Louisville coach Rick Pitino announces one of his best recruiting classes, signs three players and expected to add one more

University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino announces one of his best recruiting classes, signs three players and expected to add one more later in the week.

University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino announced the addition of three signees on Wednesday.

The Cardinals confirmed the signings of point guard Darius Perry, power forward Lance Thomas and forward/center Malik Williams on the first day of the signing period. Vermont Academy forward Jordan Nwora will sign with the Cardinals on Friday.

Pitino lauded his staff and said the Cardinals overcame a tough time to recruit last season because of the NCAA investigation.

"I told the team (last year) when you face adversity you can hang your head or dig in and be the best you can be on the court," Pitino said. "I told the staff the same thing in recruiting. We suffered greatly last year.

"Every recruit thought it would be this year (the sanctions) when it was last year."

Pitino said the staff overcame those obstacles to land one of his best classes at U of L, noting the guys in this class were "ranked five stars by our staff" and he noted "that's what we worry about."

"The class we have is the best we have had at Louisville in terms of not only the way we rank them but in terms of the versatility of their offense and their defense," Pitino said.

The 6-foot-2 Perry averaged 15 points and 4.5 assists last season at Marietta, Ga., Wheeler High School and is considered one of the elite point guards in the country, but Pitino said he's versatile enough to play both backcourt positions.

"From the time I first saw him, I knew Darius was made for Louisville," Pitino said.

The 6-foot-8 Thomas "has as much potential as any player that I have recruited," according to Pitino. Thomas as a junior averaged 8.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.7 blocked shots for Norcross, Ga., High School.

Pitino said he spent more time recruiting Williams, a 7-footer from Fort Wayne, Ind., Snider High School, than probably any other player during his career. Williams averaged 21.2 points, 13.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks as a junior.

"I told (staff) if he sneezes, I will be there to say 'God Bless You'. We wanted him that much," Pitino said.

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