Louisville tops Rozier's list

Terry Rozier, a rising 2012 point guard from Shaker Heights, Ohio, plans to visit Louisville, Illinois and Cincinnati next month, and it's clear the Bearcats and Illini have their work cut out to overtake Rick Pitino's program.

Terry Rozier, a rising point guard from Cleveland (OH) Shaker Heights, plans to visit Louisville, Illinois, Cincinnati, and maybe two other schools, in September before making a college decision.

"I know I'm going on official visits to Louisville, Illinois, Cincinnati and I think Miami, Oregon or USC," Rozier said. "That's all happening in September. I think I'm going to Louisville September 24."

As Rozier gets ready to make his official visits next month, Louisville is the team to beat for the 6'1, 165-pound Scout.com three-star prospect.

"Louisville is my dream school," Rozier said. "I love everything about them. Coach (Rick) Pitino is a great guy. Plus, I love the way they play defense. I've loved the school since I was young – I've watched them since I was in sixth grade. They're high on my list."

Another factor in Louisville's favor is Cleveland native Zach Price, a freshman center for Pitino's Cardinals.

Rozier plans to visit Louisville, Illinois and Cincinnati.
"He's my cousin," said Rozier, who averaged 18 points and 3.4 assists as a junior. "He says it's a blessing to play for Louisville. He told me how much he loves it there so I'm going there for a visit to see how much I like it, and I know I'll like it there. He said I'll love it when I visit."

Rozier was one of the fastest-rising point guards nationally during the July evaluation period and caught Pitino's eye with strong play at the LeBron James Skills Academy. Rozier followed that with another strong performance at the Nike Peach Jam, earning an invite to play in the Nike Global Challenge, where he competed against teams from Brazil, Canada, China, Germany and Puerto Rico.

Louisville has been searching for a point guard in the Class of 2012, and Rozier appears to have moved to the top of Pitino's list after Kris Dunn committed to Providence this week. Assistant Richard Pitino has developed a solid relationship with Rozier that has positioned the Cardinals favorably in his recruitment.

"I talk to Richard Pitino a lot through email and I've talked to Rick Pitino a couple times on the phone," Rozier said. "They've shown me a lot of love. They told me they like that I go inside and rebound and they say I'm a tough point guard. They said that's what they need right now – a true point guard.

"I'm looking for a father-son relationship with the coaches. Both of the Pitino's seem cool and my coach talked to another assistant and it seems like they love me. Hopefully it (works out)."

Illinois and Cincinnati are also in the mix, and both programs have offered a scholarship to Rozier.

"If I were to stay in Ohio I would probably go to Cincinnati, but I'm not sure I want to stay in Ohio," Rozier said. "Illinois got in on me early and I like the school, but there's nothing I can say until I go on the visit."

In a class that lacks quality depth at point guard, Rozier, rated the No. 20 point guard prospect in the nation, enters the fall in demand by college coaches after showing he's making a successful transition from combo guard to pure point guard this summer.

"I think I've shown I could play defense and be a competitor," Rozier said. "I played with an edge this summer because I was a kid nobody knew and I went out there and played hard and showed what I can do. I love to create for my teammates and I'm an active guard who is becoming a true point guard and a leader."

Scout.com national recruiting director Evan Daniels listed Rozier as one of the summer's top ‘risers.'

"(Rozier) was great at the LeBron James Skills Academy and then followed it up with another solid performance at the Peach Jam," Daniels said. "The athletically gifted point guard…..now (has become) a priority recruit for high-major schools. Rozier's athleticism and ability to beat defenders off the dribble combined with his energy and shot making made him a very popular target for coaches."

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