Harris says Louisville visit perfect '10'

Malek Harris, one of the top 2014 prospects in Illinois, made his first college visit to Louisville Friday. Harris told InsideTheVille.com that the Cardinals set the bar high for Indiana, where the 6'6 forward will visit next week.

Malek Harris, one of the top 2014 prospects in Illinois, made his first college visit to Louisville Friday. Harris told InsideTheVille.com that the Cardinals set the bar high for Indiana, where the 6'6 forward will visit next week.

Harris, his mother and AAU teammate Keita Bates-Diop, one of the Top 40 prospects in the Class of 2014, made the five hour drive from Illinois to Louisville yesterday. While on campus, Harris and Bates-Diop toured Louisville's facilities, watched the UofL players workout and met Rick Pitino.

Harris told InsideTheVille.com Saturday afternoon that the unofficial visit was "definitely a 10."

"It was great," Harris said. "Louisville is the first college I've visited and from what I know they have the best facilities. It was a beautiful place and a great experience for me and my mom. We liked everything that we saw and had a lot of fun with the coaches and [players]."

Harris said that he and Bates-Diop, a 6'7 forward from Normal, Ill., were together for the duration of the visit.

"We did everything together," said Harris. "You don't have to say the visit was great. I don't think we went a couple minutes not smiling while we were there. I know Keita had a great time and he did tell me it was the best visit and he has visited a lot of colleges. He told me it was the best facility he has visited. I know he had a great time."

Harris said he enjoyed meeting several of the Louisville players after they finished working out.

"I met Wayne Blackshear, Peyton Siva, Russ Smith and Chane Behanan," Harris said. "And I met Coach Pitino. They were all great people and the players, watching them workout, showed me what direction I need to go in so one day I can be an effective Division 1 player like they all are. Right after they got done working out they came over and introduced themselves and talked to us and they didn't have to. I liked that a lot."


Malek Harris told InsideTheVille.com that he and Keita Bates-Diop "didn't go a minute without smiling" during their visit to Louisville Friday.
Harris and his mom also enjoyed meeting Pitino, who guided the Cardinals to the program's ninth Final Four in April.

"We didn't get time to sit down and talk, but we talked to him on the court," Harris said. "Kareem [Richardson] did tell me they were very interested in me or I wouldn't be on campus. Coach Pitino talked to me and my mom about the general things, like how he doesn't allow his kids to have Twitter and Facebook because of the problems that it causes. He was a very cool guy and down to earth. It didn't seem like I was talking to a legend, he seemed like a normal person. My mom loved him and said she hoped they offer me one day because she loves Coach Pitino and the school."

Harris came away most impressed with Louisville's work ethic and coaching staff.

"If you go there for one day you can see why they could be the best team in the nation because those kids work hard," he said. "After two of their workouts I would have been drained but they were still going.

"Also they're not just a basketball team. Off the court, that staff takes care of those kids there and help them out everyday. I think that's why they work hard so hard because they know who they're doing it for and representing Louisville."

Harris plans to visit Tom Crean's Indiana program next week, and is also considering visits to Miami, Ohio, Iowa and Oregon State this summer. Though Harris is still early in his recruiting process and doesn't have a list of favorites, it's clear the Cardinals set the bar high for the other schools recruiting him.

"I have an Indiana visit coming up June 8," Harris said. "I'm really looking forward to seeing more colleges. Miami Ohio, Oregon State and Iowa are trying to get me to visit. I'm looking forward to setting more visits up after Indiana.

"Louisville is definitely a great school and I would love to [consider] signing with them my senior year. I'm going to wait until I look at all the schools. I don't had a list of favorites because I don't know enough about the colleges, but I think I know enough about Louisville."


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