Over the summer, University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino and his hard working staff have established themselves as contenders to land the service of several top-tier players in the classes of 2013 and 2014. Already having secured commitments from top-30 guards Anton Gill (2013) and Quentin Snider (2014), the Cards have also put themselves in great position with other elite recruits like Chris Walker, Cat Barber, Troy Williams, Tyler Ennis, Jordan Mickey, and several others. Yet, Pitino is not stopping there. A new name has now surfaced on the Louisville recruiting front. After a standout performance at last week’s Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis, Jamaican power forward Kentan Facey impressed Pitino enough to land a scholarship offer after the coach saw him in action.
Facey is a rising 6″8, 210 lb senior-to-be playing for Long Island Lutheran in New York and distinguishes himself from the competition with fierce shot blocking and rebounding skills. His recruitment is really starting to heat up this summer and according to Jody Demling, he has also received scholarship offers from UCONN, Virginia Tech, Duquesne, Florida State, and Saint Louis. He is also receiving strong interest from Florida, Providence, Virginia, and others. His breakout summer will likely lead to interest and potential offers from more suitors. Here is what the website nbebasketball.com had to say about his performance at the Adidas Invitational.
Kenton Facey (The Rens 2013) – Facey has been one of the hottest names out here in Indy and showed why despite his team coming up in the short end. The 6’8” long armed jumping jack has endless energy on the offensive glass and is likely to turn those 2nd chances into explosive dunk finishes. His athleticism can safely be described as freakish as the forward routinely makes plays way above the box.
Offensive rebounding and second chance points are seen too rare in basketball today. It is part of the reason I do not follow the NBA closely, as nothing gets on my nerves watching basketball more than to see a shot go up, then seven of the ten guys on the court are already running to the other end before the ball even hits the rim. It is one of the oldest fundamentals in the book: follow your shot. Grabbing offensive boards and turning them into points is due to all out hustle, Facey is apparently very skilled at both. This is the type of player coaches want on their team.
Facey is currently billed as a 3-star recruit by recruiting services Scout.com and Rivals.com (cue the “Why are we even recruiting him???” crowd). However, he has not been evaluated much by the sites probably due to the small sample size on him, as he has only been in the country for a year and a half, according to Demling. When coaches like Rick Pitino and Jim Calhoun are showing interest, though, chances are the player has just a little bit of potential, to say the least. Pitino has a knack for finding or discovering diamond in the rough type recruits. There is of course Gorgui Dieng, and as many may remember, he also was one of the first coaches (if not THE first coach) to show interest in former UCONN and Syracuse big men Hasheem Thabeet and Fab Melo. At the time, they, too, had not been evaluated and were not highly ranked, but of course that is how they ended up. Therefore, do not take this 3-star ranking as a true evaluation of what scouts think of Facey, and the fact that Pitino saw enough of him to offer him a scholarship, then he can probably play a little.
He is of course still very raw, but for recruits like Facey, Pitino is someone who can mold them into impact players. It is also noteworthy that Facey is very good friends with fellow Jamaican and former Cards and current Cleveland Cavaliers big man Samardo Samuels. Hopefully, Samardo is cool with doing a little recruiting for us. The recruiting process is still early for the classes of 2013 and 2014, but the Cards are in on several prospects, even the ones no one knows about yet. Despite having interest from several top-tier stars, the staff is only getting started and will not finish until it has secured an elite class who will continue to keep us in the top 5.