Pitino visits five-star forward

Five-star forward Tobias Harris is one of the nation's hottest prospects. Several top college coaches are converging on Harris' house this week to make their recruiting pitches, including Louisville coach Rick Pitino. Harris spoke with InsideTheVille.com about Pitino's presentation.

Tobias Harris, the nation's second-ranked power forward in the 2010 class, has had a lot of college coaches in his living room recently, including Kentucky's John Calipari and Syracuse's Jim Boeheim. Saturday, Louisville coach Rick Pitino visited the 6'8, 220-pound forward to make his recruiting pitch.

"It went good, everything was pretty good and straight forward," Harris said. "Basically Coach Pitino told me how I would fit into his program and he talked about the academics and all that other stuff."

Pitino told Harris that he could be Louisville's next great forward. And Pitino knows something about it after watching both of his starting forwards from last season taken in the 2009 NBA Draft lottery.


"Players in his system like Earl Clark and Terrence Williams were able to get the rebound and bring it up themselves," Harris said. "That's one of the main reasons why I'm looking at them. He wants me to come in and be like a 3 man. He's looking for me to come in and really be solid at that spot and help them win a national championship."

In July, Harris told InsideTheVille.com at the King City Classic that Louisville had backed off his recruitment. That all changed after Harris proved to Pitino that week that he was one of the best face-up forwards in the nation.

"At that time I did tell you they really weren't recruiting me because Coach Pitino didn't think I'd be able to be a 3 man. He thought I would be a four man and he had enough of those," Harris said. "But when he saw me at LeBron (James Skills Academy) he thought I could be a 3 man in his program. And he just started recruiting me very hard after that."

Finding a program that allows him the freedom to display his versatility on the perimeter is an important consideration for Harris. That's why Louisville's one of the hottest names on his list at the moment.

"I want to be a 3 man and play my own game on the perimeter," said Harris.

Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Syracuse and Louisville have already sat down with Harris and made their presentations. St. John's and Tennessee are schedule to visit today and Harris will host Oklahoma, West Virginia, Maryland and Uconn later this week.

After all the coaches have made their visits, Harris will trim his list down to five schools and make some official visits this fall.

"We haven't set up any visits with any programs yet," Harris said. "After the home visits we'll cut it down to five schools and take five official visits."

Where does Louisville currently stand with Harris?

"I'm considering them pretty hard," Harris said. "I don't want to say they're one of the five schools already because I haven't had all the in-home visits yet but I like the school and Coach Pitino is a great coach. They're a great school and a great program."


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