Jordan Nwora (Nike/Jon Lopez)

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 with just over a month left until the fall signing period begins.

The University of Louisville basketball staff has two verbal commitments already in the Class of 2017.

Fort Wayne, Ind., big man Malik Williams kicked things off in early August with a commitment and then Wheeler, Ga., point guard Darius Perry joined the list a few weeks later.

U of L head coach Rick Pitino and his staff have been on the road in recent weeks trying to fill the final two spots.

The Class of 2017 for the Cardinals is expected to be four players but the list of targets has dwindled down a bit in recent months.

Here's a look at how the Louisville staff is trending with its 2017 top targets coming out of the evaluation periods.

Norcross, Ga., forward Lance Thomas has an official visit set with the Cardinals for Oct. 21 and has narrowed his list to four schools. He's already visited Florida and Miami, Fla., and will make his final trip to USC the week after he visits the Cardinals. Pitino has been to see Thomas for an in-home visit and the intel sounds very positive and promising for the Cardinals. Thomas would be a nice third cog to the class.

A new name on the list for the Cardinals, Vermont Academy forward Jordan Nwora was offered by the Cardinals two weeks ago after a visit from Kenny Johnson. U of L coach Rick Pitino made the trip to Vermont Academy earlier in the week and word is he loved the new target. Nwora is likely not going to make a decision until the spring and the Cardinals figure to be a major player now in his recruitment. Watch for an official visit scheduled in the coming weeks as Pitino is likely to make a return visit next week to Vermont.

An intriguing prospect because he didn't log a lot of minutes during the summer, Makhtar Gueye is now at Aspire Basketball Academy in Phoenix and has reportedly improved drastically in the last few months. Rick Pitino and Mike Balado visited Aspire on Tuesday and we are told they left with smiles on their faces at how much better Gueye has gotten since arriving in Phoenix. Louisville has a connection with Aspire in that former Pitino manager Jeremy Kipness is the co-founder and head coach. Gueye is one to watch for sure - could be the fourth player in the class if things workout like we believe they could.

While we believe Tucker is still on the Louisville list and he could make an official visit in the next few weeks, it appears Nwora has jumped ahead of Tucker in recent weeks and there's only going to be a spot for one of them. One thing Tucker has on his side is that he's now high school teammates with Darius Perry, which could play a factor. Still one to watch.

Shuler is on the 'down' list because he didn't list Louisville in his recent final five - which included Oklahoma State, USC, South Carolina, Miami and Mississippi. But we believe the Cardinals are still in the mix for the shooting guard. Louisville made a visit to Oak Hill last week and there is still some mutual interest. We'll continue to monitor this one.



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