Pitino Answers Back on Antonio Blakeney Shoe Affiliation Story

Louisville coach Rick Pitino has chimed in on the recent decommitment of shooting guard Antonio Blakeney, which has been linked to the fact that Louisville is an adidas program and Blakeney plays for a Nike AAU team.

“I don’t like not being able to recruit” a kid because of their shoe affiliation, Pitino said, according to Jeff Greer of the Louisville Courier-Journal. “We need to get shoe companies out of their lives”

Pitino isn’t permitted to comment on recruitable student-athletes so he was ostensibly speaking generally.

“I’m not talking about a specific case that just happened to us,” he said. “I’m saying in the last five years” things have changed.

Pitino recruited Blakeney at the Nike-sponsored Peach Jam, among other events, watching him several times there, as did other high-major coaches. To read more of this story, click here

P.J. Dozier Meets With Pitino, Will Take Official to Louisville

Five-star combo guard P.J. Dozier will take an official visit to Louisville the weekend of Oct. 30 following an in-home visit Wednesday with head coach Rick Pitino and assistant Kenny Johnson.

Louisville hosts Florida State in football Oct. 30.

“The visit went extremely well,” Perry Dozier Sr. told SNY.tv Thursday. “Coach came in and he was very warm and just got right to the point. We talked; it a was a great visit.”

Louisville has zeroed in on the 6-foot-7 Dozier to join Brewster (N.H.) Academy guard Donovan Mitchell in its backcourt beginning in 2015 now that Antonio Blakeney has decommitted. (Blakeney met Wednesday night with Kentucky’s John Calipari and Kenny Payne.)

“It was pretty clear, coming in the backcourt and playing with Mitchell,” Perry said. “He’s a pretty good friend with P.J. They played together at the Reebok Camp so that’s a big plus, but he told P.J. he’s his point guard and that’s what he wants him to do, is run the ballclub.” To read more of this story, click here

Louisville Set for Home Visit With Dozier; Kentucky Meeting Blakeney (UPDATED)

After parting ways with Antonio Blakeney following his decommitment, Louisville has zeroed in on P.J Dozier, a 6-foot-5 two guard out of Columbia (S.C.) Spring Valley.

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino and assistant Kenny Johnson will have a home visit with Dozier tonight (Wednesday).

“I talked to Coach Kenny, and they just want to come down and sit down and talk and start the process over again,” Perry Dozier, Sr. who coaches his son, told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “We wouldn’t have them come in if (P.J.) wasn’t (interested).”

Dozier is also considering North Carolina, Michigan, Georgetown and South Carolina, with the Tar Heels the presumed favorite on 247Sports. To read more of this story, click here

Pitino Highlights Brayden Carr Clinic, Says Coach K ‘Deserves’ Recruiting Edge From Team USA

PitinoHACKENSACK, N.J. — Louisville coach Rick Pitino highlighted an array of college and pro coaches at the Brayden Carr Foundation clinic at Fairleigh Dickinson University on Friday, and Pitino later defended Coach K against charges that he holds a recruiting advantage as coach of Team USA.

“Obviously, I think it’s a great cause,” Pitino told SNY.tv of the event, founded by Rhode Island assistant coach Jimmy Carr and his wife Natalie after their 2-year-old son Brayden died in 2011.

Richard [Pitino] lost a brother and we lost a child, so we know the heartbreak that goes with that, and obviously being part of something for the great cause, besides representing coaches, is a terrific thing.”

Pitino was featured at the event alongside Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, South Carolina coach Frank Martin, Villanova coach Jay Wright, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey and former NBA coach George Karl. To read more of this story, click here

Antonio Blakeney Decommits from Louisville

os-2013-varsity-media-day-basketballBy JACK LeGWIN

Antonio Blakeney has pulled his verbal commitment to Louisville and reopened his recruitment.

“I am still really considering louisville heavily I like everything about [their] program , coaches and fans!!” Tweeted Blakeney, who committed earlier this month on his visit.

“I made a quick and emotional decision based on some of the wrong reasons,” Blakeney told Reggie Rankin from ESPN. “I really loved my visit and everything about Louisville and I am still strongly considering them.”

The 6-foot-4 Blakeney has no visits planned, his AAU coach Steve Reese told SNY.tv Tuesday morning.

“We haven’t heard from any schools yet since he committed a few weeks back,” Reese said.

To read more of this story, click here

Louisville’s Pitino Visits Tyus Battle on First Day of Fall Recruiting

Tyus Battle USA hoopsOn the first day of the fall recruiting period, Louisville coach Rick Pitino spent about two hours on the campus of Gladstone (N.J.) Gill St. Bernard’s while recruiting 2016 combo guard Tyus Battle.

“Tyus is a top priority for them,” Gill coach Mergin Sina told SNY.tv after the visit. “He thinks Tyus can play multiple positions in his system and he loves Tyus’s length and athleticism.”

The 6-foot-5 Battle visited Louisville this past summer unofficially during a trip in which he picked up offers from both Louisville and Kentucky. To read more of this story, click here

Antonio Blakeney Commits to Louisville and Donovan Mitchell Loves It

BlakeneyBy JOHN PAVIA

Special to ZAGSBLOG

Five-star shooting guard Antonio Blakeney committed to Louisville on Thursday night as Rick Pitino grabs another high-level guard from the Class of 2015; Reggie Rankin of ESPN had the story first.

Blakeney, a 6-4 guard from Oak Ridge High School (FL) with tremendous scoring ability, joins Donovan Mitchell from the 2015 class in a loaded Cardinals backcourt that is typical of the Louisville teams we’ve seen in recent years under Pitino.

When asked about Blakeney’s commitment to Louisville, Mitchell told SNY.tv, “Best thing that could’ve happened. We are going to do big things at the Ville. I can’t wait to play with him. Me at the 1 and him at the 2, its gonna be incredible.”  To read more of this story, click here