Chicago stars want closer look at UofL

Chicago stars Wayne Blackshear and Mike Shaw visited Louisville in June. Those two elite 2011 prospects will be back on Louisville campus this weekend. How strong are the Cardinals? Could a commitment(s) be forthcoming? has the scoop.

When 2011 standouts Wayne Blackshear and Mike Shaw made an unofficial visit to Louisville in June they got to meet with Rick Pitino, see the Cardinals basketball facilities and get a feel for the city. But that visit came without the student-body on campus.

This weekend, Blackshear and Shaw will be back on campus, accompanied by Mike Irvin, their AAU. They'll enjoy a pre-game tailgate before seeing the Cardinals play football against Indiana State. That experience will allow the talented duo to see what it's like to be a student at UofL.

"They just want to get down there and see the atmosphere," Irvin said. "When you visit these programs in the summertime there's nobody on campus. Being a kid you want to go see a football game and the atmosphere there because that's where you'll be for the next four years. And I try to tell them to go see a basketball game too. And then you can say that's where I want to go for the next four years."

Rick Pitino might have recruited Blackshear and Shaw harder than any coach in the country this summer. That's why the Chicago duo will be back on campus this weekend on their own dime.

Mike Shaw

Shaw, a four-star prospect ranked No. 40 on's recently released 2011 Top 75 list, fits Louisville's mold as a power forward. At 6'8, 200, Shaw is ranked the eighth-best power forward in his class and is a versatile prospect with considerable upside.

"Louisville was at all of his games this summer, of course Wayne Blackshear is on the team also," Irvin said. "I think what Coach Pitino sees in (Shaw) is that he fits the kind of players that he's had going back to Kentucky. You're talking about a versatile, 6'8 guy that has a whole lot of potential. If he can develop the right way he's just what the NBA is looking for and I think that's what Pitino sees, a 6'8 guy that can play multiple positions. Coach Pitino has said he sees him fitting into that system."

Louisville also has their eyes on 6'9 power forward Zach Price, who will also make a visit this weekend. Still, the Cardinals have a made a strong effort with Shaw's recruitment, according to Mike Irvin.

"Louisville's been in the mix with Mike from day one and they're still in there," Irvin said. "He's got offers from across the country from USC to Arizona to Kentucky, who offered him and Wayne, Florida, Michigan State, Indiana. They're calling every day.

"As far as Mike and Louisville, they've been calling and Pitino's been keeping in touch with Mike the past couple of weeks so it seems like they're interested a lot in him," said Irvin.

There's no doubt about Louisville's interest in Blackshear, a five-star prospect and's No. 12 ranked overall prospect. If Marquis Teague is Louisville's No. 1 recruiting target in the Class of 2011, the 6'4 Blackshear might be 1A on that list.

"Louisville is definitely strong with Blackshear," Irvin said. "Coach Pitino watched us play more than 17 times in July. I mean he didn't miss a game. I'd look in the stands and I'd see Rick Pitino. That would definitely put them high up on any kid's list. So that's what put Louisville high on Wayne's list."

Louisville is definitely a strong player in both prospects recruitments, particularly with Blackshear. Is a commitment possible this weekend?

"We don't know. We've just got to see how it plays out," Irvin said. "They definitely like Louisville and at the end of the day if they want to commit and go there that's fine. If they want to wait that's fine. I leave that up to the parents and kids.

"Are they going to commit this weekend?" "Who knows?," Irvin said. "If there's not a commitment it don't mean much. When you say Wayne Blackshear and Louisville they're high on the list. Even if they don't get a commitment they're definitely high on the list."

Cardinal Authority Top Stories