U of L has "high-level pitch" in recruiting

Already finished in the Class of 2013, the University of Louisville basketball staff heads on the road in the coming weeks trying to fill the Class of 2014 with a national championship on the resume. What will the title do for the Cardinals' recruiting efforts in the coming months? Cardinal Authority has the story.

University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino has landed top-10 recruiting classes two of the past three years.

And the Cardinals already have two top-35 commitments for the Class of 2014, which is the class that will sign in November.

Now, the U of L staff heads back onto the road next week for the first of two live evaluation periods in the spring with a new NCAA Tournament national championship on the resume.

Pitino said after beating Michigan on Monday night the title would help on the recruiting trail and assistant coach Kevin Keatts said "it's always nice to be able to show a kid you are recruiting that you are winning."

Scout.com national recruiting analyst Evan Daniels said the Cardinals recent success, which includes back-to-back Final Four appearances, should lead to even more success on the recruiting front for the Cardinals.

"Louisville has a high-level pitch on the recruiting trail," Daniels said. "They are coming off a National Championship and a Final Four the year before. They are winning. They are developing players and they have a Hall of Fame coach. There's a lot to sell about their program right now."

The Cardinals already have Ballard point guard Quentin Snider, the No. 24 player in the '14 class, and Seattle small forward Shaqquan Aaron, who is ranked No. 34, committed in the class.

Louisville has been mentioned with 17 of the top 50 prospects in '14.

"The visibility of winning a national championship is the best pitch a school could possibly have," Daniels said. "Louisville hit all of their top targets the morning after winning their title and it's sure to help them.

"Louisville has done a great job on the recruiting trail the past few years and it doesn't appear to be slowing down, as this type of success will only help them."

Among the top targets remaining for U of L is Indianapolis Tech forward Trey Lyles, who received one of the first text messages after the Cardinals' won the title. The 6-foot-9 Lyles is the No. 4 player in the '14 class.

Other guys the staff hit up early after being crowned champions were Jaquan Lyle, Isaiah Whitehead, Jalen Lindsey and D'Angelo Russell among others.

Lyle is a 6-foot-4 point guard from Evansville Bosse and ranked No. 12, while Lindsey is a 6-6 wing from Nashville Christ Presbyterian and is ranked No. 25 and the 6-4 Whitehead is from Brooklyn and ranked No. 43.

Russell, who picked up an offer from North Carolina on Friday, is a former Central High School star. He's ranked No. 11 and attends Montverde Academy.

The Cardinals have also been mentioned with some of the top centers in the country, including Jahlil Okafor, Cliff Alexander, Elbert Robinson and Khadeem Lattin. Okafor is the No. 1 player in the class and Alexander is No. 5.

"They're in with a lot of good guys," Daniels said.

The first weekend coached are allowed back on the road is April 19-21 and then again on April 26-28. The U of L staff will have a little extra bounce in their step.

"We continue to grind and we continue to recruit and get after it," assistant coach Wyking Jones said. "It's not long and we're going to be back out on the road. But I will tell you, being on the road with a national championship in my pocket is going to be a nice feeling."

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