Cards have talented recruiting options in Class of 2004
All spring we've focused our attention on Coach Pitino's top recruiting targets in the class of 2004, bringing our subscribers profiles, interviews and evaluations of these prospects. During the past couple of months, we've followed up on the players Coach Pitino visited during the April contact period, offered scholarships to and evaluated at various AAU events.
However, there are several highly ranked players that we haven't devoted much attention yet because they didn't appear to be Coach Pitino's top recruiting priorities early in the spring. These players surely have received interest from UofL and in most cases the players list the Cards very highly on their early lists.
And if some of Coach Pitino's top recruiting priorities choose to sign elsewhere, these players could become more involved with the Cards recruiting plans as the summer goes on. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the players that could turn into prime recruiting prospects for the Cards in the class of 2004.
6'5 Robert Vaden of Indianapolis Pike is one of the top wing players and best offensive talents in the class of 2004. He has great size, is extemely athletic, and an excellent three point shooter. He averaged 14 points and 6 rebounds and led a balanced Pike team to an undefeated 29-0 record and the Indiana State Championship last season. Vaden committed to Purdue as a freshman but recently de-committed from Boilermakers and has since reopened his recruitment. He's looking for an up-tempo program that emphasizes strong defensive play. Vaden continues to list Purdue along with UofL, UK and Indiana.
Another Indiana standout that has drawn serious interest from Louisville is 6'9, 300 lefty Carl Swanagan. Swanagan plays for Mark Adams Indiana Red AAU program and made quite an impression on Coach Pitino in Texas earlier this spring. With Pitino in the stands, Swanagan dominated 6'11 LaMarcus Aldridge, one of the nation's top players, scoring 22 points and grabbing a boat load of rebounds. Louisville assistant Kevin Willard evaluated Swanagan repeatedly while in Texas and he's likely emerged as one of the top recruiting priorities for the Cards. However, Swanagan has some academic issues to address and may be forced to attend prep school, thus reclassifying him as a member of the 2005 class.
Continuing the Indiana trend of players with interest in Louisville, 6'7 Bil Duany, Swanagan's Indiana Red teammate on the AAU circuit has mentioned the Cards as one of his top choices this spring. Duany, from Bloomington North High, is extremely athletic and has solid wing skills. Duany, the younger brother of former Syracuse forward Kueth Duany and Wisconsin guard Duany Duany, lists Purdue, UofL, and Miami (FL) among others.
6'1 Cedric Jackson is a big time combo guard who can put points on the board in bunches. Jackson, from North Burlington High School in New Jersey, averaged 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists last season. Jackson has interest from several Big East schools but recently told Bob Gibbons that he really liked Louisville, in addition to Oklahoma and Maryland.
6'9 Richard Dorsey, a talented teammate of Louisville prospect Mohammad Tangara at Mt. Zion Christian Academy in Durham, N.C. averaged 12 points, 9 boards and 3 blocks last season for Coach Tony Fozard. Dorsey is receiving heavy interest from several C-USA schools, including Memphis, UofL, Cincy, and Charlotte. UCONN, Florida State and other schools along the east coast are also involved in Dorsey's recruitment.
6'7 Ty Morrison of Trevor Browne High School in Phoenix, AZ is a talented and athletic wing forward. Morrison, the Arizona High School Player of the Year in 2003, averaged a double – double as a junior and is generally regarded as the top prospect in Arizona. Morrison has been invited to the ABCD camp this summer. Morrison, who plays for the Compton Magic on the Adidas AAU circuit likes Louisville, Oregon, Arizona State, Illinois, and Arizona.
6'8 PF Taj Gray of Redlands (OK) C.C. has received interest from the Cards. Gray, a second team NJCAA All-American as a freshman at Redlands, is considered one of the top players in the junior college ranks. Gray averaged 16 points and 8 rebounds last season and led Redlands to the NJCAA playoffs in Hutchinson, Kansas. Coach Pitino traveled to Oklahoma during the season to evaluate Gray in action and was obviously impressed as Gray receives a lot of mail from the UofL basketball office. Gray will be heavily recruited next season by a host of nationally ranked programs.
5'11 Dupree Fletcher of King High School in Milwaukee, WI is a talented point guard with excellent scoring ability. Fletcher, who plays for DTA Wisconsin on the Adidas AAU circuit, led King High to the Wisconsin State Title in 2003. Fletcher averaged 15 points, 4 assists and 4 steals per game and has an offer from Ohio State, the presumptive favorite for his services. Fletcher also likes Louisville, Florida, Depaul, Virginia, Wisconsin and Marquette.