2005 adidas Derby Classic notebook

Though 6-9 <b>Amir Johnson</b> is one of only two Louisville signees not playing in this weekend's adidas Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic – the other is 6-5 Brian Harvey – speculation about whether or not he'll at U of L next year made the rounds at Thursday's practice session. We've also got the latest on <b>Brandon Rush</b>, a leader for Mr. Basketball Domonick Tilford, and much more.

Amir Johnson speculation makes the rounds

Though 6-9 Amir Johnson is one of only two Louisville signees not playing in this weekend's adidas Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic – the other is 6-5 Brian Harvey – speculation about whether or not he'll at U of L next year made the rounds at Thursday's practice session.

Here's what we heard, and the source – by way of a representative from shoe-giant adidas – has close ties to Johnson's family. Apparently, according to this source, Johnson is all but certain to attend Louisville next fall. And with more and more college stars declaring for the draft every day, Johnson would be wise to take his talents to college next year.

We also asked fellow California native and friend Andre McGee what he thinks Johnson will ultimately decide to do.

"I haven't spoken to Amir lately," said McGee. "Right now, I'm not sure what he's going to do, it's all speculation. I think he's probably going to weight it out and see what is the best choice for him."

Has McGee been lobbying the McDonald's All-American to attend college with him?

"Not really," he said.

We'll see.

McGee's finalists met in NCAA

Before Andre McGee made his final official visit to Louisville, ironically, he made a trip to the Cardinals Sweet 16 opponent – Washington. In fact, the Huskies made a strong impression on McGee and were probably his second choice.


McGee chose Louisville
over Washington.

"I thought it was really ironic that the places I took my visits to faced each other in the tournament," McGee said. "I respect everything Washington has, and I wanted them to do well, but unfortunately they has to play Louisville and I had to root for the Cardinals."

McGee also said that the exposure Louisville received with its deep tournament run helped the program image in his native California.

"If people didn't know who Louisville was before, they do now," said a proud McGee. "We've got a lot of shoes to fill, and Louisville is so passionate about basketball they don't accept nothing but a championship run, which is the way it should be."

TCU currently leads for Kentucky Mr. Basketball Tilford

Jeffersontown guard Domonick Tilford, who will play in this weekend's Derby Festival Classic, was named Kentucky's Mr. Basketball Thursday.


Tilford favors TCU.
Sources close to Tilford told Inside The Ville that TCU, Auburn, Murray State, and Bradley currently sit atop his list. While Auburn hasn't offered, it sounds like the Tigers could move out in front for the 5-11 point guard's services if they extend an offer in the near future. If not, TCU will likely be the choice.

In fact, according to our source, if the decision were made today, Tilford would choose Neil Dougherty and the Horned Frogs.

Rush likely headed to the NBA

Brandon Rush told the Louisville media there's only a 25-percent chance he'll ever see the inside of a college classroom.

Rush also confirmed what many around Louisville already knew – he and the Cardinals share no mutual interest. The 6-7 small forward from Mount Zion (NC) Academy listed Oklahoma and Illinois as his current favorites if it turns out the NBA doesn't pan out.

And in case you're wondering, at least two NBA scouts will be on hand to check out Rush – Jim Mitchell of the Los Angeles Clippers, and Randy Embry of the Miami Heat.


Los Angeles Clippers and Miami
Heat scouts have requested
credentials.

BTW, Rush, who is without doubt one of the top dunkers in his class, said a Louisville signee will likely be his toughest competition for this years Derby Festival Classic Dunk Title.

"He'll be my toughest competition," Rush said of 6-5 Terrance Williams. "Plus he'll have the Louisville crowd, and the home court advantage."

Williams will need every advantage he can muster if he wants to knock off the athletic Rush.

U of L big men can shoot

7-0 Clarence Holloway, 7-0 Jonathan Huffman, and 6-8 Chad Millard have at least one thing in common – they can shoot the basketball.

Huffman had his jumper working during 3-on-3 shooting drills, dropping in five in a row from the top of the key. Holloway also showed a soft touch in the 3-on-3 drills, draining jumper after jumper from the 15-17 foot range across the free throw lane. As for Millard, all you have to do is watch his effortless shooting form to know he'll be a dangerous threat to win this weekend's three-point contest.


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