Pitino's staff hits recruiting trail hard

Rick Pitino's staff has hit the recruiting trail hard since the start of the evaluation period last week, visiting key 2012 and 2013 prospects in at least eight states. InsideTheVille.com has a rundown.

Rick Pitino's staff has hit the recruiting trail hard since the start of the evaluation period late last week. Pitino and his assistants have visited prospects in California, Indiana, Virginia, New Hampshire, Ohio, New Jersey, Georgia and Kentucky.

The results of Louisville's efforts? A verbal commitment from 2012 point guard Terry Rozier, plus two official visits scheduled by top prospects Andrew White and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera.

Here's a quick recap to date:

Robert Upshaw, C, 2012 – Louisville assistant Wyking Jones made an in-home visit with the 7'0 center last Friday in Fresno, California. The Cardinals are one of nine schools still under consideration by the four-star prospect, who plans to make a decision in the spring. Upshaw told InsideTheVille.com the visit with Jones went extremely well and he has strong interest in Louisville.

Gary Harris, SG, 2012 – Rick Pitino made his top target a top priority, making an in-home visit Saturday with the five-star Indianapolis shooting guard. Though he told InsideTheVille.com that the visit with Pitino went well, Harris hadn't decided whether to make an official visit to Louisville, as of Monday night. It still looks like a trio of Big 10 programs – Indiana, Michigan State and Purdue - remain the favorites.

Terry Rozier, PG, 2012 – Rick Pitino had a busy day Saturday, meeting with Gary Harris for an in-home visit and watching Rozier during open gym at Shaker Heights H.S. in Cleveland, Ohio. The visit to see Rozier paid off for Pitino as Rozier committed to the Cardinals.

Andrew White, SG, 2012 – Louisville assistant Kevin Keatts paid a visit to the four-star wing prospect Tuesday in Charlottesville, Va. "He watched us practice for two hours," White informed InsideTheVille.com. White, who plans to make official visits to Kansas and Texas this month, has an official visit scheduled to Louisville Oct. 14-15, the same weekend as D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera.

D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, SG, 2012 – Keatts paid a visit to Smith-Rivera at Oak Hill Academy Saturday, and the four-star guard has scheduled an official visit to Louisville the weekend of October 14-15. Georgetown and Xavier appear the Cardinals primary competition for Smith-Rivera's services.

Tyler Ennis, PG, 2013 – Rick Pitino attended an open gym at Newark's St. Benedicts Prep Monday to watch the five-star 2013 point guard. Though Pitino wasn't allowed to speak with Ennis, per NCAA rules, the Canada-native had this to say about Pitino's visit:

"It was crazy because I see him in movies all the time," Ennis told fivestarbasketball.com. "You see him in documentaries, and he's in our gym watching me. So it was kind of just like an accomplishment."

Derek Willis, PF, 2013 – It's clear the 6'9 junior from Bullitt East is a top 2013 recruiting priority for Louisville. Rick Pitino recently went to see the Scout.com Top 50 prospect play during open gym. Louisville isn't the only school keeping tabs on the junior forward. Del Willis, Derek's father, told InsideTheVille.com that Indiana head coach Tom Crean is expected to see Willis this week, as are coaches from Stanford. Willis also told InsideTheVille.com that Derek plans to attend Kentucky's Big Blue Madness on October 14, and visit Indiana the following day.

Wednesday, Rick Pitino watched an open gym at New Hampshire's Tilton School, which features five-star 2013 C Nerlens Noel, four-star '13 C Goodluck Okonoboh and five-star 2014 shooting guard Wayne Seldon.

Brannen Greene, SG, 2013 - One of Louisville's assistants, thought to be Kevin Keatts, attended Greene's workout Wednesday in Georgia. Greene appears a top wing target for the Cardinals next year and has already made an unofficial visit to UofL.

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