Lau, Caracter's primary advisor throughout a lengthy recruiting process, confirmed that the star power forward is leaning heavily toward playing for the Cardinals.
"Derrick hasn't really decided yet but he's leaning that way [toward Louisville]," Lau said via telephone Thursday night. "He likes Louisville a lot. Steve Massiello and Coach Pitino have done a great job recruiting him."
When asked why Caracter and his mother have decided to make an unofficial visit to U of L this weekend instead of waiting to make an official visit once school starts in a few weeks (Prospective student-athletes must pay their own way during unofficial visits, but can take a trip on the university when making an official visit), Lau explained that Derrick and his mother have grown weary of the recruiting process.
Caracter will likely pick Louisville over
Memphis this weekend during his
unofficial visit to U of L. (Jim Hawkins/IC)
Asked if there were any other reasons for Caracter's unofficial visit to U of L this weekend other than to end his recruitment, Lau said, "That's really for Derrick to confirm."
Lau then listed several reasons why Louisville has emerged as the heavy favorite to land Caracter, but made it clear the main reason is Pitino and his track record for producing NBA players.
"Just look at his resume," Lau said of Pitino. "Coach Pitino gets the best out of everybody. He's always been able to push guys to reach their potential and get them ready for the next level."
Playing in the Big East also appears to have helped Louisville's cause. With his family residing just outside New York City in Elizabeth, New Jersey, playing for U of L will afford Caracter's family the opportunity to see him play when the Cardinals travel to several close-by conference rivals, including Seton Hall (West Orange, NJ), Rutgers (New Brunswick, NJ), and St. John's (Queens, NY).
"It's a big deal for him to be able to come home often for his family to see him play," Lau said. "That was a big key."
And though Pitino is clearly the major factor why Caracter will likely pick Louisville this weekend, first-year assistant coach Steve Masiello, according to Lau, deserves much of the credit for getting the Cardinals involved with Scout.com's fourth-best power forward prospect nationally.
"If you look back, Louisville really wasn't on the list until after the Final Four," Lau said, crediting Masiello for much of Louisville's success in the Caracter recruiting sweepstakes. "Steve really made Derrick feel comfortable with Louisville – he was really like a big brother to him during the recruiting process. He did a great job."