So when the fifth-year Louisville coach arrived at Lake High School in Canton, Ohio Friday night, just about everybody in the gym knew why Pitino was there – to see prized recruit Kosta Koufos, a 7-foot junior from Canton GlenOak.
"We knew (Pitino) was in the building," Lake coach Tom McBride told Cantonrep.com. "Didn't everyone in the place?"
Koufos has made two unofficial visits – one in early November, and the other earlier this month - to Louisville. Koufos made his last trip to Louisville Dec. 10 to watch the Cardinals play to Akron in Freedom Hall. Louisville won that game 111-86. "It was a good experience," Koufos told InsideTheVille.com the day after that trip. "Freedom Hall is a beautiful place, they've got great alumni, and the atmosphere is unbelievable."
This time, Pitino traveled to watch Koufos' team in action. It's hard to imagine that Pitino could have left the gym disappointed with what he saw from Koufos.
In GlenOak's 72-49 win over the Blue Streaks, Koufos scored 27 points, including 19 after halftime. He also snagged 13 rebounds. But it was his second half performance that showed why Koufos is a consensus Top 20 prospect nationally. "We bottled Koufos up pretty well into the second quarter," McBride said, "but he backed out of the post a bit, and we had no answer when he started hitting from the 15-foot range."
Apparently, Pitino and GlenOak coach Jack Greynolds, Jr. arranged for Pitino to watch Koufos pre-Christmas Eve last week while playing in a tournament in the Bluegrass state.
"He and I had talked when (GlenOak) went to Kentucky last week for a tournament," Greynolds said. "Pitino asked about Koufos, said he wanted to see him play, and I told him about this game. He said he would be here."