Scout.com released its updated top 100 players for the class of 2013 today, and as Brent posted below, Louisville commit Anton Gill (pictured) made the jump up to 26th overall and a five-star prospect. However, Gill is not the only Cards commit in the 2013 class as Terry Rozier, the former 2012 commit who did not qualify academically to play this season, made his debut as a member of the class of 2013 at the no. 81 overall spot and ranked as the 19th best point guard. He is still listed as a Louisville commit. Rick Pitino hopes to land a big class for 2013 and is involved with several more of the top prospects.
Rick Pitino and staff are still hard after the no. 9 overall prospect Anthony Barber along with his compadre and Boo Williams teammate Troy Williams (no. 40 overall) as well as point guard Tyler Ennis (no. 20 overall). Barber and Williams are still looking to be a packaged deal, and Pitino will have his work cut out fending off Alabama and Kansas. One player that made a huge leap is Louisville point guard target Demetrius Jackson, who went from 43rd overall to 23rd overall and a five-star player. When reports began to surface that Louisville was recruiting Jackson pretty hard, fans seemed to have mixed reviews. Some accurately saw it as a sign Rozier would not be eligible, and several fans on message boards seemed wary of the move, as he was not as highly regarded as Barber or Ennis and would not have the immediate impact he would. Something tells me that a fifth star may change their tune a bit. Ah, the world of recruiting…
Out of the top 50 players, 13 of them (including Gill) have some level of interest in Louisville. One new name to surface on the Louisville recruiting wish list is high-scoring small forward prospect James Young, the no. 8 overall player. This appears to be a major long shot for the Louisville staff, however, as his top two choices are Kentucky and Michigan State. U of L has some ground to make up, and it will not be easy to start so far behind Calipari and co. He is a dynamic scorer, though, and it would be a hell of a coup if Pitino could somehow pull this off.
One interesting thing that sticks out about this class is how little the Scout analysts seem to think of the big men. There is not one center ranked in the top 25 or ranked as a five-star. This may be one of the reasons Rick Pitino decided to go after Mangok Mathiang, as he did not see anyone that would be much better in the 2013 class, and figured he would be better off developing Mangok (I will always refer to him by his awesome first name) for a year than to take a chance on one of the 2013 centers. It is still definitely a gamble, as Mangok is not exactly a top 100 player yet, but if Pitino believes he can have the same success with him as he did with Dieng, it may be worth it. We shall see. Regardless, prospects like Moses Kingsley, Marcus Lee, Kyle Washington, Akoy Agau, and 7-footer Joel Embiid still list Louisville as a potential school. I would really like to see the staff get more involved with Marcus Lee, who has apparently improved vastly over the summer, and as stated in a previous article, I think Agau, although not a top-100 player, would be a steal and perfect for Pitino’s style.
It has been a while since Louisville has had a commit from this class, and fans are definitely itching for one. Purely guessing here, I would expect a point guard to be the next player to commit, and U of L is in very good shape with three five-star point guards (Barber, Ennis, Jackson) as well as a JUCO All-American point guard and former top 50 player in Chris Jones. Out of these, the chances are the Cards will only get one, assuming Rozier stays committed. Who would fans rather take? A guy like Jones, who has more experience and can likely transition over a bit better to Pitino’s system, or an elite high school point guard like the three listed above who may have to adjust to the learning curve? It will be interesting to see who Pitino ends up landing of this group and how the fans will react.
This coming season, we will definitely be losing Peyton Siva, Mike Marra, Stephan Van Treese and could potentially lose guys like Gorgui Dieng, Wayne Blackshear, and Chane Bahanan if they all have big years. The 2013 class needs to be a big one to avoid any type of a “bridge” season, and it appears we are still in good shape with a number of talented guys.