Recruiting Roundup

With nearly a week between games, basketball recruiting has moved to the forefront this week for the Louisville Cardinals. Rick Pitino has been out on the road recently chasing both 2008 and 2009 prospects. There have also been recent developments in Tyreke Evans and Lamont Jones' recruitments. And what about the juniors? Are the Cardinals close to landing some early commitments?

It should come as no surprise that Tyreke Evans appears bound for Memphis. The 2008 stud will visit the Tigers this weekend and a commitment to John Calipari's Tigers could come shortly after. That word leaked out yesterday Louisville was backing out of the Evans recruiting sweepstakes should be considered more evidence that the McDonald's All-American guard is headed to play in C-USA next year.

Louisville's courtship of Tyreke Evans
appears over.

Likewise, the de-commit from Louisville earlier this week from Lamont Jones should also have come as no surprise to Cardinal fans. Jones backed out of his commitment last summer only to re-commit the next day. The Cardinals, though, appear headed in another direction, evidenced by the fact that Rick Pitino didn't hang around Louisville Gardens last Saturday to watch Jones' game. The significance of Jones' decision – it paves the way for a commitment from Seattle, WA point guard Peyton Siva, which could be right around the corner.

Though Tyreke Evans no longer appears a possibility the Cards might not be done with their 2008 recruiting class. As first reported last week, Luka Mirkovic appears Louisville's top remaining 2008 target.'s Evan Daniels reported yesterday that the 6-11, 220 Mirkovic is planning to visit Louisville after his season is over.

The Cards also figure to add Kyle Kuric to the roster next season. The 6'5 Evansville, Indiana star told this week that he is still planning to attend Louisville next season, possibly as a non-scholarship player for a year before earning a scholarship.

While Pitino doesn't appear quite finished with his 2008 class, it's clear the UofL coach's top priority is on the 2009 Class. As first reported earlier this week, Pitino traveled to watch 6-5 junior guard Mike Marra in action Wednesday afternoon. Marra's coach told a commitment from Marra to Louisville could come soon.

The other prime 2009 target that Pitino appears in great shape with is Rakeem Buckles. Buckles coach told last week that Louisville is in the lead for the 6-8 junior forward and that a commitment could come in the next couple of weeks.

The important points to consider:

1. Louisville is looking for a skilled big man (Mirkovic) to help out in the frontcourt next season.

2. Finding a top-notch point guard (Siva) is a top priority in the 2009 Class.

3. Louisville wants to increase its perimeter firepower with a couple of outstanding three-point shooters (Kuric; Marra).

4. Louisville also appears heavily interested in landing both a versatile power forward (Buckles; others) and an athletic - and skilled - small forward (Noel Johnson; others) in '09.

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