Theus: AAU background could open doors for Cards in So. Cal
New University of Louisville Assistant Coach Reggie Theus has the contacts and background to help open recruiting doors in Southern California for Coach Pitino and the Cards.
Theus, who attended Inglewood High School in Los Angeles, has strong ties in Southern California, particularly on the all important AAU circuit.
For the past few years, Theus has coached the talent laden Southern California All Stars on the AAU circuit along with well connected and long time AAU coach Pat Barrett.
"I've been involved in the AAU program in Southern California for quite some time," Theus said at Thursday's press conference. "Obviously my strongest area would be would be the west coast and southern California and coach assured me that they recruit everywhere...I have contacts all over the country and I hope to use those contacts [to land recruits]."
Ironically, InsideTheVille.com caught Theus in action on the sidelines at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions last Memorial Day weekend as his team lost to a hot shooting bunch from Schaumburg, Illinois.
Burgess played for Theus
And there's an interesting connection between Theus' hiring and a current Louisville recruiting target. 6'10 David Burgess of Irvine, CA happened to be the starting center for Theus' So. Cal All Stars. Also, 6'4 Aaron Affalo from Compton, CA, a talented guard who committed to UCLA, played for Theus and strongly considered the Cards before choosing the Bruins in the spring.
One player to keep an eye on over the next year or so is 6'6 Marcus Johnson of Los Angeles Westchester High School. Johnson, an athletic forward considered one of the nation's top prospects in the junior class, also played for Theus and the Southern California All Stars and could figure into Louisville's recruiting plans next year. And going a little further down the line, Theus also had the nation's top freshman, 6'6 Taylor King, on his AAU team as well. However, King is a lock for UCLA. Nevertheless, the talent that Theus lined up on his AAU team should bold well for the type of talent he has the ability to attract.
ITV also spoke with California State L.A. Head Coach Dave Yanai, whom Theus served last season as a volunteer assistant, on Friday about the Cards newest assistant and the Division II skipper had nothing but great things to say about the Cards new man.
"Coach Pitino is getting a tremendous young person as an assistant coach in so many aspects of the game," Yanai said. "I just feel he's a diamond in the rough."
Yanai believes Theus has the ability to excel in many facets as an assistant coach at Louisville for Coach Pitino.
"He'll be an outstanding recruiter, excellent with players in a teaching environment and a tremendous resource on the bench and in practice for Coach Pitino," Yanai explained.
Yanai, who has known Theus for nearly thirty years, feels that the Cards landed a very promising and talented asset for the program.
"I've known him since he was a high school player here at Inglewood and I think the world of Reggie," said Yanai.
Highlights and Comments from Thursday's press conference
Coach Pitino on Theus
[Reggie] is hungry to be a coach. He volunteered his services last year as a college assistant...he's been an AAU coach and all of these are non-paying jobs. He's worked for Denver as well as in summer leagues...I've been very impressed with his desire and hungriness to get into this game...so we are real excited...I think he's a perfect fit for this university...and we're excited to have him on board.
Reggie Theus on joining Coach Pitino's staff
It's an honor and the big picture is that everybody always wants to be affiliated with the best and an opportunity to go from volunteering my services to different places...knocking on doors, shaking trees and working probably the hardest I've ever had to work to obtain something to get the opportunity to work for Coach Pitino.
It's an opportunity to be a part of something that has been great in the past..coach is continuously making it even better and to add me to the mix...as he told me in our very first conversation that he was interested in someone who could help him win national championships and I hope that I can help him do that...
After [I] finished broadcasting many times I felt a void and I found out as I started getting into this is that my real love is the kids and being on the floor with them. Being involved with them really closed that void up for me....I can't say enough about coach giving me this opportunity.