Pitino's Recruiting Focus on Sophomore Class

While Rick Pitino acknowledged Wednesday night during a Cardinal Caravan stop at Huber's in Starlight, Indiana, that his program could add one more recruit for the 2006-07 season, the Louisville coach's recruiting focus this summer will be on Class of 2008.

While Rick Pitino acknowledged Wednesday night during a Cardinal Caravan stop at Huber's in Starlight, Indiana, that his program could add one more recruit for the 2006-07 season, the Louisville coach's recruiting focus this summer will be on Class of 2008.

The Cardinals hosted 7-foot-3 Hasheem Thabeet this week on an official visit and Pitino said there's a chance the Houston, TX product could figure into his team's plans next season.

"There's always that possibility," Pitino said.

With or without Thabeet, Pitino will have a roster loaded to the max with young talent next season. That's why Pitino's primary focus this summer will be to evaluate rising juniors like Larry Drew, a 5-11 point guard from California, 6-8 power forward Clarence Trent from Washington, 6-8 Semardo Samuels and 6-9 Greg Monroe from Louisiana.

"We're going after sophomores," Pitino said. "We don't need a whole lot. We may have only one scholarship (for the 2007 recruiting class) and that's if one of our guys strikes it rich and goes pro (early). So we may not even have a scholarship available."


Pitino will focus on rising juniors
like Semardo Samuels this summer
on the recruiting trail.

So how does Pitino plan to approach the Class of 2007, which includes players the Cardinals are actively recruiting like 6-4 Darquavis Tucker, 6-10 Anthony Randolph and 6-8 Herb Pope?

"We're going to go out there and get a verbal commitment from one basketball player before the summer is over," Pitino said. "And then we'll play it by ear and see what goes on. But we're really going to recruit the sophomore class very hard."

Louisville also figures to have another major recruiting tool in place by the time the Class of 2008 reaches campus. Tom Jurich said last week that he expects ground to be broken sometime this summer on a new on-campus practice facility for the men's basketball program - something Pitino believes will aid his staffs recruiting efforts.

"We buck heads a lot with the ACC, Villanova, Connecticut, Florida and Texas, so like Minardi Hall, it will be a tremendous recruiting tool," said Pitino.


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