The Skinny

Recruiting can take some interesting twists and turns this time of year. We breakdown the latest happenings in the world of Cardinal hoops recruiting and explain what might happen later this spring.

The old saying goes that you can't win them all.

In Sebastian Telfair's case, that certainly held true. After three consecutive PSAL titles, and a 2002-03 New York Class AA State Championship, Telfair and Lincoln High finally came up on the short end of the stick in a big game.

In his last high school game, Telfair finished with 14 points and 10 turnovers in a 66-52 state championship game loss to an outstanding Mount Vernon squad that features two of the nation's top underclassmen in 6-foot freshman Michael Coburn, and 6-foot-7 sophomore John Mitchell.

Telfair now will take his talent on the road. He'll first head to Oklahoma City where he'll take part in the McDonald's All-America game on Wednesday before heading to San Antonio, site of this week's Final Four, where he'll play in the Nike Hoop Summit.

Telfair is already in the Sooner state and he took part in an intense scrimmage between the Hamburger All-Americans on Sunday. Early reports from the event had Telfair performing at his usual high level. And despite speculation on internet message boards that his stock is dropping, expect the New York native to be taken in the first 20 picks of the NBA Draft this June. Expect too that he'll sign a lucrative shoe deal with one of the three major shoe company's (Nike, Reebok, and adidas) because of his charisma and appeal in the marketplace.

As for filling Telfair's scholarship, University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino and staff continue to pursue Tello Palacios with fervor.

Palacios played in Chicago and Tennessee this week and there should be no doubt about this fact: Palacios will play college hoops. Sure he's a big time talent, especially with his guard-like offensive skills, but his rebounding and defensive ability leave much to be desired.

As for Palacios' recruitment, the 6-foot-8 forward told ITV in Chicago that Florida State currently topped his list. While Louisville has some ground to make up, don't count Pitino out just yet on this one.

However, if Palacios does decide to sign with the Seminoles next month, don't be shocked if Pitino accepts a transfer into his third year program during the offseason, especially considering all of the coaching changes happening around the country this spring. Remember, 6-foot-9 Nouha Diakite's departure created an open slot in U of L's frontline, so the smart money would be on someone who brings much needed size to the squad.

Another interesting angle should Palacios pick FSU is the effect his decision could have on 6-foot-9 power forward Theo Davis, a junior from New York Cardozo. Without Palacios, the situation at Louisville for Davis to walk in as a freshman and play significant minutes appears ideal. Davis, who is on spring break this week and has returned home to Toronto, will meet with him family and advisors to begin narrowing the focus of his recruitment. Expect Louisville not only to make the cut but to remain seriously in the mix with the athletic forward.

As for the junior class, last week we highlighted some of Louisville's key targets. With the end of the college basketball season rapidly approaching, college coaches will be allowed to hit the road and evaluate underclassmen beginning April 7th. And one of the first stops will be the Las Vegas Easter Classic (April 7-11), where several Louisville prospects, including 6'10 Brayden Bell, 6'7 Jamal Boykin, and 6'6 Marcus Johnson will be in action.

And if you're following closely at home, watch carefully the type prospects the Cardinals get serious about this spring. Here's a tip, expect Pitino and staff to pursue heavily multi-skilled and versatile players who can make plays and contribute at various spots on the floor.

Following the Las Vegas event, it will be off to Texas for the Kingwood Classic and the Boo Williams event in Virginia at the end of April. By then, the recruiting picture will really begin taking shape.

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


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