Louisville makes Harris' decision harder

Five-star 2010 forward Tobias Harris just wrapped up his visit to Louisville and the Cardinals, according to his father, made a strong impression. Harris will make three more visits before announcing a decision Nov. 19.

A big part of Tobias Harris' college decision, according to his father, Torrel, will be the comfort-level he develops with his potential future teammates during his official visits. Harris has already been to Syracuse, Kentucky and Tennessee and just wrapped up a two-day visit with Louisville on Tuesday.

"He said the guys at Louisville were real cool and he got along with them," Harris said. "He said they made his decision even harder. They all seemed like great guys, Samardo [Samuels], Terrence Jennings, Kyle [Kuric]. I couldn't see how he wouldn't have hit it off with those guys."

Harris' visit to Louisville was a heavy dose of hanging out with the current players, mixed with a steady diet of watching Rick Pitino's practices and individual workouts. Harris, of course, spent time talking with Pitino about a possible future at Louisville, met with advisers to discuss the academic opportunities at UofL, and also got a peek at the Cardinals new arena downtown.

Harris came away impressed with the Cards.
"The visit went well. It was really good," Harris said. "We were impressed with the teaching that we saw at practice from Coach Pitino and his coaching staff. We met the school president and he seemed like a real great guy. The city of Louisville seemed like a great city. And the tour of the new arena was [impressive]. The day we toured the school was a beautiful day and we saw the people interacting."

And, of course, style of play is a critical factor in Harris' decision. The 6'8, 220-pound forward wants to find a system that will showcase his perimeter skills and allow him the freedom to make plays with the basketball outside the post.

"One of the reasons we like Louisville is Rick Pitino," Harris previously told InsideTheVille.com. "He's good at working with point-forwards. So that's a plus. His style of play is also a plus because Tobias likes to run and press. We look at Pitino as a coach and how he can help a player improve and help make a player an exceptional NBA player."

Harris is the key to Louisville's 2010 recruiting class. Currently, the Cardinals have no commitments for next season after Alabama forward Josh Langford backed out of his commitment earlier this week. Louisville is also pursuing J.J. Moore, a 6'6 forward from South Kent (CT) and Russell Smith, a 6'0 point guard also from South Kent.

"Coach Pitino said he can help Tobias get better and if he comes in and works hard he could prepare him for the league and to reach his goals," Harris said. "I believe Rick Pitino can make Tobias a better player. He knows the game at the highest level and he knows what it takes. He's coached Mashburn, Walter McCarty. We're confident everything he is saying is correct."

Now with four visits complete, Harris plans to check out Maryland, West Virginia and Georgia Tech before making his decision later this month. Harris will visit West Virginia this weekend. He will visit Maryland the following weekend and finish up with Georgia Tech.

"They're all the same right now," said Harris. "There are no favorites. Those are our finalists. He's going to have to [decide] which one he felt more comfortable with because all of them are great. It's a difficult decision. We go to Syracuse and he likes Syracuse. We go to Tennessee and he likes Tennessee. We go to Kentucky and he likes Kentucky. We go to Louisville and he likes Louisville. He likes all the schools. It's going to come down to what school he felt the most comfortable with. I'd be happy with any one of the seven schools."

There's been Internet speculation that the Orange are the favorite. Harris denied those sort of reports.

"I definitely wouldn't say Syracuse is the No. 1 school," Harris said. "I would say all seven are No. 1. He's going to make his announcement on November 19th."

The early college basketball signing period ends Nov. 18.

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