Pitino hits the recruiting trail

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. - University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino hit the recruiting trail on Thursday for the first time. Pitino traveled from Puerto Rico on Thursday morning and watched game at the Adidas Gauntlet Series and also the Nike EYBL Peach Jam. He evaluated about 10 prospects during the day.

Rick Pitino had a long day on Thursday.

Pitino started the morning in San Juan, Puerto Rico., where he's in the middle of training the Puerto Rican National Team for next week's Pan American Games, and then caught about 10 prospects in the state of Georgia.

The Hall of Fame coach flew to Suwanee, Ga., where he saw Javin DeLaurier, Mamadi Diakite, Jaylen Hands, Dennis Smith, Bam Adebayo, Rawle Alkins and Mustapha Heron. He then hit the Peach Jam and saw Bruce Brown, Maverick Rowan, V.J. King. D.J. Harvey and several others on the day.

Pitino started the day in the Atlanta-area watching DeLaurier, a 6-9 forward he just offered last week. DaLaurier had 18 points and 11 rebounds, while teammate Diakite added six points, five rebounds and three blocks.

It was then an eye on one of the seven '17 players with a U of L offer as Jaylen Hands had 17 points five rebounds and four assists in leading Compton Magic to a victory.

Pitino's final game in the adidas event saw the NY Rens, who are in the adidas final on Friday, beat Team Loaded North Carolina 57-54. Alkins was solid with 18 points, three rebounds and three assists and Heron added 11 points and four assists.

On the other side, Bam Adebayo made the biggest impression with seven points, nine rebounds and five blocks. Dennis Smith was just 4 of 14 and had 11 points.

Pitino started the night with Bruce Brown, who said Louisville is recruiting him the hardest, and a BABC win before Maverick Rowan went 1-of-9 from the field with Pitino watching.

While spending most of his time at Peach Jam with Kenny Johnson, Pitino then saw commitment V.J. King to end the night.

Johnson also watched De'Aaron Fox at Peach Jam. Ralph Willard is also in Augusta and watched all of the Louisville targets, including '17 Troy Brown and top '16 Miles Bridges.

U of L director of operations David Padgett stayed in Suwanee at the adidas event and watched the U of L targets mentioned above and also added New Albany's Romeo Langford and Waggener's DeVon Cooper.

Pitino is expected back at Peach Jam on Friday.


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