Louisville is searching for a point guard

The University of Louisville basketball staff is searching for a point guard in the Class of 2013. What is the staff telling the top few targets at that position?

The staff is leaving no doubt they'll bring in a point guard for the Class of 2013, despite some questions about how many will be on the roster.

The top three targets for that position – Anthony Barber, Demetrius Jackson and Tyler Ennis – told Cardinal Authority the staff has talked to each about being the heir apparent to senior guard Peyton Siva.

"They told me they need somebody to come in and replace him," Barber said. "They said they really need somebody and what a good situation it was for me."

Jackson and Ennis echoed those sentiments.

Rick Pitino and staff have Siva, a senior, on the roster and the only other true point guard in question is Terry Rozier. The expected incoming freshman still hasn't qualified academically to play this season and could have to go to prep school.

"The coaches said they have a spot there to fill," Ennis said. "They said they need a replacement for Peyton Siva and they said they have some combo guards, like Kevin Ware, who could play the point. But they really want a point guard.

"They've talked about that quite a bit."

U of L does have Ballard's Quentin Snider coming in the Class of 2014. He's considered one of the top point guards in the country.

But they need someone to run the team in 201, especially if Rozier doesn't make it.

And they have a few candidates.

Barber, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound prospect, is the top target on the list. He's ranked No. 9 in the Class of 2013 by Scout.com and has narrowed his list to U of L, Kansas, Alabama and North Carolina State.

Barber, who has been sensational this spring and summer on the AAU and camp circuit, said he would visit U of L at some point in the next month. He was a standout at the NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp and LeBron James Skills Academy.

"They really have (made up ground)," Barber said. "I like the way they play and I like the situation there at Louisville. I'll just have to see."

The 6-foot-1 Jackson picked up an offer from U of L last week and has moved up the list of targets in a hurry with his stellar play. Jackson has offers from Butler, Notre Dame, Illinois, Kansas and U of L and is also looking at Michigan State.

Jackson said he would make a decision before his high school season – after making some visits – and said the U of L coaches have laid out the playing time situation.

"They told me they needed a point guard in this class and that I could come in and play right away," Jackson said. "They're bringing in a point guard."

After Pitino first saw Jackson play in Indianapolis at the adidas Invitational, the two exchanged text messages. Jackson said he told him that, "he didn't know he was going to watch Peyton Siva's replacement."

Jackson is the No. 9 point guard in the class by Scout.com and No. 43 overall.

The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Ennis is ranked No. 22 overall and is the No. 4 point guard and said Syracuse, Illinois and U of L are "coming after me the hardest."

"No one is sticking out right now," said Ennis, who said a few visits could be coming in early August before he makes a decision.

U of L has also made contact with and is actively recruiting former Tennessee signee Chris Jones, who is now at Northwest Florida State junior college.

Jones helped guide Northwest Florida State to a 29-1 regular-season record and a runner-up spot in the NJCAA Division I National Tournament last season, averaging 18 points, five rebounds and four assists a game.

U of L assistant coach Kevin Keatts spent part of the day on Sunday at the All-American JUCO Showcase Elite 80 event in Aiken, S.C., where Jones was playing.

The staff is trying to get a point.


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