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.
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
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.