Pitino eyes future stars in Cleveland

CLEVELAND -- After spending two days at the adidas Invitational, Rick Pitino was in Cleveland Thursday for the start of the King City Classic. Pitino watched several Louisville prospects, including Wayne Blackshear and Zach Price. InsideTheVille.com has highlights from the first day's action.

Price solid; Talks new high school

Louisville 2011 commitment Zach Price had a solid opening day at the King City Classic, outplaying highly regarded 2011 prospect Angelo Chol and fighting 2012 star Dajuan Coleman to a standstill.

Price scored 10 points and grabbed a half dozen or so rebounds in his opening round game against Chol, a 6'9 center from San Diego. Price showed off his patented offensive move - a spin baby hook over the right shoulder that impressed onlookers at press row. Price also drew several fouls in the paint, and converted 4-6 free throws. Defensively, Price blocked a couple shots and drew a charge.


Against Coleman, Price more than held his own. Though Coleman got a couple lob scores over him at the rim, Price pulled Coleman away from the basket to hit cutting teammates with passes for layups and drive the lane to draw fouls. Price also pulled down a few rebounds in traffic against Coleman. Price sat out the second half of the afternoon contest because he was ill.

Price spoke with InsideTheVille.com about his decision to transfer to Jeffersontown in Louisville for his final high school season.

"They're a pass-first team which is completely opposite of my last team," Price said. "And everybody on the team has a good work ethic. So that's why I chose J-Town. It‘s going to be a great experience down there."

Blackshear, Sampson playing together

Louisville commit Wayne Blackshear is teaming with top Cards prospect Jakarr Sampson on the Duke team this week. Rick Pitino paid close attention to each prospect during the morning and afternoon sessions.

Blackshear had an impressive game, playing tough post defense on 6'9 Anthony Davis in the first half, then driving to the basket for scoring opportunities in the second half.

Sampson struggled with his outside shot, but did manage to convert a tough midrange turnaround jump shot in the lane. Sampson showed he could grab the rebound and lead the fast break, and also drew fouls in transition to get to the line.

Sampson told InsideTheVille.com after the game that he remains open, but still has the Cardinals high on his list and plans to visit Louisville before he makes a decision. Xavier, Baylor and St. John's are also very much in the mix.

Pitino keeping tabs on 2011 point guard?

It appeared that Rick Pitino was eyeing 2011 point guard Jabari Hinds on the opening day of the King City Classic.

Hinds, a 6'0, 165-pound guard from Mount Vernon, NY, isn't afraid to drive the lane against bigger players and that's problematic sometimes, as he sometimes over-penetrates forcing questionable shots and passes.

Still, Hinds has plenty of ability. Hinds showed he could score and deliver assists in transition and deliver the alley oop to teammates. He also made a few steals while defending on the ball, including one at midcourt that he turned into an easy basket.

Hinds listed Louisville as one of his favorites and said he spoke with Cardinals assistant Steve Masiello last month. What isn't known are Louisville's intentions for Hinds' recruitment. It's clear the Cards want to keep the door open with Hinds, but Pitino might still be in evaluation mode on Hinds.

"The last time I talked to Louisville was around two weeks ago," said Hinds. "Coach [Steve] Masiello asked me where I was going to be playing this month and he said they were going to watch me."


Dajuan Coleman
Jabari Hinds no doubt can score in transition. There are two questions he must answer during the July evaluation period: Can he consistently knock down open three-pointers and make good decisions with the ball?

"I want to show coaches I can run my team, pass to the open man and play defense," said Hinds.

2012's Coleman listing Louisville among favorites

Dajuan Coleman, a 6'9 behemoth from Syracuse, grew up an Orange fan. But Coleman said that doesn't mean he's lock to play for Jim Boeheim at Syracuse. Coleman told InsideTheVille.com Thursday afternoon that he's still open and considering all schools and that Louisville is one of his favorites.

"I'm giving all the schools an opportunity," Coleman said. "I don't favor Syracuse."

Coleman, who matched up against 2011 Louisville commit Zach Price Thursday afternoon, is ranked the second-best center prospect in the Class of 2012 and No. 3 overall. Pitino, assuredly, was an interested observer while he was on the court.

Coleman told InsideTheVille.com Thursday afternoon that Syracuse, Kentucky, Ohio State, North Carolina, Louisville and Connecticut are the schools that he's most interested in at this time.

"I like what they do with their big men," Coleman said of Louisville. "They get up and down the floor and feed their big men the ball."


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