending up at Louisville. -Justin Renck
Brandon Ingram – While pulling Ingram out of North Carolina would have been a difficult task as it is, it doesn’t look like the Cards are focused here any longer. Since the commitment of 5 star SF Deng Adel Pitino has gave little to no attention to Ingram. So much so that this will be the last time we have Ingram on the Notebook until further notice. -Steve Rummage
Raymond Spalding (Commit) – With his commitment to Louisville out of the way, Spalding did nothing this past week but put on a show in front of Rick Pitino. He has had a great summer, and it continued at AAU Nationals. Through 6 games so far, he is averaging 16.5 points, 7 rebounds, 4.2 blocks, 2.8 assists, and 2.2 steals per game. Spalding’s AAU team, The Ville, has made it to the Finals of the 11th-grade AAU National Championship after their semi-finals win today. Spalding’s team will play Monday evening at 5:20 in Freedom Hall. -Justin Renck