ITV News and Notes

Another jam packed installment of ITV News and Notes. Updates on BJ Vickers, Antwuan Giddens, Eddie Miller, ABCD and Nike camp, Brian Johnson, Minardi Hall, the assistant coaching search, football practice, conference expansion and much more....

ITV News and Notes

Miami and Virginia Tech have moved on to the ACC and the Cards await a decision on their conference future. But expansion isn't the only thing happening around the Belknap campus this week.

The 2003 UofL Basketball camp ended last week and several of the players have returned home to visit family and friends. The SportGrass from the Stadium has been removed and construction on Minardi Hall is progressing nicely.

Next week, our focus will turn to the major national high school basketball camps and hoops recruiting will be in full swing.

Until then, here are some news and notes from around campus this week.

  • With the old SportGrass turf now gone from the playing surface at PJCS and installation of Field Turf set to begin, we understand the look and graphics on the field won't differ much from last years design. Apparently, the winged bird will still be at midfield and the end zones will be virtually the same as last season. There will also be graduated red sideline stripe behind both end zones. Other than that, it won't be much different.

  • All quiet on the assistant coaching front. We've heard that tons of coaches from all levels around the country have sent applications and made interview requests. Names like Matt Doherty, Mitch Bunaguro, Greg Vetrone, Tom Abetamarco, and Rex Chapman are just a few of the names that have surfaced publicly. And while Vetrone was ruled out weeks ago and Chapman won't happen, we think Coach Pitino has a rabbit up his sleeve on this one. Might the coach of a high profile recruit be in line for the job? Anything is possible.

  • ACC rumors and speculation, some from credible sources, simply won't die. Though we know the Big East and Louisville have long had mutual interest and we've expected the marriage between the two for some time, it wouldn't shock us to wake up one morning and read the headline in some national newspaper…Cards ACC Bound!! Then again, the smart money still remains on UofL to the Big East by the end of the summer.

  • Construction at Billy Minardi Hall is coming along nicely. The exterior appears nearly complete and work on the interior is progressing rapidly. Dry wall is in place throughout much of the residence, the air conditioning unit cranks out cold air throughout and extras like the fireplaces are in place. The new housing facility will have 38 beds of which 49% will utilized for team members. The remaining units will be used for general student population. When finished, the new residence for the men's basketball program will serve as an enormous recruiting tool for Coach Pitino and his coaching staff. Construction is scheduled to be completed by early fall.

  • With limited scholarships to grant to the class of 2004, North Carolina's loss could be Louisville's gain. In this case, we're referring to 6'9 Brian Johnson of Bishop O'Connell High School in Arlington, VA. Reportedly, 6'8 Marvin Williams will commit to the Tar Heels this weekend, essentially grabbing the scholarship that might have been extended to Johnson had Williams picked Washington or Arizona. And while the native North Carolinian has always dreamed of playing in Carolina Blue, it might not matter where Williams winds up because Roy Williams hasn't shown interest this spring and summer in Johnson. Johnson told ITV's sister website InsideCarolina this week that UofL and UNC were at the top of his list.

  • With the UofL basketball camp ending last Thursday, several of the players have returned home to visit with family and friends this week. Most are scheduled to return next week for the start of the midsummer academic session. And while we've missed the guys not being in action this week, their break and visit home is well deserved. They've worked extremely hard this offseason and the time away from UofL and teammates should refresh them for the rest of summer.

  • The adidas ABCD and Nike All-American basketball camps will be in full swing next week and the summer recruiting race will begin to heat up rapidly. Coach Pitino and assistants Kevin Willard and Vince Taylor won't get much rest this month as they'll be evaluating talent all over the country almost the entire month of July. Players to keep an eye; 6'0 Sebastian Telfair, 6'1 Rajon Rondo, 6'9 Mohamed Tangara, 6'11 Aaron Agnew, 6'9 Brian Johnson, and 6'8 Tello Palacios.

  • ITV recently spoke with incoming freshmen BJ Vickers and Antwuan Giddens and learned that the two are spending time working out and preparing for college by taking a course at a nearby community college. Vickers is currently taking Business Marketing, while Giddens is studying Biology. Both players mentioned that they decided to take a college course during the summer to help with their preperation for attending U of L. Vickers is still anticipating the possibility of playing as a true freshmen and is awaiting the score from his final test, which is due to arrive within two weeks. Giddens informed ITV that he discussed his goals as a freshman at Louisville with his family and that it would be more beneficial for him to redshirt his freshman year. He told ITV that by doing so he can give more attention to school work and learning the new offense. Both will arrive in Louisville in early August.

  • Incoming freshman Eddie Miller, rated the nation's #3 high school QB last year by Max Emfinger, spent the past few weeks working at the Air 7 Quarterback Camp in Southern California. Air 7 is a camp that was started by former college and NFL quarterback Steve Clarkson and it's purpose is to tutor future Division IA quarterbacks. Casey Clausen attended the camp prior to leaving for Tennessee, as did his little brother Rick, who now plays at LSU. Eddie will arrive in Louisville this coming Sunday.

  • Danny Barlowe and Ryan Holifield are on campus. The incoming freshmen offensive linemen have arrived on campus and have started working out with the team. Barlowe (6'5, 280) and Holifield (6'6, 270) are both expected to redshirt the upcoming season.

  • ITV has learned that practice will begin on August 7th, with all players reporting on that day. The first few days of practice will run from 3:30 p.m. through 6:30 p.m. The returning players will report to practice at 4:30 for the first few initial practices, allowing the freshmen to spend an extra hour per session with the coaching staff. Two-a-day's will begin on August 12th.



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