Welcome to prime basketball recruiting time.
Per NCAA rules, the University of Louisville coaching staff - like all other Division I schools - will hit the road on Wednesday for the first of three evaluation periods. The period will begin at 5 o'clock on Wednesday and end on Sunday at 5.
The Cardinals come into the month of July looking for four or five prospects in the Class of 2017.
While not on the road in April because of the self-imposed penalties, U of L coach Rick Pitino and his staff will be all over the country for the next three weeks trying to land two more prospects in the Class of 2017 and also looking ahead into the '18 and '19 classes.
Cardinal Authority brings you five storylines to watch this month:
1. Who is the top guard?: Louisville is in the mix for a bunch of top guards, including Paul Scruggs, Darius Perry, Brandon Randolph, Makai Ashton-Langford, Quade Green, Nick Weatherspoon and Lindell Wiggington among others. But which guard does the staff really want? I believe we'll start to find that out this week with the guys they watch more than just a token game. I'd expect they try and land two guards in the class, including one of the elite point guards. Will be fun to track the guys and see who they watch the most.
2. Oh Romeo: Louisville's staff has a good start on the Class of 2018 and the main target is New Albany's Romeo Langford. Expect to hear the staff tracking his every move this month. Langford will begin with the Eric Gordon All-Stars in Spartanburg, S.C., this week in the adidas Gauntlet event and I'd expect the staff to have someone at EVERY game of his this summer.
3. What players get an early look? Because the staff didn't get to go on the road in April, there's some extra evaluating that will have to be done this week. Normally, the staff has a little smaller of a list to work with in July. But this might not be a bad thing. The Cardinals' staff will track a bunch of guys and could even add a few names to the list by the end of the first week. Yes, we will be tracking it all for you.
4. Any in-state interest? Well, I do think the staff will watch at least three 2017 in-state prospects - David Sloan, Pedro Bradshaw and Taveion Hollingsworth. Bradshaw visited Xavier recently and is starting to get a ton of major interest, while Hollingsworth is one of the Scout.com potential 'sleepers' of the month. And that list was put together by our national staff. A good week and Hollingsworth could get an offer.
5. A commitment in sight? Two years ago, Louisville targeted Deng Adel and he committed after the first evaluation period and Ray Spalding came after the second; while last year the Cardinals had V.J. King already in the fold before July. This time around, there are no commitments and at this point there isn't one in sight. I'd say most of the top targets are expected to make decisions in late August or into September. But things could change after the first week.
Cardinal Authority will keep you posted on the happenings of the staff all week.