ACC reaction: Men's hoops and recruits

University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino said a move into the Atlantic Coast Conference wouldn't affect the way his staff recruits. But several U of L recruits said they are excited about playing in the new league. Cardinal Authority has a story looking at the men's basketball program and the move.

The University of Louisville's move into the Atlantic Coast Conference will put the men's basketball program back in college basketball's elite conference.

But U of L head coach Rick Pitino said his staff wouldn't have to alter its recruiting strategy from the type of players' the Cardinals have been recruiting during their time in the Big East Conference.

"We probably fit in just as well with the ACC ad we do with Big East," Pitino said on Wednesday night, noting "It won't change much at all."

Scout.com national analyst Evan Daniels agrees with Pitino, noting the Cardinals have been recruiting all over the country during Pitino's time at the school.

Daniels points out over the past 10 years, Pitino has recruited 42 players to play at U of L and those players have come from 21 different states. U of L has signed players during that time period from four ACC states, including Virginia, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.

"From a basketball recruiting standpoint I don't think this changes much for Louisville," Daniels said. "They've always recruiting nationally and I don't think this move makes them change their strategy. (Rick Pitino's) recruiting doesn't revolve around a region or a particular area.

"Rick Pitino recruits players that fit his style of play and that he can go out and get. I don't think this move changes much on his end. He'll still target the prospects that meet their needs and can make a difference at Louisville, regardless of where they are from."

While not a lot will change in the recruiting game, the recruits U of L currently have signed said they're all excited about the future in the ACC.

Guards Terry Rozier and Anton Gill both play for Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va., which is ACC country. Gill comes from Ravenscroft High School in Raleigh, N.C., where he played for three years.

"I'm excited because my family is going to be able to see me play more," Gill said. "I didn't know until I got some texts and it was pretty exciting. I grew up watching the ACC and it's a great conference with a lot of competition."

Added Rozier: "Before I even committed to Louisville I was excited to play in the Big East. But now, the Louisville Cardinals are in the ACC and I am excited. The Big East or the ACC, I just want to face the best competition."

Northwest Florida State College point guard Chris Jones was hoping to play Memphis – his hometown team – during his final two years of college. But he said he's just happy to hopefully get the Tigers' next season.

And then it's off to the ACC.

"I think the ACC is the best conference right now anyway, with all the good teams and players in the league. It's going to be an honor to play against teams like that, there will be no nights off in that league."

U of L's other signee – Omaha, Neb., forward Akoy Agau, texted the message of "ACC here we come!" when he was asked about the move.

"It will be in two years, hands down, the best conference in the country," Agau said. "With us, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Norte Dame, North Carolina, N.C. State, Duke and Florida State there's a lot of competition."

North Oldham senior David Levitch, who will be a walk-on at U of L next fall, has grown up around the program but said he was pumped hearing the news.

"It's very exciting," Levitch said. "It's so great for the community and for the University of Louisville. It's going to be an unbelievable basketball conference."


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