The Skinny

While U of L signee Sebastian Telfair was breaking Kenny Anderson's New York state scoring record, the Cardinal coaching staff turned their attention to a fine crop of underclass prospects. You want the latest in U of L basketball recruiting? Then you need the "Skinny."

Lots of things have happened since last week's "Skinny."

Oak Hill point guard Rajon Rondo chose to join the overcrowded backcourt picture in Lexington. University of Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino went to Cleveland for urological medical tests and returned with a clean bill of health. And Marquette ended U of L's 16-game winning streak on Saturday.

Even with all the above, the news on the hoops recruiting front last week was equally as fast and furious as the U of L coaching staff continued to work several underclass prospects.

As previously reported by ITV, assistant Vince Taylor recently travelled to Denham Springs, Louisiana to catch the nation's top junior prospect, Tasmin Mitchell, in action during one of Paul Smith's practices. Mitchell lists Louisville in his top four along with LSU, North Carolina, and Kentucky and told Inside The Ville last week he'll make a visit to the U of L campus, possibly as early as this spring.

While Taylor was working underclass prospects in the deep south, Reggie Theus returned to his Los Angeles roots to check in on 6'6 Marcus Johnson, a junior small forward from Westchester High School whom the Cardinals, according to Westchester head coach Ed Azzam, have continued to recruit over the past few months. Syracuse appears to be the early leader for Johnson.

While the juniors were evaluated by both Taylor and Theus, 6'9 sophomore Brandon Wright from Nashville's (TN) Brentwood Academy, whom Pitino saw in action in mid-January, made an unofficial visit to U of L for Saturday's game against Marquette. Wright is considered one of the top 5 prospects in his class.

The Cardinals also had another recent visitor from one of the nation's top freshman prospects. 6'7 Christian Siakam of Hughes Center in Cincinnati, attended the U of L - Cincinnati game two weeks ago with guardian Reggie Revels, according to Hughes head coach Greg Mills. We'll have more on Siakam later.

As for the current class of prospects, 6'8 Tello Palacios has cut Pittsburgh, Baylor, and St. John's recently and the talented forward from Centerreach, NY has narrowed his list to five favorites.

Both Louisville and Kentucky made the cut, as did Texas, Indiana, and Florida State. Palacios will take the SAT for the first time in March and will likely begin scheduling visits at that time. Don't be surprised if this one turns into another Bluegrass Battle.

Sebastian Telfair continued setting records. The 6'0 U of L signee broke Kenny Anderson's New York state scoring record of 2,621 with 49 points against Grand Street Campus last week. Anderson's mark was established in 1989.

However, the week ended not so well for Telfair and Lincoln High as they lost in the Brooklyn Borough playoffs, which means it will be a more difficult road to a third straight PSAL title this year for the Railsplitters.

6'10 Terrance Farley also had a great week that began with a monster game against Atherton last Tuesday. Farley finished with a season-high 27 points and 18 rebounds in a thrashing of the Rebels. He also had 13 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 blocked shots Saturday night in a win over Taylor County in the Panther Classic.

6'5 Lorenzo Wade of Hargrave Military Academy was solid but unspectacular last week. Wade had 9 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists in a 112-65 win against Pfeiffer University JV and came back with 11 points and 7 assists vs. Louisburg JC later in the week. Hargrave is 16-1 on the season.

Donta Smith was his usual brilliant self. Smith had 25 points in a 78-59 victory versuses Wabash early last week. Then against Southwestern Illinois tossed in 26 points, including four from behind the arch in a 73-66 win to improve his team record to 20-2.

Smith is averaging 25.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.5 steals. The 6'7 forward is shooting 55-percent from the field, including 39-percent from three point land. He's also made 83-percent from the free throw line.

Smith and Southeastern Illinois are on path to host all region and section contests prior to NJCAA tournament action in Hutchinson, KS.

Can't forget 6'9 power forward Brian Johnson. He had 8 points and 10 rebounds in a 71-47 win over Woodrow Wilson last week. But he saved his best for the championship game of the Coal Classic Saturday night with 18 points and 14 rebounds against a very talented Laurinburg (NC) Institue team.

Last but not least, 7'0 junior Clarence Holloway, who verbally committed to U of L in December, tore the ligaments in his wrist and will likely miss the rest of the season. Holloway averaged 13 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 blocks.

The injury to Holloway's non-shooting hand (left) has already been surgically repaired. He'll be out of action for the next two months but should be ready for AAU action on Mac Irvin's Illinois Fire by the first of April.

Stay tuned for individual updates on Marcus Johnson, Christian Siakam, Brandon Wright and Clarence Holloway in the next few days.

Until next week, that's this week's "Skinny."


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