University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino spent some time recruiting in Florida today, watching three prospects for the future.
Pitino - and assistant coach Mike Balado - started at Tampa, Fla., Prep where he watched 2016 forward Juwan Durham. The 6-foot-9 Durham is a five-star prospect who is ranked as the No. 24 prospect nationally.
U of L offered Durham a scholarship more than a year ago and Pitino watched him several times during the summer recruiting period.
Pitino and Balado then went to Oldsmar, Fla., Christian to see 2016 guard Eric Hester. The 6-foot-3 Hester is ranked as the No. 97 prospect in the '16 class.
A top target for the Cardinals in '16, Hester has also been on the Cardinals' radar for more than a year. Olsdmar coach Jordan Fair said Pitino seemed impressed again.
"Pitino said he fits well with what they do," Fair said. "And I do. I think defensively he fits in extremely well. I personally think he's the best defender in the 2016 class, in the guard spot. But I am a little biased.
"I think offensively, the way they run the two point guard set would greatly benefit him. I really think he would thrive in their two point guard set."
Fair said Hester - who has offers from U of L, Florida, Miami, Central Florida, Florida State, South Florida, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Georgia Tech and Mississippi - has "improved a lot" since the end of the summer.
"He has become such a better leader and has become a much better shooter," Fair said. "I always thought he shot it well. But he has become a much better leader and more comfortable at the point guard position."
Fair said Pitino was also watching one of his younger guys to evaluate him - 2017 combo guard L.J. Figueroa. The 6-foot-5 Figueroa has a 7-foot wing span and Fair said he "is really long and lanky. He's young and can really score the ball."