The Skinny

A couple prospects received looks from the U of L coaching staff last week, while all five of Rick Pitino's November signees performed well on the court.

While the Cardinals had just one game last week, a road loss to Charlotte, University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino drove to nothern Kentucky to check out Kentucky Mr. Basketball front-runner Chris Lofton, while Cardinal assistant Reggie Theus headed to Texas to scout 2005 point guard prospect Byron Eaton.

Lofton, who ranks as one of the best three point shooters in the state's recent history, had an off game offensively with Pitino in attendance last week, scoring just 12 points in a win over Bishop Brossart. Lofton did, however, atone for that subpar performance with a 42 point outburst against Clark County, including 5 three pointers.

Lofton, who currently ranks third in state history in three pointers made, has an unbelievable 47 percent career clip from beyond the arch. More impessively, he's nearly reached of the list despite more than 150 less attempts than the remaining two ahead of him on the list.

Dallas point guard Byron Eaton scored 30 points with Theus in attendance last Tuesday and will have interest from several Big 12 schools as his recruitment heats up during the next several months.

As for Pitino's five November signees, Lorenzo Wade put together one of his better performances of the season with a 25 point, 4 rebound, 4 assist effort in a 114-71 win against Virginia Tech's JV squad.

For the season, Wade is averaging 14 points per game, including five games of more than 20 points, for a very talented and balanced Hargrave Military squad that has lost just once on the season. At 6'5, Wade is also one of the teams better rebounders and passers.

You've got to like the way 6'9 Brian Johnson has been playing in recent weeks. Two weeks ago at the Prime Time Shootout in Trenton, Johnson came up big against Philadelphia Cardinal Dougherty to avoid Oak Hill's first loss of the season.

In three games last week, Johnson continued his outstanding play. He had 18 points and 8 rebounds vs. Bonner Academy, 14 points vs. Blue Ridge (VA), and 14 points in a 115-48 whipping of Bishop Mcguinnes. Johnson has helped Oak Hill to a 31-0 record and the #1 ranking in the USA Today.

Johnson and Oak Hill will be in Louisville this Thursday night to take on Ballard at Louisville Gardens. They'll then play two games at the North Laurel Classic.

And 6'10 U of L signee Terrance Farley continues his rapid development on the court. In a losing cause against Fairdale Friday night, Farley single-handidly kept the Panthers close throughout with 14 points, 20 rebounds and 2 blocks. He's had two triple-doubles this season and has been playing the best ball of his career in recent weeks.

Donta Smith has Southeastern Illinois C.C. poised to make a run at the NJCAA title later next month in Hutchinson, Kansas. Smith's squad is ranked #4 in the NJCAA poll with a 25-2 record.

On the court last week, Smith put up familiar numbers, including a 36 point effort against Kaskasia and 25 on Logan.

Last but certainly not least, Sebastian Telfair led Lincoln High with 20 points and 12 assists to a first round PSAL win over Lehman. Following the season, Lincoln will honor Telfair by retiring his #31 jersey.

We'd be remiss not to mention the Lexington Herald-Leaders article by Jerry Tipton concerning the 5/8 rule governing basketball scholarships.

According to the article, the recension of the 5/8 rule, which limits the number of scholarships given to five in any one year and eight over a two year period, is almost certainly not going to happen this year.

What's that mean? For starters, it means something's going to have to give in Lexington as the Wildcats are already one scholarship over the limit. Does it mean the promise of a scholarship for Patrick Sparks might not happen? Will Adam Williams be persuaded to find a home at a prep school next season? Or might one of their three other guards, including Rajon Rondo, be cut loose?

At this point only Tubby Smith knows for certain what his plan of attack will be. One thing is for sure though. Somebody will be left out in the cold or paying their own way in Lexington to satisfy the requirements of the rule.

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


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