Lee picks Louisville, breaks down choice

Louisville picked up their second graduate transfer of the offseason on Thursday. Damion Lee committed to Rick Pitino and Louisville on Thursday.

Graduate transfer Damion Lee informed Scout Thursday morning that he will continue his college basketball career at Louisville.

Lee visited Louisville on Monday and Tuesday. He said the personnel, coaching staff and the city were among the things that won him over.

“Of course the basketball stuff speaks for itself,” Lee told Scout about Louisville. “Losing Rozier, Blackshear and just the opening there at the two spot, plus they got some good young guys coming. Trey Lewis is coming in and Quentin Snider is there already.”

“The guards are reset and the bigs they have are guys that are 6-9, 6-10 and 7-foot and that’s just speaking from a basketball standpoint. They run pro sets with a Hall of Fame coach. After basketball there’s a community. Louisville is the pro team there. When I was there it was amazing.”

After averaging 21.4 points a game at Drexel as a junior, Lee considered Arizona, Gonzaga, Marquette and Maryland. The only other visit Lee took was to Arizona, which was over the weekend.

Although his recruitment was short, Lee said he felt comfortable around Rick Pitino.

“Off the court he’s charismatic and joking,” he said. “I can tell that he really cares about his guys. If it’s one thing I can say about him it’s that he’s caring and loving. He shows that. The past three years of him coaching. If it’s anyone of his guys he’s always going to look after them and care for him.”

Lee also had a connection with Louisville assistant Kenny Johnson, dating back to his AAU days.

“I’ve known Kenny for a couple of years,” he said. “Back when I played with DC Assault in AAU when he was w/ Triple Threat, which is now Team Takeover. I’ve known him for a couple years. He’s a great guy.”

“I speak highly of Kenny and I know him well,” he added. “Coach Pitino wanted Kenny to work on some things. He basically lost another human. That’s just how much influence coach Pitino has. If he tells you what to do and you do it, you’ll be successful.”

With the loss of Rozier, which Lee mentioned, and Montrezl Harrell to the NBA Draft, reeling in a talent like Lee, that is eligible to play right away, was key for the Cardinals.

To go with Lee, Louisville also recently picked up Lewis, a graduated transfer from Cleveland State. Those two will join one of the nation’s best recruiting class that includes top 35 recruits Donovan Mitchell, Deng Adel and Raymond Spalding.

“I’m so excited,” Lee said. “Especially since we have this trip going to Puerto Rico so we can gel and mesh together. When I was there, I got in the gym with Trey [Lewis]. He’s a phenomenal player and a phenomenal person. He comes form a grounded family. The mindset of the team is of an underdog. We may be ranked, but it’s a blue-collar city and a blue-collar team. We just roll up our sleeves and just get things done.”


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