Expert: Cards class has great one-two punch

Dave Telep, Scout.com's national basketball recruiting director, gives Louisville's 2008 recruiting class high marks and says that 6'8 Samardo Samuels and 6'10 Terrence Jennings give the Cardinals, perhaps, the nation's top one-two frontcourt duo. Does Rick Pitino's talented haul crack Telep's Top 5? And you won't want to miss Telep's take on Tyreke Evans' recruiting saga.

Dave Telep, Scout.com's national basketball recruiting director, gives Louisville's 2008 recruiting class high marks and says that 6'8 Samardo Samuels and 6'10 Terrence Jennings give the Cardinals, perhaps, the nation's top one-two frontcourt duo.

"I think it looks like a Top 5 class right now," Telep said. "It's a pretty good one-two punch with Samuels and Jennings – maybe the best combination of two bigs of anybody. Georgetown and North Carolina also have that good one-two punch with their bigs."


Terrence Jennings put U of L's
class in the Top 5 nationally.
Rick Pitino hit the mother-loaded when he landed Samardo Samuels, Scout.com's No. 2 overall prospect nationally, in June. When Pitino convinced 6'10, 230-pound Terrence Jennings to join the fold this fall, Louisville moved ahead of the curve nationally.

"Picking (Jennings) up is the reason this is a Top 5 group," Telep said. "Put him next to Samardo Samuels and (Louisville) has two completely different kind of players and that is actually a very complimentary situation. It will free up Samuels to play a little bit more of a skilled four role and Jennings will be the power and athletic five man."

Jared Swopshire, a lanky 6'8 forward from St. Louis, Mo., gives Louisville another Top 100 prospect. Swopshire checks in at No. 87 on the Scout.com Top 100 list.

"I think Jared is one of those guys that has a legitimate deep to mid-range game," Telep said. "The thing that he'll have to improve is toughness going to the basket and as a rebounder. But he's got a high ceiling and a lot of potential. He's going to be a solid college basketball player."

Three-star guards Melquan Bolding and Kyle Kuric - both of whom are expected to wait until the spring to sign with the Cards - give Louisville's 2008 recruiting haul some backcourt punch. Bolding, from New York, is an athletic slasher, while Kuric, from Evansville, Ind., is an outstanding three-point shooter who possesses near 40 inch vertical leaping ability. But the strength of the Cardinals class is clearly one-two inside punch of Samuels and Jennings.

"Obviously, that's the strength of the class," Telep said. "And who knows, there's one key component that nobody wants to mention because he's going to be a spring guy and if they get that guy you're probably talking about the top class."

Telep is talking about 6'5, 190-pound shooting guard Tyreke Evans, Scout.com's fourth-ranked prospect in the nation.

"I think it's going to be the most chronicled recruitment of the year," Telep said. "I see this thing going on until the spring. It's going to be a situation where the eyes of college basketball are waiting for the decision of one guy. Wherever he goes he's going to impact the program in a big way."

Dave Telep's Top 5 Early Signing Classes:

1. UCLA: "The strength of UCLA's class is in their collection of backcourt talent, headed up by Jrue Holliday. They may have three McDonald's All-Americans. They are reloading in their backcourt with as much power as you can possibly pack into one recruiting class."

2. Ohio State: "I think overall they may have the best one-two punch overall in B.J. Mullins and William Buford. One's a big, one's a guard and they are both going to be McDonald's All-Americans."

3. Georgetown: "When they got Greg Monroe they entered the conversation. Last year, they retooled their backcourt. This year, they retooled their frontcourt. Adding Monroe was the highlight of this whole deal."

4. Wake Forest: "They are already calling it the ‘Big Three' and it is a fitting tribute to Skip Prosser to have these three guys come onto campus in one class."

5. Louisville: "It's a pretty good one-two punch with Samuels and Jennings – maybe the best combination of two bigs of anybody."


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