Louisville eyes another JUCO standout

Rick Pitino is looking to the junior college ranks to round out his 2010 recruiting class. Last week, Pitino went to Florida to check out Ricardo Ratliffe. The Cardinals are also interested in 6'7 forward DJ Wright, the 2009 NJCAA Tournament MVP. InsideTheVille.com has the latest.

While Rick Pitino was in Florida last week checking out Ricardo Ratliffe, the No. 1 junior college prospect in America, UofL assistants Ralph Willard and Walter McCarty were in California watching DJ Wright, a talented 6'7 forward at Mt. San Jacinto (CA) College.

"I've talked to Steve Masiello quite a bit and I know that Walter McCarty and Ralph Willard were out to see DJ play in the San Diego City College tournament for a couple days," said San Jacinto C.C. coach Patrick Springer. "But that's the extent of what I know about their interest in him."

In two games in San Diego, Wright scored a combined 53 points and 19 rebounds.

"He played good and showed his complete game," Springer said. "For us he needs to score a bunch of points and we're trying to get him to be more aggressive offensively."

Clearly, Louisville is looking for inside help next season. Ratliffe, a 6'9 center, and Wright appear two of the Cardinals top spring targets.

"They haven't made an offer [to Wright] that I'm aware of," Springer said.

Wright, one of the top handful of prospects in the junior college ranks, led Salt Lake (UT) C.C. to the NJCAA national title last season as a freshman. Wright averaged 24 points in the tournament to earn MVP honors of the event. This season, Wright averages 22.2 points, 10 rebounds and is making 35 percent from three-point range. Overall, Wright is shooting 52 percent from the floor this year.

"He's a complete player from a skill-level standpoint," Springer said. "He's still working himself back into shape after he had meniscus surgery in early October. He can play facing the basket or with his back to the basket. He's a very good teammate and well liked by his teammates."

Wright can also play small forward.

"He can when he's in shape," Springer said. "He's a lot like Marcus Sykes who played at Cincinnati, but he's more of a prolific scorer. He's more of a mismatch four-type of guy. He's a very physical player."

Wright signed scholarship paperwork with Louisiana Tech this fall, but is still a recruitable prospect because he didn't sign a binding national letter of intent.

"He signed a grant in aid at Louisiana Tech this fall," Springer said. "He has a scholarship at Louisiana Tech and he's asked me to report that to everybody. It's an awkward position with other schools recruiting him."

Wright originally is from Toronto, Canada.

"We've still been getting a bunch of phone calls. Almost every Big East school has called or evaluated him," Springer said. "We've had a bunch of NBA scouts in here, too. Everybody that has come through here has been extremely impressed how well he shoots the ball."

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