Stephen Zimmerman after Pitino visit: 'Wow'

University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino was in Las Vegas today checking on a couple of prospects, including top junior Stephen Zimmerman. Cardinal Authority has the latest on how the visit with the family went on Wednesday.

Lori Stevens, the mother of the No. 2 player in the rankings of the Class of 2015, said her son Stephen Zimmerman is a laid back and even-keeled kid who doesn't get caught up in all of the hype.

But Stevens admitted even the 7-foot, 230-pound Zimmerman was impressed by a visit today from University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino.

"When he walked out, Stephen was like ‘Wow, that was good'," Stevens said. "We were very impressed with coach Pitino. Very impressed."

Zimmerman, who is ranked as the No. 1 center in the '15 class, attends Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School. He was offered a scholarship by U of L in June and was tracked by Pitino and his assistant coaches during the summer.

Stevens said her son has had contact with Pitino via text message and on the phones but this was the first time the family had face-to-face contact with the newest member of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.

U of L assistant coach Wyking Jones has been recruiting Zimmerman, while assistant coach Mike Balado was with Pitino on Wednesday.

"Wow," Stevens said. "He was very impressive. Coach explained his style to Stephen and talked about the campus, the player's dorm and his team. He showed us a video and he was just very impressive."

Stevens said the family also spoke to Pitino about last week's Hall of Fame ceremony, which included former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian.

"We were talking to him about coach Tark being there and all," she said. "He's just a very nice and personable man.

"We didn't have a clear feeling of where we stood with them going in. We were surprised on June 15 when we got a text from Louisville. But we very much feel like Stephen is one of their top priorities (in the class) now."

Stevens said Zimmerman is "very much so," interested in the Cardinals.

Zimmerman has a bunch of offers, including Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Baylor, Indiana, Texas, Ohio State and plenty of others.

"I am real blessed that I can and also real blessed that I have people around me that will help me through it," Zimmerman recently told Cardinal Authority about the recruiting process. "It's crazy. Two years ago, I never would have guessed I would be here. I just have to make the right decisions for me."

Stevens said the recruiting process "started off crazy," but noted the family is getting used to it by now. She said the family is unsure now when – or if – he will narrow his list of schools or make any visits.

"Because of the high school season and everything being so jam-packed, he might just have to make some tough decisions and narrow it sometime to the five official visits he wants to make," she said. "We'll see."

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