Though Louisville head coach Rick Pitino isn't expected to be in attendance until Saturday, when the event will be in full swing, assistant Kevin Keatts was present Friday night keeping tabs on many of the Cards top prospects.
Two of Louisville's top 2013 center prospects, 6'9 Moses Kingsely and 6'8 Kennedy Meeks, were on display in the opening game. Keatts split time between the two courts both prospects were playing on before settling court side to watch Kingsely, who visited the Cardinals during the season.
A talented shot blocker, Kingsley made his presence felt early against CP3 on the defensive end, blocking and changing shots in the lane. After the break, the 215 pound New Albany, Miss., native threw down a handful of dunks and flashed his potential as an offensive rebounder, using his long wing span to grabbing misfired shots.
That game also featured CP3 stars Greg McClinton and Theo Pinson, a pair of Louisville recruiting targets. Though the 6'6 McClinton was quiet Friday night, he told InsideTheVille.com that he maintains regular contact with Keatts and lists the Cardinals in his Top 5. Pinson, a top 2014 wing, played well, draining deep threes and slashing for scores over Kingsely.
In the second game, Keatts kept tabs on Jaquan Lyle, one of the Top 20 2014 prospects from Evansville, Indiana. Lyle handled the ball for Indy Spiece Heat and showed an ability to beat his man off the bounce and find teammates for open looks underneath. He did over penetrate at times forcing turnovers, but made up for his mistakes at the defensive end with blocks in transition. Lyle has already visited the Cardinals and maintains contact with Keatts. After his opening round game, the 6'5 Lyle donned a UofL sweatshirt and told InsideTheVille.com he likes the Cardinals "a lot."
In the final game of the night, Keatts eyed 2013 prospects BeeJay Anya, a bruising 6'9, 270 pound big man from Hyattsville, MD., and Ishmail Wainright, a hulking 6'5 wing. Anya was dominant on the boards in the nightcap against the physically overmatched Southern Stampede. Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon stood next to Keatts during the game.
Game 1 StatisticsMoses Kingsley - 13 points, 6 rebounds, 6-6 FG, 6 TO
Theo Pinson - 15 points, 6-12 FG, 7 TO
Greg McClinton - 6 points, 7 rebounds
Kennedy Meeks - 2 points, 7 rebounds
Sidarius Thornwell - 16 points, 4 rebounds
Anthony Barber - 11 points, 6 assists, 2-8 FG
Jarquez Smith - 14 points, 8 rebounds, 7 blocks
Chinoso Obokoh - 14 points, 5 rebounds
Jaquan Lyle - 5 points, 4 assists, 6 TO
Beejay Anya - 6 points, 7 rebounds
Jimmy Taylor - 5 points, 4 blocks