Samuels, the 6-foot-8 Top 10 prospect who committed to the Cardinals last month, said Saturday that he continues to work on getting his buddy, Tyreke Evans, to join him at Louisville.
"Me and Tyreke are cool," Samuels said. "I've known Tyreke from way back playing in tournaments. I've had a couple of conversations with him over the phone. He's a good player and I definitely want him to come to Louisville."
Evans, one of the Top 10 prospects in America, is one of the hottest prospects in the Class of 2008 after averaging almost 30 points per game at the USA Basketball Developmental Festival last month in Colorado.
The 6-foot-5 guard says he's narrowed his list of favorites down to five elite-level programs and that he intends to make some official visits in the fall before announcing his decision, though he didn't rule out making a verbal commitment sometime this summer.
"My list right now is Louisville, Villanova, Texas, Memphis and (North) Carolina," Evans said Saturday. "I'm just going to look at each school, sit down and talk with the coaches and see what they want me to do and how they would use me. I'll also look at the campus and the facilities to see if that really where I want to be at."
will join him at Louisville.
Samuels' decision to attend Louisville certainly doesn't hurt the Cardinals chances to land his close friend Evans. Rick Pitino hopes it's enough to seal the deal.
"That's big," Evans said of Samuels commitment to Louisville. "As a point guard I always wanted to play with a good big man. I think that was a good move for him. We've talked about it a lot over the summer. He calls me up and says ‘Reke,' let's go to Louisville – let's go there and play together and go to the NBA. So I don't know."
Samuels thinks the Cards are in good shape to eventually land Evans. "Right now I can say it's going pretty good," Samuels said. "He likes Louisville a lot."
"I think he's an excellent person and the best thing for Louisville – us – right now would be to get Tyreke Evans," said Jones, who is playing for the Florida team this week. "He's a tremendous player and he's cool off the court. I got a chance to play with him and he's a team player."
Jones said that he and Samuels have been working on Evans together since arriving in Akron.
"We tell him (Louisville) is a great school, plus you've got probably the best coach in college basketball that would be coaching him," Jones said. "Right now, I'm trying to get Tyreke to go there and get Samardo to stay (long enough) so that when I get there he'll be there.
"After the Peach Jam, me and Samardo and Tyreke are going to fly down to (Louisville) and just chill out there for a little while. That's a definite."
What has Evans' response been to Samuels and Jones' recruiting pitch?
"His response is that he wants to get it done, but his family wants to wait until September," Jones said. "I think basically it's done. So, we'll just have to wait."
Only time will tell.