Coach Rick Pitino and his coaching staff have had a busy summer on the road recruiting. He and his coaching staff could were seen at every major AAU tournament in the country. Pitino is a specific type of coach that players love want to play hard for.
Louisville doesn't have to worry too much when it comes to the 2013 class. The Cardinals have picked up two late commits for the 2012 class in power forward Montrezl Harrell and Sundanese big man Mangok Mathiang. They also have a very talented commit for the 2013 class in Anton Gill. Gill, who is rated as a 4-star prospect, has had a strong summer and continues to impress scouts while moving up in the rankings. Terry Rozier, who was a part of the 2012 commit list until becoming ineligible for academic reasons, is still listed as a Louisville commit for 2013, but Pitino appears to be recruiting over him.
The biggest question the team has when it comes to recruiting is who will replace senior point guard Peyton Siva? With high school teams are not producing the best pure point guards anymore, the number of options is limited. Peyton Siva brings a lot of energy to the Cards and it will be interesting to see who can fill his shoes.
Rick Pitino isn't planning on coaching at Louisville for too much longer, but he is hungry to bring a National Championship to Louisville. With talented junior center Gorgui Dieng planning on staying in college until he graduates and a roster full of some of the best players in the country, Louisville fans may not have to wait too much longer to hang a banner in the Yum! Center.
Anthony Barber is a player that would be able to come in right away and step into Siva's shoes. The 5-star point guard from Hampton Virginia is very quick and has the ability to drive to the hole.
Barber is ranked the ninth best player by Rivals.com and the third best point guard in the 2013 class by ESPN.com. The 6'2" point guard has Louisville in his final three schools and is planning on coming to the school for a visit in September. Kansas and Alabama are also a part of his final three.
Barber and 2013 small forward Troy Williams, who also has Louisville on his list, say they may come to college together as a package deal. Rick Pitino watched both of them play for Boo Williams' AAU team a couple times at this summer Nike Peach Jam.
Scout.com says of Barber:
"Barber has the natural ability to be one of the best in the class. He has good size for a point guard and is an excellent athlete. Very few players are faster with the ball and get into the lane with the ease he does. His outside shot does need some work. Know as "Cat", Barber is one of the premier floor leaders going in this class."
Jarrell Martin could bring depth to the forward position for the Cards, especially if sophomores Wayne Blackshear and Chane Behanan leave early for the NBA.
Martin has long arms and is very athletic, two things that Pitino loves in a power forward. At 6'8" and 215 lbs., Martin is ranked the 19th best player by 247Sports.com and the fourth best power forward in his class by Scout.com.
The Madison Prep Academy star recently narrowed his list down to Louisville, Oklahoma State, LSU, UCLA, St. John's, Texas A&M and Alabama. Martin made an unofficial visit to the Yum! Center in January.
Martin's high school coach recently told Adam Zagoria about why Louisville (and Kansas) were on his list of seven, “Two national powers, two teams coming off Final Four appearances. Kansas just won the national title a few years ago. It’s a major TV market, major TV exposure. Playing in two power conferences with two of the premier coaches in college basketball is intriguing to him.”
ESPN says of Martin:
"He's one of those lengthy small forward prospects. Has the athletic ability to go get it off the glass, will even make tips at the rim. His perimeter game is of the catch and shoot variety. Let's call him what he is: a guy with a significant upside."
Marcus Lee is another long center that could definitely develop into Gorgui Diengs replacement.
Lee moves down the floor very well and is very athletic for a 6'9", 220 lbs. center/power forward. He is currently ranked as the 27th best player by ESPN.com and the fourth best power forward in the 2013 class by 247Sports.com.
He has offers from 25 Division I schools across the country. He recently cut his list down to seven schools which include UCLA, California, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisville, Duke and Indiana. He has a planned visit to Louisville on September 8, which is around the same time that point guard Anthony Barber will be visiting.
Lee's brother Brian Lee recently told the Courier Journal's Steve Jones about the California star's interest in Louisville:
"They press, and they play defense,” Brian Lee said. “He loves that side. He loves that they press, and they run. That’s something he’s already used to. Marcus is long, and he runs, so he’s trying to get an offense that fits that. He’s not a guy who’s built for just slamming it inside to all game. He’s not a back-you, back-you, back-you-down guy.”
Scout.com says of Lee in their scouting report:
"Marcus Lee is an athletic center who possesses very high upside due to his length and athleticism. At this stage of his career, Lee specializes as a shot blocker and rebounder. Offensively he's raw and will have to work on his footwork, post moves and continue to grow comfortable with his left hand. Added strength will also help his offense. Regardless, he's a very good post prospect who will be recruited at a high level due to his upside."
Moses Kingsley is another long center that would be a great fit for the Cardinals. At 6'9 and 210 lbs., he definitely would need to become a lot more physically stronger, which Rick Pitino and his coaching staff have proven they are quite capable of doing.
He is a very talented shot blocker with his long arms. Kingsley is ranked as the 46th best player by ESPN.com and the sixth best center in the 2013 class by Scout.com. The 4-star prospect has already visited Louisville during last season and has kept the Cards on his list throughout the summer.
Kingley told CBSSports about his feelings towards the Louisville Cardinals, “It's a good place to go to school. I like the coaching staff, the environment and the teammates.”
ESPN says of the Hunting Prep center:
"This young man is a competitive sort inside the lane. You have to respect his motor and the tenacity with which he approaches the game. He's got sneaky length and seems to unwind as he goes to the rim."
Troy Williams was planning on picking between North Carolina and Kentucky, but decided to pull back and wait when other schools started to push hard.
Williams is a long 6'7" wing with a very good shot from behind the arch, he also isn't afraid to take it strong to the rim. He is ranked as the 30th best player by ESPN.com and the seventh best small forward in the 2013 class by Future150.com.
He has offers from eleven Division I schools, including Alabama, Kentucky, UNC, Memphis and Florida. Louisville's assistant coach Kevin Keatts has a very good relationship with Troy's uncle and AAU coach Boo Williams. Anthony Barber, who is thinking about committing with Troy, also plays for Boo Williams' AAU squad.
Williams told Adam Zagoria why he likes Louisville, "” Coach Rick Pitino is a really good coach. I get along with him well. They play uptempo and fast.”
Scout.com says of the 4-star prospect:
"Williams is a very athletic player with a non-stop motor. He can score going to the rim and with his bounce above the rim. Also he is so athletic and has very long arms which allows him to be a lock down defender on the defensive end. Williams needs to get better shooting the basketball, but the tools are there for him to be an elite wing."
Chris Jones was once a part of Tennessee's 2011 recruiting class, but after Bruce Pearl was fired for recruiting violations, Jones decided to go to junior college at North West Florida State.Jones averaged 18 points and with four assists a game last year for NW Florida State.
Louisville isn't the only Division I school interested in the talented point guard; Kansas,Baylor, Oklahoma State, Florida State, N.C. State, Memphis, Arkansas and Ole Miss have also been vying for Jones' services.
At 5'10" Jones is very quick and makes very good decisions with the basketball. Rick Pitino has shown int he past that he likes the experience that junior college transfers bring. Jones is planning on visiting Louisville as well as other schools in the next couple months.
NW Florida State head coach Steve Forbes said of his point guard:
“He is the ‘straw that stirs the drink. He’s been a facilitator for others and has made big baskets for our team throughout the year. His passion and his will to win has rubbed off on the rest of our team. It’s always a blessing when your best player is your hardest worker and he is our hardest worker.”