Pitino's top assistant candidates emerging?

There have been a lot of names mentioned in Rick Pitino's assistant coaching search, but it seems a few candidates have risen to the top of the list.


Kevin Keatts
Current Position: Head Coach – Hargrave Military Academy
Scoop: Keatts, the wildly successful coach of prep powerhouse Hargrave Academy, has emerged, according to sources, as one of Rick Pitino's top candidates. Keatts was in Louisville this week to coach in the Derby Classic, and sources confirmed to InsideTheVille.com that he met with Pitino to talk about joining the Louisville coaching staff – a move Keatts certainly has interest in pursuing.
Take: Keatts has Division 1 coaching experience at Marshall, and has strong recruiting connections throughout the AAU circuit. Unlike Korrey McCray, the Atlanta Celtics AAU coach mentioned for an assistant coaching job at UCLA, Keatts' recruiting ties wouldn't be limited to a single AAU program. Keatts has particularly strong recruiting connections in Virginia and North Carolina. Keatts is a strong recruiter, has coached several NBA players at Hargrave and has won two national titles at Hargrave Academy.



Wyking Jones
Current Position: Assistant Coach – New Mexico
Scoop: Jones, who has strong Nike Grassroots connections, currently is an assistant coach at New Mexico under Steve Alford. A former player at Loyola Marymount, Jones has extremely strong ties on the west coast. According to the Albuquerque Journal, Jones has an offer from Louisville and will interview with Rick Pitino this weekend.
Take: On paper, Jones looks similar to former Louisville assistant coach Tim Fuller. Like Fuller, Jones has Nike Grassroots connections through his position as a former Nike traveling team manager. Those connections helped lure 6-9 UCLA transfer Drew Gordon, a former McDonald's All-American, to New Mexico.



Will Wade
Current Position: Assistant Coach – VCU
Scoop: Wade, who has already interviewed with Louisville, is one of the fastest rising young assistants in college basketball. A native of Nashville, the hard working Wade is noted for his organization and attention to detail. His stock is clearly on the rise after helping VCU's surprising run to the Final 4 this year.
Take: Wade was under consideration to join Billy Donovan's staff at Florida, and draws wide-ranging praise from basketball analysts across the board. He's highly regarded as a young recruiter, has excellent connections and would certainly be a solid hire. At 28, is he ready for a job at Louisville?



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