Pitino Talks to Theron Wilson

Juco sophomore standout Theron Wilson talked to Louisville head coach Rick Pitino this week.

Theron Wilson is starting to heat up as one of the top junior college prospects in the country.

Wilson, a 6-foot-6, 200-pound sophomore wing at Seward County (KS) Community College, is averaging 25.3 points, 12.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.9 steals, and 2.3 blocks per game while shooting 50 percent from the floor through 13 games.

He ranks fourth nationally in scoring and rebounding and his 12.2 free throw attempts per game is the best amongst junior college players as well as Division I players and NBA players.

Earlier this week, he talked with Louisville head coach Rick Pitino on the phone.

"Rick Pitino introduced himself," Wilson said. "He talked about the situation and what was going on. I was really kind of happy. Growing up I never thought I would talk to Rick Pitino or anything like that. But now, I mean, ‘Why wouldn't he if he does?' But I was real surprised to talk to one of the greatest coaches out there in basketball."

Before talking to Pitino, who has two commitments in the 2007 class, Wilson spoke with one of his assistant coaches.

"I talked to one of the assistant coaches with what is going on with my situation about this year and hopefully for next year," Wilson said. "He talked a little bit about the facilities they are building out there and he gave me a foundation of who they have coming back with their wings. He didn't guarantee any minutes or anything like that and that I would have to play for my position.

"Then he said he hoped to see me play out here sooner than later. If everything goes right and I am a good fit with their program then hopefully I would get a visit and see how things go."

Louisville is a program that is attractive to Wilson, who likes to get up and down the court and is a good defensive player as well.

"They are a fast-paced team," said Wilson, of the Cardinals team. "They are in a good city with good fans who support the team. I know they feel like it is family out there with Louisville basketball. They also have a good coaching staff and it would be a good fit if I were to go there."

Playing in the Big East is also attractive to Wilson.

"That is a real good conference to be in. It is a challenge every time you step on the court, non-conference and in conference."

Wilson, a 2005 graduate of Highland Park (KS) High School, has aspirations of playing at a high-major program and is not afraid of competition.

"I have no problem going into practices battling for minutes because I was always brought up that way and you have to earn what you want," said Wilson, who won a state title as a junior while at Highland Park.

Louisville is not the only high-major program interested in Wilson as Maryland is also expected to come in to see Wilson play sometime in January. UNLV has been interested in Wilson for a while now. And with the numbers he has been putting up, he has created quite a buzz across the country amongst fans from Kansas, Gonzaga, Illinois, and more.

"It's surprising," said Wilson, of the recent attention. "But I have had it in my head since day one during the summer that if I work out this hard and I do this and that, then everything would fall into place as far as the recruiting and getting the attention with how well I am doing."

When Wilson was asked about what kind of person he is for those who don't know him, he responded:

"I'm an outgoing guy and I like to have fun. People can't really be sad around me and I guarantee you are going to laugh when you are around me even if you are mad at the time. But when it is time to be serious, I can be serious on the court and off the court."

Wilson returns to the Seward County CC campus in Liberal, Kan. to resume practice after time off for winter break. Their next game is Jan. 3 at Dodge City CC.

Christopher Stock can be reached at stock@canestime.com

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