Pitino headed to see top junior

After beating Syracuse Monday night, Rick Pitino spent time on his post-game radio show talking about his 2009 recruiting class and the possibility of a few early commitments. Well, the Louisville coach is headed to see one of the top juniors in the nation. Who will Pitino watch? Is Louisville on the verge of landing an early commitment?

After beating Syracuse Monday night, Rick Pitino spent time on his post-game radio show talking about his 2009 recruiting class and the possibility of a few early commitments. Well, the Louisville coach is headed to see Northfield Mount Hermon star Mike Marra. Is Louisville on the verge of landing a commitment from the 6'5 sharp-shooting junior guard?

Wednesday, Marra and Mount Hermon will finish up the regular-season against Winchendon. Rick Pitino will be in the stands watching.


(Providence Journal)

"Louisville has offered and they've been up here probably five times but this will be the first trip that Rick's made," said John Carroll, Northfield Mount Hermon's coach. "They've been on him really hard. Mike went down for an unofficial visit in January. So Louisville has definitely put themselves ahead of the pack."

Louisville assistant Richard Pitino has laid the groundwork for a commitment from Marra, who is considered one of the elite shooters nationally in his class. Could a commitment be forthcoming very soon from Marra to the Cardinals?

"I think so. This could be done pretty quickly," Carroll said. "I think if Mike's comfortable and prepared to make a decision it could happen as soon as possible. If that's a direction that Louisville wants to go Mike seems to be prepared to make a commitment to them if that's the direction they want to go. I don't think there's a problem with a commitment if that's what they're asking for."

Does Carroll believe Louisville will push for an early decision from Marra?

"I really haven't had that conversation with the coaching staff," Carroll said. "I would not be surprised if that's the direction they head in after seeing Mike play tomorrow if they are not already heading in that direction. I don't think Rick Pitino would make a trip if that's not the direction Louisville wanted to go."

Marra transferred from Smithfield (RI) High to Mount Hermon prior to the season. At Smithfield, any shot was a good shot for the 6-5 Marra. That's not the case playing for Carroll at Mount Hermon, where shot selection is an important concept.

"The transition to this level was an interesting one for Mike," Carroll said. "He came from a place where shots didn't matter and any shot had no recourse. That was an adjustment for him. He's made that adjustment very well. The first half of the season he was shooting around 30 percent from three-point range; the second half of the season we've made some adjustments and he's shooting about 55 percent from three, including a 10 of 11 performance from three against St. Thomas More and Devin Ebanks. That was a big-time dual and anybody in the gym will tell you Mike won that one."

Over the last nine games of the season, Marra has made big strides with his game, averaging about 27 points per game.

"He's taken his game to a different level," Carroll said. "I've seen a lot of ball and I don't see another three-point shooter in the country that has his elevation, his jump shot and athleticism. I just don't see that package out there."


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