The Skinny

The elimination of the 5/8 rule in college basketball has changed recruiting dynamics overnight. As such, we've got some new insight into what the University of Louisville's class of 2005 will look like.

The elimination of the 5/8 rule in college basketball has virtually changed the landscape of the recruiting world overnight.

That being the case, we must confess that our notions of what the class of 2005 would consist for the University of Louisville need to be revised a little.

In an article last week, we mentioned that one of U of L head coach Rick Pitino's top priorities would be to locate and sign a couple of high profile shooters from the rising senior class. While that notion is absolutely correct, our assumption that would mean simply signing two wing prospects may not be entirely correct.

You see, with Louisville probably returning just six scholarship athletes following next season, our assumption that the Cardinals' class of 2005 would include just five prospects most likely needs revision.

As it now stands, we expect Louisville to sign six or seven prospects in the next class depending on what 6'11 David Padgett, who will transfer from the Kansas University this summer, and 6'6 point guard Churchill Odia do.

If Padgett chooses the Cardinals over Stanford and UCLA and Odia lands at Louisville, we anticipate U of L pursuing only five prospects in the class of 2005. However, if only one of those players end up at Louisville, expect the Cardinals to sign six players next year. In the event the Cardinals land neither player, we wouldn't be surprised if Pitino signed seven, yes (7), prospects from the class.

Assuming Padgett ends up at Louisville and Odia doesn't because of visa difficulties, don't be surprised if Pitino adds more than simply three perimeter players. While Andre McGee, Tony Freeman, Byron Eaton, David Huertas, Eric Devendorf, Chad Millard, Brandon Rush, Terrence Williams and Marcus Johnson are some of the major prospects for those three spots, two new prospects have emerged on the radar.

Yes we're talking about Reginald and Richard Delk. While we're not willing to say that the twins from Jackson, Tennessee have firm scholarship offers at this point, we do suspect those offers will be forthcoming in the near future.

Extremely versatlile prospects, the Delk's have tremendous size and can play multiple positions at the next level. Reginald, a 6'5 athlete known as an excellent shooter, could play either wing position, while his twin brother Richard, a 6'6 prospect, projects at either guard position.

In a six or seven player class, the Delk's could certainly find a place and an opportunity at Louisville. A class of McGee/Freeman/Eaton, Huertas/Devendorf, the Delk twins and one of the small forward prospects, Millard/Johnson/Rush/Williams the Cardinals are pursuing isn't out of the realm of possibility. Combine those prospects with 7'0 Clarence Holloway and either 6'9 Amir Johnson, 6'10 Brayden Bell or 6'7 Jamal Boykin and Pitino would almost certainly have the nation's top ranked recruiting class this time next summer.

So what's happening with the players Louisville has been pursuing for the past several months?

Well, at this point, the Cardinals appear in excellent shape as nearly every player mentioned above list the Cardinals among their current top three. In fact, Louisville sits atop the lists for McGee, Bell, and Boykin, and is either one or two with Millard, Johnson, Rush, Freeman and Eaton.

We also think the Cardinals are in great shape with the 6'9 Amir Johnson, factor into the top three for Devendorf and have emerged as one of the favorites for the Delk twins because of Pitino's former relationship at Kentucky and Boston with Tony Delk, the uncle of the two high school standouts.

We also have reason to believe it will be a busy and productive summer for the Cardinals and we expects several of these prospects and several younger ones to either make unofficial campus visits or attend Pitino's individual instruction camp next month.

Upcoming Visits

Several U of L prospects will be making visits to Louisville or other programs during the next month. The following is a list of some of those visits.

  • Andre McGee will visit Louisville June 11-12.
  • Chad Millard will visit N.C. State May 28.
  • Clarence Holloway and 6'7 Harlan teammate Jeremiah Bryant will attend Pitino's camp in June, as will 6'6 Martez Walker (2008).
  • We also expect Huertas, the Delk twins, and possibly Millard and Amir Johnson to make visits early this summer.

    NOTE Prospects can only make official campus visits while their high schools are still in session.

    Our next major event coverage will be the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions May 29-31.


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