U of L basketball: Recruiting notebook

The University of Louisville basketball coaches are prepares to go back on the road in less then two weeks for three live recruiting periods. Cardinal Authority has a notebook of recruiting items looking at several prospects:

CARDS SHOWING MONK 'A WHOLE LOT' OF ATTENTION

Lepanto, Ark., East Poinsett County Class of 2016 shooting guard Malik Monk said he's not trying to focus too much on recruiting now.

The 6-foot-4 Monk has been a star with the Arkansas Wings this spring and is now considered the No. 9 prospect in the '16 class.

"I'm just trying to play and not worry about it all," Monk said, but added that it's getting harder with all of the calls he's received.

Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisville and Indiana were among the first to call on June 15, while he said the five showing the most interest have been UK, U of L, Florida, Arkansas and Indiana.

"A lot of contact from those," Monk said.

Monk said he didn't know a lot about U of L when they first started calling but is "trying to build a relationship," and noted he's hoping to make a visit to check out the Cardinals.

"Every program that is recruiting me plays up and down and that's what I like," Monk said. "I want someone that plays up-tempo."

U OF L INTERESTED IN NASHVILLE STAR

Nashville, Tenn., Christ Presbyterian '16 forward Braxton Blackwell has already made a couple of visits to Louisville.

Blackwell helped CPA win the King of the Bluegrass twice in the Louisville-area and he made it to campus both times he was in town.

Now, the Cardinals are showing interest in the 6-foot-6 top-50 prospect nationally.

"Louisville texted me on the first night and said they were going to recruit me," Blackwell said. "I like it up there and I like they are showing me interest.

"Coach Pitino is one of the greatest coaches of all time and I like the campus a lot."

Blackwell has offers from Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Tennessee, Memphis, and Ohio State, while also hearing from Virginia Commonwealth, Virginia and others.

On the first night juniors could hear from college coaches, Blackwell said Indiana coach Tom Crean was the first coach to call. VCU's Shaka Smart also called, while hearing from Oklahoma State and several others.

"It's all been fun," Blackwell said. "I wish everybody could go through it."

Blackwell is ranked as the No. 7 forward in the country by Scout.com. He's shown major improvement but many coaches vary on what position he will play in college.

"I think I am just more assertive on the floor now," Blackwell said. "I'm more comfortable and more aggressive. I've still have work to do.

"Some coaches say I could be a one and some say a two or a three," he said. "I could play the four, but I think a two or three."

Ray Smith CUTS LIST TO NINE

Las Vegas High School top-20 prospect Ray Smith narrowed his list of schools to nine.

Smith tweeted the list earlier this week, saying he cut it to Arizona, Arizona State, Texas, Connecticut, Louisville, Georgetown, UCLA, USC and California.

The 6-foot-8 Smith is expected to make a visit to U of L in mid-September.


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