Though Peyton Siva still has two years of remaining eligibility for the Cardinals, Pitino doesn't really have a viable option behind the talented junior from Seattle at the moment. Rozier, regarded as one of the nation's Top 20 lead guards, is expected to play a key reserve role for the Cardinals in 2012-13.
"They need somebody that can handle point guard duties when Peyton Siva takes a seat and I definitely think he's a guy that can do that," Scout.com national recruiting analyst Evan Daniels told InsideTheVille.com. "I think he's a true point guard. The kid can score, but he creates for others. He's certainly still learning and developing at point guard but I do think with time he can be pretty good."
Like Siva, Rozier will arrive at Louisville needing to learn the finer points of the point guard position. An accomplished scorer, Rozier plays both guard positions in high school. At Louisville, he's expected to play the point.
"He's still learning to become a point guard, but he's very athletic," said Scout.com analyst Brian Snow. "He's a kid that has come out of nowhere….he was on a (poor) AAU team and no one really knew who he was. Then he had a real good junior year and he's coming along in a real big way."
Rozier made a name for himself this summer. His rise began at the LeBron James Skills Academy, an invitation-only camp for the top high school prospects in the Nike grassroots AAU system. The 6'1, 167-pound Rozier followed up his strong performance at Lebron James with a solid effort at the Nike Peach Jam, earning an invitation to the prestigious Nike Global Challenge in Portland, Oregon.
"His coming out party this summer was Lebron James," Daniels said. "He really excelled in that fast-paced, up-tempo environment. He played as well as any guard at that camp. He's getting better at just the right time. He's fast and athletic. At this point, I would like to see him play with more consistency, but he did have a good July."
Rozier's combination of athleticism and quickness should make him an ideal fit for Pitino's pressing system at Louisville.
"I do think he's a good fit for what Louisville wants to do," Daniels said. "They've got a guy in Peyton Siva that is handling the point guard duties now and assuming he sticks around for next season, Rozier will back him up and may be the future point guard. I think he's capable.
"He's a pretty good shooter. I've always thought he's a guy with (considerable) upside. He has the tools. Now, it's just putting it all together, being consistent and replicating his performance from Lebron James. He's going to have to get stronger and develop his middle game, but consistency is the key. I've seen him have some pretty good performances and I've also seen him disappear at times. I think he's got a chance to be pretty good."
Snow called Rozer, who averaged 18.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists as a junior, one of the better point guards available in the 2012 class nationally.
"He's one of the best rebounding point guards in the country and he does a little bit of everything," Snow said. "He's a pretty good outside shooter and he can get to the rim. His best basketball is certainly ahead of him, but he's got all the tools to be a very good player."
Snow believes Rozier's biggest strengths are his, "athleticism and quickness."
"He's a very good athlete and that allows him to be versatile and play multiple positions offensively and defensively," Snow said. "(Because) he's so athletic, is a good defender and does so many things I think he can give some minutes right away. But it's going to be a little bit of a process for him. He's still a late developer who is learning to play the game."
Snow says Rozier is still learning the nuances of playing the point.
"He doesn't make bad decisions but he has to learn not to over penetrate when he gets in the lane, where to hit the big guy with the pass and getting the ball to his shooters on the outside in time," said Snow. "He's still rough around the edges in that regard, but that's stuff that is teachable."
With Rozier in the fold, Pitino's recruiting focus will turn toward a pair of talented wing prospects – five-star Indianapolis shooting guard Gary Harris and four-star Virginia wing Andrew White. Pitino made an in-home visit with Harris on Saturday and the Cardinals are hoping to receive an official visit. White is scheduled to take an official visit to Louisville October 15.
"They're certainly targeting Gary Harris and that's not a race that they're going to pull out of," Daniels said. "Outside of him, they're recruiting Andrew White pretty hard."