"Rick Pitino is the best coach and as soon as I got to Louisville and saw everything I knew I wanted to come here," Bolding told InsideTheVille.com Sunday night. "Plus, I'm real close with (Louisville assistant) Steve Masiello. He went to the same high school that I'm at right now, Archbishop Stepinac. And I want to play in the Big East because I think it's the best conference."
Bolding, Scout.com's #9 small forward prospect in the Class of 2008, had narrowed his choices to Louisville and St. John's before picking the Cardinals.
"He's a hell of a player," Scout.com's Jeff Goodman said. "He's a big-time power guard with a great first step. He's big time. He's a Top 25 caliber player if he can just make some improvement with his outside shot."
Bolding is the third player from the Class of 2008 to commit to Louisville, joining 6-5 Martez Walker from Montverde, FL., and 7-0 Jeff Withey from San Diego, CA.
Louisville has enjoyed strong recruiting success in the New York area since Pitino's arrival in 2001, landing players like Francisco Garcia, Taquan Dean, and, most recently, Derrick Caracter, Earl Clark and Edgar Sosa.
"I'm real cool with Edgar, Derrick and E5 (Clark)," Bolding said. "I love Louisville's campus and the fans are great."
During his unofficial visit, Bolding watched Louisville win a pair of games in Freedom Hall.
"The crowd gets so into the game at Freedom Hall," Bolding said. "I really think the crowd played a big part in Louisville's second half comeback against (Northwestern State)."
Bolding said he's averaged 27 points and 10 rebounds in two preseason games this season. The junior said he'll leave Stepinac after this season to attend American Christian in Aston, PA., where he'll team with one of Louisville's top 2008 recruiting targets, 6-5 guard Tyreke Evans.
"I'll definitely be talking to him about Louisville," said Bolding.
Stay tuned for more on Melquan Bolding's decision to join Louisville.