The University of Louisville basketball staff has three top targets in the high school ranks remaining on the big board for the Class of 2016, but the Cardinals' are also starting to look at potential junior college prospects.
And one of the top JUCO players is Bashier Ahmed.
The 6-foot-6 native of the Bronx, N.Y., was a Junior College All-American as a freshman at Hutchinson, Kan., Community College and said last week he received a visit from U of L coach Rick Pitino and an assistant coach.
"They started contacting me a few weeks ago," Ahmed said. "It was an honor for Rick Pitino to be here and sit down and talk. He's a Hall of Fame coach and knows so much about the game of basketball. It was just an honor to have him here.
"They said they are very interested in getting me to campus for a visit. I'm very excited."
Ahmed, the Jayhawk Confernece West Freshman of the Year, averaged 16.3 points a game - the ninth-best average of all-time by a freshman at Hutchinson. He also averaged 7.5 rebounds and hit 36.4 percent from three-point range.
With double-digit offers out of high school, Ahmed didn't qualify but said his academics are "just fine," now. He is set to visit Cincinnati this weekend and will head to St. John's on Sept. 26. Ahmed said a U of L visit could "come after St. John's."
"Coach Pitino said he needed a scorer and said I would fit perfect into the system," Ahmed said. "He told me I have a little more experience than some of the high school kids because I have played in junior college for a year. He said my style is perfect for what he likes to do."
Ahmed hasn't been offered to this point by the Cardinals but said Pitino told him he "wants to get me on campus."
"He loves New York guys and I was born in the Bronx," Ahmed said. "He told me the last guy he had from New York was Russ Smith and that worked out pretty good for (Louisville). I want to get there and see the campus."
Ahmed had eight games of 20 or more points last season at Hutchinson.