Samardo excited about UofL future

Samardo Samuels is preparing for his high school season and taking care of business in the classroom. Wednesday also figures to be a big day for St. Benedict's (NJ) High standout – as he'll sign a college letter of intent with Louisville. Samardo spoke with InsideTheVille.com at length Tuesday night about his decision, his recent visit to UofL, and his good pal, Tyreke Evans.

Samardo Samuels is doing well. Scout.com's No. 2-ranked prospect is currently preparing for his high school season and taking care of business in the classroom. Wednesday also figures to be a big day for St. Benedict's (NJ) High standout – as he'll sign a college letter of intent with Louisville. Samardo spoke with InsideTheVille.com at length Tuesday night about his decision, his recent visit to UofL, and his good pal, Tyreke Evans.

"Everything is going good," Samuels said. "I should be signing (Wednesday) I think. My family is not here so there won't be any ceremony. It will just be a low-key type of thing. Hopefully, I'll have a big ceremony in a couple of years and I can have everybody there."

Obviously, Samuels was alluding to the NBA Draft. But first things first. And it starts Wednesday when he signs a National Letter of Intent to play for Rick Pitino at the University of Louisville next season. Is Samuels excited to finally put an end to the recruiting process?

"I am," Samuels said. "A lot of people questioned my decision but I committed there and I gave Coach (Pitino) my word. My word is all I got. So that's my final say."


Samardo Samuels thinks Tyreke Evans will join
him at Louisville next season.
Samuels visited Louisville earlier this month for five days. During his trip, Samuels had a chance to spend quality time with his future coaches and teammates, take in a game at Freedom Hall and get better acquainted with the city he'll call home next season.

"It was (a) good (visit),"Samuels said. "I went to their game. I got to see their style of play. I had an idea of how they played before but I got to see how they got the ball inside. They get the ball more inside than I thought they did. That was very good for me to see.

"And their guards are pretty good. That was the main worry for me – having good guards. I'm pretty impressed with their guards."

Samuels came away impressed with storied Freedom Hall and the excitement the fans showed during an exhibition game.

"It was great," Samuels said. "It wasn't a Big East game. It was just an exhibition game against a local team and the fan turnout was great. The fans really love their team and the town really loves the Louisville players. And that was a good thing to see the support of the town."

The visit also gave Samuels some time to reacquaint with Earl Clark and Derrick Caracter, two Louisville players whom he considers friends.

"I'm very close friends with Earl and Derrick and those guys showed me around and helped me have a better feel for the environment," Samuels said. "Coming from the New York environment to Kentucky is a big change. So the visit helped me adjust to the environment there."

Samuels is the undisputed star of Louisville's highly-rated 2008 recruiting class. He said he's excited by the class that Rick Pitino has put together for the 2008-09 season.

"I'm cool with all the guys that I know," said Samuels. "Terrence Jennings, I've talked to him a couple times and he seems cool. I know Melquan (Bolding). I know those two guys really well. The two other guys I don't really know well."

And you can't talk to Samuels without asking the obvious question: What about your good friend Tyreke Evans?

"I talked to Tyreke when I was down there last week in Louisville," Samuels said. "He said he's saving Louisville for his last visit and that he's already checked it out when he made an unofficial. So he's waiting to (visit) them last and then he's going to go from there. From what he was saying he is definitely coming there (Louisville). But I guess I'll wait and see like everybody else."

Samuels and St. Benedict will play in Louisville next month and will share billing that day with Evans' and American Christian (PA) Academy.

"Oh yeah, oh yeah, I'm looking forward to that game," he said. "I like the court at (Freedom Hall). I'm looking forward to playing on that court. And Tyreke plays that day, too."

Will that be a prelude to the future? That's biggest question confronting Louisville fans as the early signing period begins today.


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