Now, as we've turned the calendar to the new year, Louisville is beginning to turn up the heat on 6'7 junior Jamal Boykin.
According to Boykin's AAU coach Dinos Trigonis, who also coached current U of L forward Ellis Myles, Pitino's staff has intensified their recruitment of his versatile forward and says the Cards sit at or near the top of Boykin's current list, along with Georgia Tech and Arizona.
"I haven't spoken with anyone recently from Georgia Tech or Louisville but I've heard from others that both schools might be close to offering," Trigonis said. "At this stage in the process Louisville's in great shape. He likes Louisville a lot, too."
Boykin, who turns 17 in April, recently played well at the Academy National Invitational, posting 43 points and 29 rebounds in two games to lead the Lions to the Houston tournament's finals while Louisville assistant coach Reggie Theus looked on from the stands.
"He's playing well right now," Trigonis said. "He wears a size 17 shoe and looks likes he's grown some recently."
Trigonis said Boykin is still growing into his body but has improved his quickness and fluidity and is now starting to dunk the ball with regularity. Trigonis also said Boykin could still grow to be about 6'8.
"He's going to get better and better every year because of his work ethic," Trigonis said.
Rubin Boykin, Jamal's father, indicated that his son's recent outstanding play in Houston might open the door for other schools to get involved. Boykin mentioned Duke specifically, indicating that his son had visited the Blue Devils in the past, as one school they'd be interested in hearing from.
"We're open," the elder Boykin said. "We want him to have good choices and options to choose from. It's like a marriage and we're looking for a good fit."
In an ironic twist, Louisville's connections to Boykin don't end with Myles. Apparently, Boykin's mother, a long time school teacher in the Los Angeles area, taught Theus at Inglewood High in the mid 1970's.
Trigonis indicated the earliest Boykin would make a decision would be after his high school season early this spring, while the players father said they'd be interested in taking some unofficial visits if the opportunity presented itself at that time.