Cardinal Authority publisher Jody Demling breaks down where Louisville is trending with its top basketball targets in the Class of 2017

Cardinal Authority publisher Jody Demling breaks down where the University of Louisville is trending with its top basketball targets in the Class of 2017 heading into the three evaluation periods in July.

The University of Louisville basketball staff will hit the road this week.

U of L head coach Rick Pitino and his three assistant coaches will be on the road starting Wednesday - the first day of the evaluation period. The staff is expected to hit as many as five events during the first week of evaluations.

The Class of 2017 for the Cardinals is expected to be four or five players.

While the class has started to take shape in recent weeks with a few visits, there are a few players the Cardinals' staff is likely to pay a lot of attention too this month at events across the country.

Here's a look at how the Louisville staff is trending with its 2017 top targets heading into the evaluations. This list does not include every recruit on the board for the U of L staff, just a few trending up or down for the Cardinals.

I'd say the Cardinals' are now favored in the race to land Luka Garza after a recent visit. The skilled big man is a Team Takeover guy and Kenny Johnson has a ton of connections to that program. If Rick Pitino likes him in the next few weeks, I'd think he could be the first commitment for the Cardinals in the Class of 2017.

After a visit last month, Louisville is looking like to be in prime shape for Fort Wayne, Ind., big man Malik Williams. It seemed like he was a lock to go to a Big Ten school - likely Michigan State - a month ago but now the Cardinals have moved towards the front of the pack. He said his mother "just loved" the visit and she will be a huge factor in where he attends school. Expect the U of L staff to give Williams a lot of attention.

Brandon Randolph made a visit to Louisville last week and the trip seemingly put the Cardinals on the move in his recruitment. Louisville will spend a lot of time tracking the Westtown, Pa., guard this summer. Randolph is one of the best shooters in the class and when Rick Pitino sees him this summer, I would expect he's going to love him.

An Indianapolis Southport guard, Paul Scruggs made a visit to Louisville's campus last month and said he "really learned a lot" from his chat with head coach Rick Pitino and assistant coach Kenny Johnson. It was huge for the Cardinals' to get Scruggs on campus and it appears Louisville is in a race with Xavier and Indiana for a commitment from Scruggs. He's a physical guard with a ton of upside, ranked No. 37 in the class.

D.J. Harvey has been a target for the Louisville staff for a long time. He's a former teammate of current U of L freshman V.J. King on Team Takeover and current teammate of another top target - Luka Garza. The knock on Harvey has been inconsistent play during the spring but don't expect the Cardinals to back off. He'll be one of the top targets heading into the summer and with Kenny Johnson's connections to Team Takeover there's a real chance to get him.

Darius Perry was a new name on the board for the Cardinals last month and will get looks from several coaches this week. He's a really solid all-around point guard and the type Rick Pitino can make into a three or four-year star. Love the chances for Louisville to land Perry.

While he's been quiet on the recruiting front, Lindell Wigginton is expected to be a top target this week for the Louisville staff. I think he's good enough to make them really want to push for him after watching all the targets.

While it seems like Mississippi State is the leader, Nick Weatherspoon narrowed his list of schools to 10 and the Cardinals made it. He's a sensational guard and Louisville will track him all the way until the end.

Makai Ashton-Langford is still a top target and could be in the 'up' category because he's said the Cardinals are showing him a ton of interest. U of L, Connecticut and Providence are out in front in his recruitment and the Cardinals need to make sure he gets on campus for a visit. That should happen soon and then we'll see how serious he is - at this point I believe he's serious enough that the Cardinals have a real shot. He's an elite guard in the class.

Louisville is still in the mix and will take a swing for the fences with Brandon McCoy. It's tough to call if he will come off the West Coast, but the big deal is to get him on campus for a visit. Right now, McCoy says he "really wants to" visit Louisville soon.

Not sure where to put Quade Green at this point, but for now I'll move him down a bit. Green recently was offered by Kentucky and is a major Duke target. But he's still saying all the right things about Louisville.

Another Kenny Johnson guy, Matt Coleman has been quiet recently about Louisville. Will be interesting to see how much they watch him.

If Louisville goes after an in-state player, I don't think it will be David Sloan at this point. The staff will still watch him but I just think he's too small to play for the Cardinals.

Ikey Obiagu is one of the best shot-blockers in the Class of 2017, but he's very limited on offense. I'd think the staff passes.

While coach Pitino and his staff will watch and there's a major Louisville connection, I don't think the Cardinals' will take a shot with Mayan Kiir.

Cardinal Authority Top Stories