Louisville Basketball: A Look at the Cardinals 2013 Class
Louisville head coach, Rick Pitino, has a lot to be happy about these days. He has one of the most experienced teams he has ever had and just completed his 2013 recruiting class with two monster commits this week.
Pitino has said several times that he plans on retiring with in the next four to five years, but the now 60 year old coach wants nothing more then to bring a National Championship to the city of Louisville, KY.
Last year the Cardinals went on an amazing run, winning the Big East Championship and making it to the Final Four.
Pitino has used Louisville's success to help him put together a strong 2013 class. Within the past week he has picked up two very talented players in point guard Chris Jones and power forward Akoy Agua.
The future Hall of Fame coach said earlier this week via RickPitino.com, “Recruiting is exciting and gratifying.”
According to ESPN.com, Louisville has the second-best recruiting class for 2013 so far.
Lets take a closer look at Louisville's 2013 class and see why Rick Pitino is so happy.
Jon Hancock is a contributor for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.
Picture from NWFRaiders.com
Chris Jones could be the most important addition to the Cardinals for the 2013-14 season. He is the perfect player to come in and take over senior Peyton Siva's point guard position.
The 5'10” point guard was originally a part of Tennessee's 2011 class. When Bruce Pearl was fired, Jones decided to go to NW Florida State University. Since Jones is a junior college transfer, he will have three years of eligibility.
Last year he averaged 18 points and four assists a game in his first year at NW Florida State.
His junior college coach, Steve Forbes, said of Jones:
“Chris is a winner. Won the state title at Melrose High School in Memphis and was the state tournament MVP. He led NWF to the National Championship game and a 32-2 record a year ago. He was the first freshman in the Panhandle Conference to win Player of the Year since Chris Porter in 1997. One of the most competitive kids I've ever coached. Makes others around him better but is an explosive scorer. The best PG in the country, high school or junior college.”
With Jones' experience and talent, he should be able to come in right away and play.
Picture from ESPNLouisville.com
Terry Rozier was originally supposed to be apart of Louisville's 2012 class, but due to some academic issues, Rozier decided to go to Hargrave Military School before going to college.
Last year, Rozier averaged 25.6 points and 4.7 steals as a senior at Skaker Heights High School in Ohio. He is a very quick point guard who plays tremendous defense.
He was ranked the 74th-best player in the 2012 class by ESPN.com. He is currently ranked the 19th-best point guard in the 2013 class the 74th according to 247Sports.com.
Rick Pitino said via UofLSports.com of Rozier going to Hargrave Academy, “"A.W. (Hamilton, Hargrave's head basketball coach) is an outstanding coach and was a terrific backcourt player himself. Another year academically and athletically in prep school will be a great opportunity for Terry."
Photo from MaxPreps.com
Anton Gill will be another exciting player to watch develop at Louisville. The 5-star shooting guard was the first addition to the 2013 class and has continued to impress scouts over the past year.
Mike Gandolfo, head recruiter for the Derby Festival Basketball Classic, said of Gill:
"Anton is a great kid who is excited about being a Louisville Cardinal. He has spent most of the summer battling an ankle injury, and it frustrates him not be on the floor much, but he is handling it great. He is in the middle of the bench acting as another coach. He will get his teammates water at timeouts—anything to help while he is not playing. Even when he is not playing, you can see him on the bench consuming what is happening on the floor."
Gill will join Terry Rozier at Hargrave Military Academy for his senior year of high school.
Picture from JournalStar.com
Akoy Agua, a 6'9” power forward from Nebraska, is the most recent addition to Louisville's 2013 class. Agua committed after an in-home visit with Rick Pitino earlier this week.
He is very mobile for a big man and is a great ball handler. Agua will give Louisville a lot of depth and talent at the power forward position.
ESPN says of him, “Akoy is raw offensively. He scores mostly on put-backs, dump offs and tip-ins inside. He is much more of a power forward right now and probably projects to that position down the road."
Agua averaged 12 points and seven rebounds a game last year as a junior. He also helped his team, Omaha Central High School, win their third straight Nebraska state title.