Top UofL prospects at TOC
Many of Coach Pitino's top 2004 recruiting targets will be in action this weekend at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions held in Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh, NC. And while I'll be at the Nike Memorial Day Classic in Bloomington, IN, TheInsiders own Dave Telep will have us covered. We'll also check in with some of our sources in attendance at the TOC who will provide Cardinal fans the best coverage from this weekend's TOC.
The Tournament of Champions is one of the top AAU events of the spring and is always loaded with the top players from around the nation. And this year's event will be no different.
One local team, Coach Kris Vance's Derek Smith All Stars will travel to the TOC loaded with the top players the state of Kentucky has to offer. Coach Vance has assembled an excellent team led by the talented backcourt of 6'2 PG Rajon Rondo and 6'1 sharp shooter, Chris Lofton, the MVP of the 2003 Kentucky Sweet 16. Rondo, who is looking to transfer from Eastern High, has named Louisville and Indiana as his top two, followed by Kentucky, N.C. State and others. Lofton is still involved with the Cards but many other schools are now actively recruiting the sweet shooting guard from Mason County High School.
Several other top UofL prospects will be accounted for at this weekend's event, including:
Top point guard prospect, Sebastian Telfair, will play for Coach Tiny Morton's Juice All-Stars in what will be one of his few outings of the spring so far. Telfair, who met recently with Coach Pitino is being heavily courted by UCLA, Memphis, Arizona, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Duke and several other nationally competitive programs
6'6 SF J.R. Smith and PG Cedric Jackson from North Burlington High (NJ) will lead the loaded Playaz into action. Smith indicated earlier this spring he was close to making a commitment to Louisville but has since reopened his recruitment. N.C. State is said to be making a hard push for Smith's services. Jackson is one of the top guards in the state of New Jersey and averaged 23.7 ppg last season. Jackson likes Louisville, Oklahoma and Rutgers and is receiving lots of attention from several Big East programs.
6'11 Randolph Morris will suit up for the Atlanta Celtics in what likely will be the top frontcourt in the tournament along with Dwight Howard and Josh Smith. Morris received a visit from Coach Pitino in April and according to Morris' high school coach Brian Bartley will likely visit the UofL campus in the fall.
6'9 Mohammad Tangara will lace them up for Linzy Davis' Team Georgia Elite and 6'6 PG Shaun Livingston will lead Ft. Sooy No Limit in action. Tangara is one of the top prospects in the nation and lists Louisville, Memphis, Arizona, Michigan, Duke and Kansas. The Cards and Tigers have offered. Livingston has narrowed his list to six school, including Illinois, Kansas, Louisville, and Arizona among others.
6'10 David Burgess, the brother of former Duke player Chris Burgess, lists UCLA and Louisville as his favorites. Burgess will travel from Los Angeles to lead the Southern California All Stars this weekend.
PG prospect, 6'1 Josh Wright will lead Gary Charles' Long Island Panthers. Wright has an offer from Coach Pitino but appears a back up option at this point.
And 6'9 Glen Davis, MVP of the Adidas Texas Classic a few weeks back, will attempt to lead Louisiana Sports Academy to its second major AAU title of the spring. Davis is big and talented, tipping the scales at over 300 pounds. He lists Louisville with a host of SEC programs, including LSU and Mississippi State at this time.