U of L hoops: Evaluation day one

SUWANEE, Ga. - With head coach Rick Pitino and assistant Mike Balado in Puerto Rico coaching that countries national team, the rest of the University of Louisville basketball staff hit the road on Wednesday night. Cardinal Authority has the latest on where assistant coaches Ralph Willard and Kenny Johnson and director of operations David Padgett were on the first night of the evaluation period.

University of Louisville assistant basketball coach Kenny Johnson started the evaluation period in Charlotte, N.C., watching two of the top targets in the Class of 2016 for the Cardinals.

Johnson was at the Under Armour All-American camp, while assistant Ralph Willard and director of operations David Padgett made the trek to Suwanee, Ga., for the Adidas Gauntlet Series final.

Among the players Johnson watched at Under Armour are top guard prospects Markelle Fultz and Kameron McGusty. Fultz had 17 points and McGusty added 12 in their first games of the event.

Dewan Huell, Trevon Duval, Eric Hester and Seventh Woods are among the other U of L targets in Charlotte. Terrance Ferguson, who just won a gold medal with the U-19 team in Greece last weekend, was there but is sick and didn't play.

Willard and Padgett started the night watching recent U of L offer Javin DeLaurier. The 6-foot-9 forward from Charlottesville, Va., who later called his offer from U of L "incredible" had 16 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots.

While Padgett then went to watch 2017 target Brian Bowen, who is injured and didn't play for the Michigan Mustangs, Willard watched the New York Rens and a pair of emerging U of L targets. Top 20 players Rawle Alkins and Mustapha Heron didn't disappoint.

Both are 6-5 strong and athletic guards. Heron had 21 points, five rebounds, two assists and three steals, while Alkins had 16 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals in an easy win over Brockwood Elite.

The Rens will play Team Loaded North Carolina and U of L targets Dennis Smith and Bam Adebayo in the quarterfinals tomorrow after the Smith-led Loaded team edged Stackhouse Elite 61-57. Both Willard and Padgett took in the final game.

Smith had 18 points and five assists and Adebayo added 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Willard is expected at the Peach Jam on Thursday morning, while Padgett stayed in the Atlanta area and watched Taylor County's Quentin Goodin for a half before calling it a night. Goodin and U of L recently parted ways.

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