Pitino, Cards still looking for players

Having already locked up the nation's number one recruiting class for the fall of 2005, University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino and staff are still hard at work on the recruiting trail.

With the current No. 1 recruiting class in the nation already committed, it would be easy to think Rick Pitino and the University of Louisville would be taking it easy right now on the recruiting trail.

However, that's hardly the case. In fact, Pitino and U of L assistant coaches Reggie Theus and Kevin Willard were hard at work last week in Las Vegas searching for at least one more talented player to add to their already sterling recruiting class.

At the top of Louisville's list is 6-6 wing Marcus Johnson. Johnson, who had an outstanding week at the Reebok ABCD Camp earlier this month, will visit U of L August 8. And though Pitino would like desperately to add an outstanding outside marksman, not necessarily Johnson's strongest suit, the Los Angeles native is intriguing because of his athleticism, scoring ability and production on the defensive end.

It's no secret Johnson likes Syracuse and Connecticut. He tripped to Orange country earlier this spring and he's planning a visit to the defending national champions in late August. Still, you have to like Louisville's chances, especially considering Johnson's friendships with current U of L commits Amir Johnson (his high school teammate) and Andre McGee and the fact that Pitino and company have been locking up recruits who've visited in the recent months. (see: Tello Palacios, Johnson, McGee, Terrence Williams).

After Johnson, Pitino is also still involved with 6-5 guard Bryan Harvey and 6-3 sharp shooter Edwin Lashley. While Harvey's name is familiar to U of L fans, Lashley is a newcomer to the Cardinals list of prospects they're actively watching.

Louisville also hasn't thrown in the towel in the frontcourt either, despite current commits from the 6-9 Johnson, 6-11 David Padgett, who was recently named to the USA Basketball Team, and 7-0 Clarence Holloway. And the player that still needs mentioning is 6-11 forward Jonathan Huffman from Central Park Christian in Birmingham, Alabama.

Huffman, in the mold of former Crimson Tide standout Robert Horry, is an accomplished shooter with good ball skills and considerable upside. Huffman, who participated in the U of L individual skills camp in June, currently lists U of L along with Miami and several SEC programs, including Auburn.

And while the primary focus for the U of L basketball staff still remains securing the final touches for their superb class of 2005, Cardinal assistant Vince Taylor has been in Orlando, Florida all week getting a head start on future recruiting hauls.

While its been an exciting ride on the recruiting trail this summer, don't think for a minute the action or the drama is nearing an end. One thing is certain in recruiting: You never know what might develop or happen down the road.


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