Pitino lands NY forward Nunez

Louisville coach Rick Pitino pulled a big recruiting surprise Thursday. While much of the recruiting talk recently has surrounded Quincy Miller and Rodney Hood, Pitino tapped into his New York roots for the Cardinals newest commitment - 6-foot-7 forward Angel Nunez from Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass.

Angel Nunez, a 6-foot-7, 190-pound small forward from New York, committed to Louisville Thursday, according to his mentor Eric Martinez.

"He made it official, he committed to the University of Louisville," Martinez told InsideTheVille.com.

Much of the recruiting talk for Louisville recently has centered around Top 50 forward prospects Quincy Miller and Rodney Hood. But Louisville assistant Steve Masiello traveled north to see Nunez Thursday and the Cardinals ended up with their fourth verbal commitment in the Class of 2011.

"Angel wanted to focus on school and academics and Louisville has always been involved with Angel," said Martinez. "I was Francisco Garcia's mentor and all that stuff combined...we just felt it was perfect to announce it and get it out of the way and finish his senior season in a strong way academically and on the court."

Louisville newest commit draws comparisons to former Cardinal star Francisco Garcia.

According to Martinez, Nunez also considered West Virginia, Miami, Florida and Providence.

"Coach Masiello went to go see Angel workout and loved him, he said he was phenomenal today on the court," Martinez said. "He's finally coming around now. The potential is turning into production. People have always doubted him and now they're going to see the true Angel Nunez."

Though Nunez isn't rated in the Scout.com Top 100, he is a solid three-star prospect with considerable upside. Nunez is ranked the No. 30 small forward nationally in his class.

"He [Masiello] saw that today and was excited about it," Martinez said. "We're all excited about it. Angel is excited about it and his family is too and we're just looking forward to a bright future at Louisville. The sky's the limit."

Martinez, who served as a mentor to Garcia several years ago, said Nunez shares many of the same traits as the former UofL star forward.

"He's going to come in there and be able to do different things on the court," Martinez said. "He's able to spread the court with his jump shot ability and he's a competitor. He can penetrate and find people. He brings athleticism, ball handling and can find people on the court. He brings a little of what Francisco brought to the court for Louisville."

Martinez said Nunez will make his official visit to Louisville Oct. 15.

"He's looking forward to being coached by one of the best coaches in college basketball," Martinez said. "He's looking forward to it."

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