Recruiting

Rick Pitino Says He Has One Of His Best Recruiting Classes In 2015

Photo: Rick Mackson USA - Today

Photo: Rick Mackson USA – Today

Since the college basketball early signing period began last Wednesday, Rick Pitino and the Louisville basketball program have received national letters of intent from all three of their commitments.

Small forward Deng Adel, power forward Raymond Spalding and combo guard Donovan Mitchell are now officially Louisville Cardinals.

Rick Pitino met with the media on Monday for his annual signing day press conference.

Deng is one of the premier wing players we have recruited in quite some time,” said Pitino. “He is a top 25 high school player who has great passing skills, a terrific jump shot, is an outstanding athlete and is very good at both ends of the floor.”

“From the first 10 minutes I watched Donovan play, I said ‘I want this young man on our team,'” said Pitino. ” “He has a Peyton Siva type personality and Peyton Siva type character. He’s a human highlight every time down the court and really does it all. He’s a bulldog defender, great passer, scores and jumps well and is just a special basketball player who we are so excited to have on our team.”

“Ray is a diamond in the rough,” said Pitino. “He has improved as much in the last two years as any player I have witnessed at the high school level. He is long, runs great, passes, shoots, and has an incredible college career ahead of him. We’ve very excited to have such a special local basketball player on our team. He’s also one of the nicest and most polite young people we have recruited.”

Here is Louisville’s press release and video of Pitino’s press conference.

Perry Dozier Chooses South Carolina Over Louisville

Photo: Kelly Kline - adidas

Photo: Kelly Kline – adidas

Rick Pitino and the Louisville basketball program got some tough news on Wednesday afternoon.

Cardinal recruit PJ Dozier, a 6-foot-6 point guard from Columbia, S.C., verbally committed to Frank Martin and the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Dozier chose South Carolina over Louisville, Georgetown, Michigan and North Carolina.

Louisville appeared to be in great shape with the four star prospect and the staff felt confident. However, in the end he decided to stay home.

Dozier took his fifth and final official visit to Louisville on Oct. 30 during the football game against Florida State.

This would have been a big addition to Louisville’s already loaded 2015 recruiting class, however sometimes it’s just really tough to lure a kid away from the hometown school.

Not only is South Carolina close to home, the Dozier family has a strong tradition with the Gamecock program. Dozier’s father and uncle played for the Gamecocks basketball program. Perry’s sister Asia currently plays for the South Carolina women’s team.

One Of Louisville’s Top Recruits Suffers Broken Fibula In Playoff Game

Photo:  Ledger Enquirer

Photo: Ledger Enquirer

Louisville commit Traveon Samuel’s high school career came to an end on Friday night.

Samuels’ Central-Phenix City squad was able to get the win and advance in the Alabama 7A playoffs. But unfortunately for Samuel, he’ll miss the remainder of the season with a broken fibula.

The 5-foot-8 all purpose back suffered the injury on the opening possession and later returned to the sideline on crutches. Samuel is expected to miss approximately six weeks.

Samuel is without question one of the most talented recruit to commit to Petrino since he’s been back at Louisville.

He verbally committed to Louisville on Aug. 1 and at that time he also had scholarship offers from Alabama, Clemson, Auburn, Florida State, Ohio State LSU, North Carolina, Mississippi State and South Florida, among others.

Samuel is expected to enroll at Louisville in January and participate in Spring Ball

Perry Dozier Will Announce His College Decision On Wednesday At 12:30 PM

Photo: Kelly Kline - Under Armour

Photo: Kelly Kline – Under Armour

There was a chance that four star combo guard Perry Dozier would be announcing his college decision this past weekend, but the Columbia, S.C. native decided to wait a little bit longer. Dozier’s father tells 247Sports that his son will announce his college decision this Wednesday at 12:30 PM.

Dozier appears to the only remaining top target for Pitino and his staff in the 2015 class. He took an official visit to Louisville on Oct. 30. The 6-foot-6 prospect has also been considering North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan and Georgetown. He’s taken official visits to all four schools.

It sounds like Louisville, Georgetown and South Carolina are the three favorites. Dozier said last week that he’s only considering three schools, but he didn’t want to mention the two schools that are no longer in the mix.

Dozier’s visit to Louisville went well and it sounds like Louisville is in great shape. That said, you can’t count South Carolina out just yet. His father and his twin brother played for the the Gamecocks basketball program. Perry’s sister Asia currently plays for the South Carolina women’s team.

Top 2016 Hoops Prospect Tyus Battle Still Considering Louisville

Photo | Nike

Photo | Nike

With commitments from Deng Adel, Raymond Spalding, Donovan Mitchell and a potential commitment coming from Perry Dozier, Rick Pitino is nearly set when it comes to the 2015 recruiting class. Pitino and his staff are now focusing most of their attention on the 2016 and 2017 classes.

