Marra says Pitino's Cards ahead of the pack

Northfield (RI) Mt. Hermon junior Mike Marra recently visited Louisville and says Rick Pitino's Cardinals are in the lead for his services. has the latest on Marra, a 6'4, 185-pound sharp-shooting guard from Rhode Island.

Northfield (RI) Mt. Hermon junior Mike Marra recently visited Louisville and says Rick Pitino's Cardinals are in the lead for his services.

"We visited Louisville Dec. 29 and it was a great visit," Marra's mother told "Louisville has offered him and it was good to see the school. We loved it and so did Michael."

Mike Marra

"I loved it a lot," Mike Marra said. "We came down the day of the Iona game. I watched the game at Freedom Hall which was great. Then I got to stay in the dorm that night which was nice. I (toured) the campus and saw the new practice facility which was amazing."

Speculation abounds in basketball recruiting circles that Marra could end his recruitment with an early verbal commitment to Louisville soon. Mrs. Marra said that is very likely to happen.

"He's very excited about Louisville," Mrs. Marra said. "Right now they are his number one choice. We're kind of holding out a little longer to see what happens and we also want Coach Pitino to see him play because he hasn't seen him play in person yet."

"I'm not ruling out making a commitment and I definitely like Louisville a lot – I can see myself going there," Mike Marra said. "But I don't know if I'm ready to make the commitment right now. It's possible that I do make the commitment, though. As of now, Louisville is my favorite of the teams who have offered."

Mrs. Marra said that Rick Pitino is supposed to see Mike in action sometime in early February. Until now, Pitino has only seen the talented guard on video. Louisville assistants Walter McCarty and Richard Pitino have apparently laid the groundwork for a Marra commitment.

"(Louisville) saw me in the Reebok tournament – I had 45 points against a team from New York," Marra said. "Then they talked to my coach and ended up contacting me at the beginning of the year and came down and saw me play. Richard came down and saw me practice a few times, and Walter came down and saw me practice and he came to one of my games and basically offered me."

Marra is one of the elite three-point shooters nationally in the '09 class.

"I saw a lot of kids this summer and no one shoots the ball like Mike Marra. He's an elite shooter who just needs to get stronger and learn how to get his shot," said Mt. Hermon coach John Carroll.

"Definitely, my strongest point is my scoring," Marra said. "I love to shoot the ball. I feel like I'm most confident when I'm shooting the ball but I feel that I've been developing all my other skills too. I'm taking it to the basket a lot more and I'm not just shooting 3's anymore. Now, I'm taking it to the basket and getting some dunks."

Marra also has offers from Providence, UMASS and Rhode Island. "We're only looking at schools that offer," Marra said.

"I'm hoping that a lot of schools offer – I'd like to have as many offers as possible," Marra said. "I'd like to keep my options open and see what is best for me. But as of now I am definitely liking Louisville a lot. A commitment is up in the air right now but there's a 60 percent chance that I will later this year."

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