Louisville PG target Markell Johnson said he could reclassify into the Class of 2016

The University of Louisville has jumped into the recruitment of Cleveland point guard Markell Johnson, who could be reclassifying from the 2017 into the Class of 2016. Rick Pitino was in to see Johnson on Wednesday afternoon.

The city of Cleveland has been a hotbed of recruiting in recent years for University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino.

The Cardinals landed Terry Rozier, who is now in the NBA, from the area and then nabbed fifth-year senior Trey Lewis. Frankie Hughes, who is from Cleveland, will sign with the Cardinals next week.

Now, the Cardinals hope Markell Johnson is next.

After Pitino and assistant coach Kenny Johnson saw Johnson on Wednesday, the 6-foot, 170-pound point guard has Louisville at the top of his list and he's moved near the top of U of L's target list to finish out the 2016 class.

The problem is right now the guard from East Tech High School is a member of the Class of 2017.

"We'll just have to see, I need to talk more to my coach," Johnson said on Thursday night. "I'm not sure what's going to happen but it's very possible (that he reclassifies into the '16 class)."

Johnson averaged 22.5 points a game last season as a sophomore at the inner city school and is considered one of the top 100 prospects in the '17 class. Scout.com ranks him as the No. 4 point guard in the Midwest in the '17 class.

He said Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Florida, Arizona State and DePaul are the schools showing him the most attention.

"It's a lot of schools, but I really like coach Pitino," Johnson said. "He's a legendary coach and I want to get to the next level and that's what he does is produce pros."

Johnson said he has chatted with Pitino about the ongoing investigation about the allegations with the program and said it isn't a factor in his looking at the school: "no not at all."

"Besides the stuff going on right now, it's one of the great programs," Johnson said. "I would love to play under coach Pitino. I know (Rozier, Lewis and Hughes) and I know they love him."


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