One prospect in partuclar that has been a target for the Louisville staff for quite some time is 6-foot-5 shooting guard Tyus Battle. The New Jersey native has already taken unofficial visits to Louisville and Pitino spent the first day of the fall recruiting period in Sept. at the Gill St. Bernard’s School to check in with Battle.

The five star prospect recently trimmed his list and Louisville made the cut. Battle is now considering UConn, Duke, Florida, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Syracuse, Villanova and Virginia.

Battle is considered to be one of the top overall players in the 2016 class. I doubt he’ll be making a decision anytime in the near future, but it’s nice to see Louisville still being in consideration. Louisville assistant coach Kenny Johnson established a relationship with Battle long ago while he was still at Indiana, which can only help the Cards.

SNY.tv recently put together a great documentary of Battle’s recruitment.

Virginia Tech Commit Eric Whitehead Recently Visited Louisville

Photo: 247 Sports

Photo: 247 Sports

Bobby Petrino and the Louisville Cardinals had a huge weekend on the recruiting trail picking up a total of four verbal commitments on Friday.

With 21 commitments from the 2015 class, Petrino and his staff are likely very close to being finished. That said, if there is still talent that could be brought in, I’m sure they’ll still be working.

Virginia Tech commit Eric Whitehead is one of the many recruits who visited Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium this past Thursday night for the Florida State game. The 6-foot-1, 300-pound, defensive tackle has been committed to Virginia Tech since May, but appears to be considering.

The Indianapolis native is rated as a three star prospect and has also has offers from Ohio State, Indiana, Cincinnati, South Florida and Toledo.

Georgia Tech and Arizona State also recently got involved in Whitehead’s recruitment and are trying to flip him from his Virginia Tech commitment.

Offensive line coach Chris Klenakis has been Louisville’s lead recruiter for Whitehead. The Cards will lose multiple defensive lineman to graduation this season, which could help their chances of landing Whitehead.

Perry Dozier Could Make His Announcement This Weekend

Photo: Kelly Kline - Under Armour

Photo: Kelly Kline – Under Armour

It was the football program that cleaned up on the recruiting front this past weekend, but Rick Pitino and his staff also had a big visitor on campus.

Perry Dozier, a 6-foot-6 combo guard from Columbia, S.C., officially visited Louisville from Thursday until Saturday. This was Dozier’s fifth and final official visit.

Dozier’s father tells SNY.TV that his son could announce his decision on Saturday.

“Hopefully, he will have his mind made up by this coming weekend,” Perry Dozier Sr. says. “We will probably just notify the coaches what we will decide to do, and then he would make his announcement on ESPN.”

The four star prospect is also considering North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan and Georgetown. He’s taken official visits to all five schools.

Dozier’s father says the visit to Louisville went well and Louisville appears to be in great shape. That said, the home-state school, South Carolina, may have the upper hand at this point.

Both of Dozier’s parents attended South Carolina. His father and his twin brother played for the the Gamecocks basketball program. Perry’s sister Asia currently plays for the South Carolina women’s team.

Perry Dozier New Mixtape (Final 5 Schools) UNC, UM, GTown, LVille & SC from Johnny Hines on Vimeo.

Louisville Football Picked Up Four Commitments On Friday

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Friday Oct. 31 was the biggest recruting day for Bobby Petrino since he took over the Louisville football program for the second time in January. Petrino and his staff landed a total of four commitments on Friday.

Dez Fitzpatrick, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound wide receiver from Farmington, MI., was the first to pull the trigger on Louisville. The four star receiver confirmed his commitment via his Twitter account on Friday morning, becoming Louisville’s third commitment from the 2016 recruiting class.

Fitzpatrick also has scholarship offers from Cincinnati, Indiana, Kentucky, Penn State, Purdue, Illinois and Wake Forest.

Darius Smith, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound linebacker from Florence, AL., was the second commitment of the day for Louisville. Smith is a member of the 2015 class and chose Louisville over Kentucky Miami, Missouri and North Carolina State. He also had scholarship offers from Auburn, Miss. St., Missouri, Tennessee and Wash. St., among others.

Eastern Arizona Junior College teammates Tim Cook and Khalil Hunter became the third and fourth commitments for Louisville on Friday.

Cook, a 6-foot-1, 235-pound, running back actually committed to Louisville in Sept., but his commitment wasn’t confirmed until Friday.

Cook is originally from White Hall, Arkansas and has spent time at two different junior college since graduation from high school 2012. He chose Louisville over Arizona California, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Iowa State and Memphis.

Khalil Hunter, a 6-foot-3, 290-pound, offensive lineman has been on the Louisville radar for quite some time. He chose the Cardinals over Cincinnati, Georgia, FIU, Memphis, Missouri and South Florida. Hunter is originally from Orlando, FL. He has an opportunity to play right away with Louisville losing so many o-linemen to graduation this year.

Petrino’s staff now has commitments from 21 players in the 2015 class and three players in the 2016

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