Deuce Bello, a 6-foot-5, 175-pound small forward from High Point (NC) Westchester Academy, is going to receive heavy attention from Rick Pitino this month. A four-star prospect, Bello, rated the No. 18 SF prospect in the Class of 2011, spoke with Louisville's head coach earlier this week.
"Louisville offered two days ago," Bello told InsideTheVille.com. "I'm excited about it. I talked to Coach Pitino. It went well. He said he's ready to watch me play [this month]. He said I really fit their system with the full court they run. He said I'd fit in real well. I think I'm going to go there for an [official] visit during the [fall]."
"I think I'd fit in real well [at Louisville], that's my style," Bello said. "It's perfect for me."
Bello was injured earlier this spring, but appears poised for a strong July after excellent performances at the Pangos All-American Camp and the NBA Top 100 Camp last month. Bello, who finished 15th at the NBA Camp in scoring (11 p.p.g.), impressed Scout.com analyst Evan Daniels with his play in Virginia.
"He has a terrific first step and that was clear, as defenders were having a tough time staying in front of him," Daniels said. "A high level athlete with great body control, Bello finished well around the rim."
"I was injured earlier this spring but I've been playing strong since I came back," said Bello. "My strengths are getting to the basket and [passing] my teammates the ball."
And though Louisville just offered, Bello already has familiarity with the Cardinals after making an unofficial visit for the final game in Freedom Hall against Syracuse last season.
"I liked the experience," Bello said. "I liked the campus and the coaches were pretty cool."
Bello made that visit with highly-regarded teammate Quincy Miller. The No.2-rated prospect in the nation, Miller, a power forward, and Bello have discussed the possibility of playing together at the next level.
"We talk about it all the time," Bello said. "We have similar schools on our list. It's a possibility. We went on the visit to [Louisville] together and we've talked about that."
Bello will play in Indianapolis next week at the adidas Invitational and the Louisville coaching staff will keep tabs. So will Duke, Maryland, Miami, Oklahoma State, Wake Forest, Clemson, Maryland and Baylor – all programs showing strong interest in the athletic wing prospect.
"Nobody is standing out right now. I've got to go on some visits," Bello said. "After Vegas, I might go visit Baylor but I'm not sure yet. It's still early in the process for me. Obviously, education is the main [factor]."