Hood seeks 'comfortable' fit on UofL visit

Rodney Hood will make his fourth official visit to Louisville this weekend, and the Cardinals could factor heavily into the four-star Meridian, Miss., guard/forwards decision. Hood's father, Ricky, gave InsideTheVille.com the pre-visit 'scoop.'

Rick Pitino will get a chance to convince Rodney Hood this weekend that Louisville is the best school for his future.

Hood, a versatile four-star forward from Meridian, Miss., has already made official visits to Florida State, Alabama and Marquette, and according to his father, Ricky Hood, the 6-foot-7 prospect is getting close to making his college decision.

But before he picks his school, Hood will make an important visit to Louisville this weekend. Hood will arrive in town Thursday and begin his official visit Friday morning.

"This will be our fourth official visit," Hood said. "We're scheduled to be in Georgetown next week, but it's not set in stone."

Though Louisville joined Hood's recruitment late, the Cardinals, thanks to the fast work of assistant Tim Fuller, have made up considerable ground on Florida State, Mississippi State, Alabama and Marquette.


Rick Pitino will try to convince Rodney Hood that UofL is the right fit during his weekend official visit.
"They [UofL] haven't been in this week," Hood said. "[Louisville] has used all of their allotted visits as far as contact. They've had some great visits with [Rodney] and we've kept in touch over a period of time. We understood they were coming in late and we feel we have enough information on the program for Rodney to make a decision as to whether he wants to come. This weekend will be somewhat of a validation because we've heard a lot and I've followed Louisville over the years."

Hood, according to sources, has emerged as Louisville's No. 1 remaining recruiting target this year.

"That's not necessarily important to us," Hood said. "What's important to Rodney is what else he has with him. He wants to make sure he has a chance to win and play with some quality guys."

Louisville expects to return Peyton Siva, Terrence Jennings, Rakeem Buckles, and Jared Swopshire for the 2011-12 season. Pitino has plenty of holes to fill with his 2011 recruiting class and already has four commitments from Wayne Blackshear, Chane Behanan, Zach Price and Angel Nunez for next season. Hood could be the final big piece to Louisville's puzzle next season.

"He's very impressed with the guys Coach Pitino has committed for 2011," Hood said. "He's played with Zach Price and he's familiar with Chane Behanan and Wayne Blackshear. He's been in camp with those guys and is familiar with those guys."

Though Hood believes his son would fit well into Pitino's system on the court, it appears UofL also needs to convince Hood this weekend that he'll fit in comfortably off the court.

"Rodney is a very versatile player and he's able to fit in," Hood said. "From what I hear Rodney and those guys [2011 recruits] have similar personalities. Basketball-wise we feel the fit at Louisville would be fine and Coach Pitino is more than capable of getting the best out of Rodney. We're not concerned about the basketball end of it. If there is a concern we want him to feel as comfortable as possible. We have not been there before. We just have this one weekend to judge and he's visited the other schools multiple times. That would be the only [concern]. The basketball, the city and the school speaks for itself. The tradition is very strong."

"The fit is so important for him off the court, because on the court he'll be able to fit in and adjust," Hood added.

Is Florida State still the team Louisville has to overcome to land Rodney Hood's commitment?

"Yeah, Florida State has been there not necessarily the longest, but they've been present and I think that is still the case," Hood said. "Florida State and possibly Mississippi State. All of them are still involved but it's a situation now [where] he is narrowing it down and getting close to making a decision. I think he's very close. This weekend will tell us everything we need to know outside of the possibility of us going to Georgetown."

As for the visit to Marquette last week, Hood said it was a 'good' trip.

"He had a good visit, he enjoyed the visit," Hood said. "The trip was actually his third time up there because he has really developed a good relationship with Buzz Williams and his staff and the guys that play up there. It was a good visit."


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