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Sophomore Hoops Star Enjoyed Visit

One of the nation's top sophomore prospects, 6'5 Marques Johnson, enjoyed his unofficial visit to Louisville over the weekend. Johnson spoke with ITV Sunday night about his visit.<B>EXTRA:</B><br><a href=""><b>ITV Gallery: Cards v. Gators</b></a><br>

What does one of the nation's top programs do when they've already signed five top prospects for next season, and have a committment from one of the three prospects they'll sign from the class of 2005?

Well, in the University of Louisville's case, they started the ball rolling with the class of 2006, as 6'5 Marques Johnson of Fort Wayne (IN) Snider High School made an unofficial visit last Saturday for the Cardinals game against Florida.

Johnson, widely regarded as one of the top 25 players in his class, made the trip south from Fort Wayne with his father Don and AAU coach Eric Vaughn to watch the Cards defeat the Gators 73-65.

"It went well," Johnson told ITV of his first trip to a U of L basketball game. "The fans were really into it and I really enjoyed the game."

ITV first introduced Johnson to Louisville fans last July when the talented guard played in the Kentucky Hoop Fest the weekend after attending the NIKE All-America camp in Indianapolis. At that time, both Vaugh and Johnson told Inside The Ville they wished Louisville would show interest in the 6'5 guard's recruitment.

And apparently to some degree that interest was reciprocated by U of L over the weekend.

Through two games this season, Johnson's team is undefeated and he's averaging 26 points and 9 rebounds per game while playing on the wing for Snider.

Johnson, who liked the style of play employed by Louisville, said he was able to visit the U of L locker shortly after the final buzzer Saturday and spoke with Coach Pitino, as well as players Francisco Garcia and Luke Whitehead.

"I had a chance to speak with Coach Pitino," Johnson said. "He's a really cool guy."

On the recruiting front, in-state programs like Notre Dame, Purdue, and Indiana have already hosted Johnson on unofficial visits. He also mentions Arizona consistently when asked about favorites.

But Sunday night, the first school out of Johnson's mouth when discussing colleges was the one who had knocked off the nation's top ranked team just one day earlier in Freedom Hall.


Eric Vaughn is the AAU coach of Blessed IJN which Johnson played for last summer. U of L fans might also be familiar with another of Johnson's teammates last summer on the Blessed IJN team, 6'9 Carl Swanagan.

On another note, Swanagan moved back home to Utah where he's attending high school this year.

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