Pitino, staff watch top prospects in Vegas

LAS VEGAS -- Rick Pitino and the Louisville assistants have been busy tracking their top 2007 and 2008 prospects in Las Vegas the past two days. Who have Pitino and staff been watching? InsideTheVille.com has the exclusive scoop!

JJ Hickson - WW Renegades - Word is that Louisville is starting to show more interest in this PF who has been playing in front of Cardinal assistants the past few days. In Hickson's first outing, he scored 10 points on 5 of 6 shooting from the field. Hickson has great footwork in the post and showed the ability to hit a 15 footer when needed. Hickson did struggle against the Long Island Lightning, but the ability is there thought the production hasn't been so far.

Jon Leuer - Minnesota Magic - I caught the second half of his first game and I will start out by saying that he is very skilled for his 6'10 frame. Leuer likes to hang out on the perimeter and he has the ability to hit it from deep. In his first game he scored 11 points on 3 of 12 shooting in a 71-62 victory over NM Force. With his size on the perimeter you can see why the Louisville assistants were on hand to see him play. Against Branch West, Leuer struggled during the easy 79 - 61 victory, scoring 6 points and grabbing 4 rebounds in 18 minutes of play.

Tyreke Evans - Team Final - Tyreke went through the motions as he scored 12 points and 2 rebounds in a victory over the Portland Legends who were without Kyle Singler. Evans seems to be pacing himself. We were able to catch up with Tyreke and InsideTheVille.com will have a feature on him very shortly.

Devin Ebanks - Metro Hawks - The versatile Ebanks impressed me with his all around game, in a loss to an very good H-Squad team. Ebanks scored 18 points and had 6 rebounds. He is extremely long and has a great handle for a guy of his height (6'8). Defensively, Ebanks doesn't have the strength right now but his length gives opponents serious problems.

Semardo Samuels - Metro Hawks - Samuels had 12 points and 10 rebounds in the battle with H-Squad, this was played at an extremely high pace and Samuels didn't get as many touches as he needed. But I can see what people mean when they say Elton Brand! Samuels had two thunderous dunks that resulted in the backboard shaking for a few minutes. Keep an eye out for a one-on-one exclusive with Samuels, you might like what you hear.

Tracy Smith - Goergia Hurricanes - Rick Pitino was front and center yesterday to see Tracy Smith battle 7'2 James Tyler and Pitino had to like what he saw. Tracy has the ability to face up and take him man off the dribble while also playing big in the post. Smith's overall athletic abilty really impressed me as he led his Georgia Hurricanes team to victory. InsideTheVille.com also got an exclusive one-on-one with Smith. So keep and eye out for this!

Sylvan Landesberg - New York Ravens - Caught a little on this guy last night and even though Landesberg didn't put up big numbers, you can see that the kid has a smoothness to his game. Landesberg, who Pitino watched in person Saturday, had a long list of schools showing interest, including Georgia Tech, Villanova, UConn, St. John's and Louisville.


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