Ray Spalding to Louisville

Raymond Spalding, a 6-foot-10 power forward from Louisville Trinity, verbally committed to Louisville on Sunday, sources confirmed to SNY.tv.

Indiana, Duke, Tennessee and Xavier also offered.

“Louisville (the area) made me pick Louisville (the University),” he said. “There’s nothing like being a hometown player. I feel that Louisville will develop me into the player that first their program and I like that.”

He added: “I will fit in great with Louisville’s program. I’m long and athletic and have a fundamental skillset.”

Spalding is Louisville’s second 2015 commit, following 6-7 forward Deng Adel, who committed last week.

Louisville is also focusing on 2015 Brewster (N.H.) Academy guard Donovan Mitchell, Roselle (N.J.) Catholic guard Isaiah Briscoe and Sarasota (FL) Oak Ridge guard Antonio Blakeney.

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Deng Adel to Louisville

Louisville has landed a commitment right in the middle of the July recruiting period.

Deng Adel, an athletic, high-energy 6-foot-7 small forward originally from Australia, committed to the Cardinals on Monday.

The four-star forward is now at Bradenton (FL) Victory Rock Prep and impressed Louisville coach Rick Pitino and his staff during the recent Adidas Unrivaled Camp in Chicago.

Adel had offers a slew of schools, along with interest from Kentucky and UConn, according Victory Rock Prep coach Loren Jackson. To read more of this story, click here

Bryant Crawford Enjoys Louisville, Villanova Visits, More in the Works

Bryant Crawford, one of the top point guards in the Class of 2015, visited Louisville this week and is definitely considering the Cardinals as a future destination after picking up a scholarship offer.

“It was nice, I enjoyed it,”  the 6-foot-2 point guard from Washington, D.C., Gonzaga and Team Takeover told SNY.tv by phone.

Crawford met with head man Rick Pitino and his staff.

“[They said] if I came there based on whatever happened next year or who leaves next year, I could possibly play as a freshman,” Crawford said. “I should be prepared to play if I did come to Louisville.”

Crawford was supposed to visit Maryland Tuesday, “but I had family in town so I couldn’t make it. I think Coach [Mark] Turgeon was setting up another date. [Gonzaga] Coach [Steve] Turner hasn’t gotten back and told me anything yet.” To read more of this story, click here

Eron Gordon Visits Louisville, More Trips on Tap

Eron GordonEron Gordon, a 6-foot-2 2016 guard from Indianapolis (IN) Cathedral, visited Louisville unofficially Friday and has several more visits on tap in the coming weeks.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino is in Italy on vacation with his family, but Gordon visited with the rest of the staff and toured the School of Engineering, the practice facility and the outside of the KFC Yum! Center.

“We’ll go back at a later date once [Pitino] is there but we wanted to make sure we got to the campus,” Eric Gordon Sr., the player’s father, told SNY.tv by phone of his youngest son’s visit. “He wants to take some time and get his visits done.”

Eric Sr. said Eron also has visited planned to Duke (June 23), Michigan (June 29) and Kansas (TBD end of June). Eron will also visit Kentucky, Butler and Indiana at some point, Eric Sr. said. Until this point, he had only visited Purdue unofficially. To read more of this story, click here

Louisville Latest to Offer 7-Footer Thon Maker

Louisville is the latest college basketball heavyweight to offer a scholarship to 7-footer Thon Maker of the Carlisle School (Va.), the consensus No. 1 player in the Class of 2016.

Ed Smith, Maker’s legal guardian, spoke with Rick Pitino on Wednesday and received the offer.

“He said he likes his versatility,” Smith told SNY.tv. “Offensively, he is like a young [Kevin] Garnett. They believe that in their back screen flare action, two-man game and elbow series he will thrive. Defensively, they could do a lot with him in their press and man defense because of his fluidity as an athlete. They liked how he played against Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander of Mac Irvin Fire when we beat them.”

Duke, Kansas and Memphis have also offered recently Maker, while Kentucky is showing strong interest, with head coach John Calipari and assistant Kenny Payne in touch with Smith.

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Briscoe Adds Louisville Offer, Planning on Visiting

Briscoe RCROSELLE, N.J. — After working out for Louisville coach Rick Pitino Monday at Roselle Catholic High School, Isaiah Briscoe now has a scholarship offer from the Cardinals and is planning a visit there.

“I think the workout went good, he offered while we were talking,” Briscoe told SNY.tv following the workout. “He said he was going to follow me in [the Nike EYBL stop in] Sacramento [next weekend]. The next is him seeing me in action”

Pitino is the second coach with an NCAA championship in the last two years to visit Roselle Catholic in the past two weeks. UConn coach Kevin Ollie, who is also recruiting Briscoe, spoke at a coaches’ clinic at the school April 11. To read more of this story, click here

Pitino Blasts Selection Committee Over Louisville-Manhattan Pairing

PitinoBy JOSH NEWMAN
Special to ZAGSBLOG

When Louisville was awarded the No. 4 seed in the Midwest Region on Sunday evening, that struck many people as a surprise given the Cardinals have won 12 of their last last 13, including the American Athletic Conference Tournament.

Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino doesn’t have a problem with the seed. His problem lies with the fact that the seeding committee has his team playing 13th-seeded Manhattan, which is coached by former Cardinals assistant and Pitino disciple Steve Masiello.

“I think the pairings sometimes lack common sense,” Pitino said Wednesday in Orlando. “I don’t think they would put somewhere down the road Duke-North Carolina, so the matchups don’t make sense to me. I’m OK with the seedings. I’m not OK with the matchups.” To read more of this story, click here

Nate Silver Has Louisville Favored to Win NCAAs; Vegas Likes Florida, Michigan State

BracketsNate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com has Louisville as the favorite to cut down the nets again.

Silver’s computers give the defending NCAA champion Cardinals a 15 percent shot of winning it all for a second year in a row — this despite them being the No. 4 seed in the Midwest.

As far as Final Four participants, Silver picks Louisville out of the Midwest (38.1 percent), Florida out of the South (41.1 percent), Arizona out of the West (42.4 percent) and Michigan State out of the East (24 percent).

Also, here are the Odds to Win the Men’s Basketball Championship according to LVH – Las Vegas Superbook (via ESPN):

Florida 4-1

Michigan State 9-2

Arizona 6-1

Kansas 8-1

Wichita State 15-1

Virginia 15-1

Duke 15-1

Syracuse 15-1

Louisville 15-1

Wisconsin 20-1

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Pitino: ‘We’ll probably be a one seed’

PitinoAfter beating UConn to wrap up the American Athletic Conference tournament championship, Louisville coach Rick Pitino gave the Selection Committee a little something to think about.

“We’ll probably be a one seed,” Pitino said.

Pitino told ESPN’s Andy Katz that he thinks the Cardinals should be a No. 1 seed, but knows they probably won’t be. To read more of this story, click here