New York star visiting Louisville

Rick Pitino has pulled a lot of talented players out of the New York area while at Louisville. Omari Lawrence, a four-star guard from the Bronx, is the latest prospect from the Big Apple on the Cardinals recruiting board. Lawrence tells that he has strong interest in Cardinals and will visit Louisville later this month.

Lawrence, a 6-foot-4, 170-pound guard from Bronx, NY, told Tuesday that he received a scholarship offer from Louisville last month and plans to visit the Cardinals soon.

"I think I'm coming down for a visit at the end of the month," Lawrence said. "Louisville has been watching me since last year and they're real interested. They offered a scholarship about a month ago and (AAU coach) Gary Charles and the (New York) Panthers have a good relationship with Louisville.

While Lawrence claims strong interest in Louisville, another Big East school – St. John's – is the clear leader at the moment for the four-star wing prospect. "I like the atmosphere that Norm Roberts has around his program and my family likes St. John's," Lawrence said. "I have a close friend that goes there, Justin Burrell, and he tells me good things about the team."

Lawrence will visit
Louisville this month.

Still, Louisville could become a major factor in Lawrence's recruitment this fall.

"I have serious interest in Louisville," Lawrence said. "They've got a great Hall of Fame coach. If everything works out they might be at the top of my list when I narrow it down. It never ends with this recruiting stuff so you can never be sure."

Lawrence says he keeps in regular contact with Louisville assistant Steve Masiello. "We talk once every three weeks and I call him on and off," Lawrence said.

Rick Pitino's current Louisville roster is dotted with several players from the New York/New Jersey area, including junior standouts Edgar Sosa, Earl Clark and Derrick Caracter. That's a fact Lawrence is well informed about.

"They've got a lot of metropolitan kids," said Lawrence. "I know Edgar real well and I know Derrick Caracter also. I do keep that in mind because Louisville always gets the top players from this area and they always make it far in the tournament."

Before he trips to UofL later this month, Lawrence, rated the No. 18 shooting guard in the 2009 class, plans to check out one of the Cardinals Big East rivals – Uconn. "I think I'm going to UConn next week," said Lawrence, who claims an offer from the Huskies.

After he visits UConn and Louisville this month, Lawrence said he plans to get serious about making a college decision sometime next month. "Right now I'm just trying to evaluate schools and narrow down my list the best way I can," he explained. "I think I'm really going to buckle down in September. I'm just looking for a coach that's going to develop me all four years and get me to the next level."

Lawrence missed much of the summer action with a shoulder injury that required surgery in early July. On the mend now, Lawrence plans to transfer to South Kent (CT) Prep for his senior year.

"I think I'm a versatile player and a leader on the floor," Lawrence said. "Everybody says I'm a slasher but I also have range on my outside shot."

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