Coleman 'highly impressed' with Louisville

Justin Coleman, a five-star 2010 wing from Huntington (WV) Prep, made a visit to Louisville to watch the Cardinals' Big East opener against South Florida. Coleman enjoyed his time at Louisville and his prep coach, Rob Fulford, spoke with about the visit.

Louisville didn't land a commitment from five-star 2010 forward Justin Coleman during his unofficial visit to campus on Wednesday. But the Cardinals did set the bar extremely high for other schools hoping to lure Coleman to their campus.

In fact, the word from Rob Fulford, Coleman's prep coach who drove him to Louisville for the visit, is that the No. 4-rated small forward was 'highly impressed' with the Cardinals.

"He was very impressed with the facilities, obviously, particularly the new arena that's going to be state of the art," Fulford said. "We got in about 4:15, went over to the YUM! Center, toured the practice facility and the dorms. Then we just went straight to the arena for a meet and greet with the players."

Coleman enjoyed his visit to Louisville Wednesday night.
According to Fulford, Coleman was welcomed by the Louisville players and fit in well right away. Adding to Coleman's comfort-level in the UofL locker room before the Cardinals game against South Florida was five-star 2011 prospect Wayne Blackshear, whom Coleman got to know over the summer. Blackshear recently verbally committed to the Cardinals.

"It went well," Fulford said. "The players were very respectful and I think they all hit it off. And it helped that Blackshear was there because he and Justin went to Marquette's elite camp together and they knew each other."

Coleman and Rick Pitino talked about the possibilities at Louisville.

"They spoke before and after the game," said Fulford. "They talked about the in's and out's of the program. Coach Pitino's great. He gave us the good, the bad and the ugly and he's very upfront and I think that's what Justin needs. We all met after the game and it was more of a conversation based on the future and what they need and obviously Justin fits those."

Pitino, according to Fulford, made it clear to Coleman that he's the missing piece to the Cardinals puzzle.

"He knows there's a need," Fulford said. "He was very impressed. Had this been in the past he would have said, 'I'm here, let's get it over with.'"

As it stands, Louisville will have to settle for a spot at the top of Coleman's list, which is not a bad place to be as the 6'5 star forward contemplates a college decision.

"Obviously, they're up near the top of the list," Fulford said. "I think the visit went very well. He was very impressed. He was impressed with the facilities and he enjoyed the game. The program is heading in a different direction with the arena they're going to have. He's definitely interested.

"He's looking for a good relationship with the head coach, the assistant coaches and the players. In the past he rushed those decisions. But he had a great visit and he really liked [Louisville]. It was the first thing we talked about in the car. It's a high-level program that matches his ability."

Is Louisville closer to a commitment from the Top 25 prospect nationally after the visit?

"I don't know a time table for Justin," said Fulford. "He's soaking it all in. I think he does want to take some other visits. He takes the SAT on Jan. 23. I don't think he'll take all five official visits but I think at least he'll take a couple visits."

Fulford mentioned Kentucky as a possible visit destination.

"But the situation at Louisville – it's not going to be an easy sell for the other teams," Fulford said.

Pitino is expected to watch Coleman against Findlay (NV) Prep next week in Huntington.

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