Pitino says Louisville class his 'best'

University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino announced his three-man signing class on Monday and said it could end up being the best he's recruited at the school. Deng Adel, Donovan Mitchell and Ray Spalding make up the Scout.com No. 4 class.

While University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino said he's likely not finished with the Class of 2015, the Hall of Fame coach is excited about the players he has.

Pitino announced the signing of Deng Adel, Ray Spalding and Donovan Mitchell and called them "one of the best recruiting classes we have had since I have been here."

"We had to have an impactful year in recruiting because of what we are losing," Pitino said. "We had to recruit people who were ready to play right away and certainly these young men are ready. I really like this class.

"They are good players and have good character."

Pitino talked about each of the kids and noted his "entire staff" needed credit for the class. He said Kenny Johnson was the point man on Mitchell and Balado on Adel but "we all did it as a team. We all recruited them all."

When introducing Mitchell, Pitino told the story of how his son, Ryan, tipped him off on the guard from Greenwich, Conn., two years ago but the coach dismissed it. He watched Mitchell with Johnson this summer and "fell for him in five minutes."

Mitchell is a 6-foot-3 guard who attends Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., who averaged 11.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists as a junior.

"He's a human highlight every time down the court," Pitino said. "I just fell in love with his game and then I spoke to him on the phone and I realized that I have another person with the character of Peyton Siva."

The 6-foot-10 Spalding is a favorite for Mr. Basketball honors during his senior season at Trinity High School. He averaged 13.4 points and 10.3 rebounds as a junior for the Shamrocks and was the second of the three players to commit to U of L.

"He's one of the best to come out (Louisville) since (Rajon) Rondo," Pitino said. "When he gets to the point where he says, 'I'm going to impact every play on the court offensively and defensively' – when he reaches that point, look out. We're going to have one of the best players in the country. But he's not to that point just yet."

The 6-7 Adel is from Australia and a native of Sudan who is playing at Bradenton, Fla., Victory Rock Prep for Pitino's longtime friend Loren Jackson. Pitino said Adel is one of the "premier wings we have recruited in quite some time."

"He's good at all phases of the game," Pitino said. "He can flat-out defend you at one end and turn around, make the shot and get to the offensive glass. He's an outstanding wing basketball player with size, physical ability to play right away.

"He's ready to play defensively, which very few are as freshmen."


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