Monday Morning News and Notes

Posted on May 16 2011 - 2:48pm by Brent Lepping

– If you’re in the mood for a really provocative column this morning, I suggest reading Dana O’Neil’s brilliant piece on former Villanova big man Will Sheridan. She gets an intimate look into the life of a confident, yet troubled, young man and his decision to come out as a gay athlete in a time where people aren’t so understanding and forgiving. It’s not too often that athletes have the courage to go against the grain and speak out about their true beliefs and inner feelings. Particularly when those emotions go directly against popular culture and the religious backgrounds of so many Americans. I’m a happily married man and have a beautiful wife, but I’ve never understood the overt malice and hatred aimed towards homosexuals – and in particular, homosexual athletes. The locker room can definitley be a place of exposure, in many different ways, but if you’re confident and at peace with others and their own personal beliefs, it shouldn’t be anything you need to worry about. O’Neil really adds a nice touch to the article by highlighting the loyalty of Sheridan’s teammates, who all at one point or another knew he was gay and remained silent, during his four-year stint as a player. An incredible feat given the new age of technology and internet anonymity. Hell, even his coach, Jay Wright, never knew.

– Good updates from Courier-Journal recruiting blogger, Jody Demling, today regarding the Adidas Basketball Classic in Bloomington this past weekend. Lots of Louisville targets in attendance, most notably Gary Harris, who enjoyed a huge weekend and some lofty scoring numbers. He put up 28 and 35 in back to back games on Saturday. Harris, a top 25 player in the 2012 class, needs to become Louisville’s top target. He’s one of the most talented scorers in the entire class and he has the size, athleticism, and instincts to be a star from day one. He’s located right in the heart of Big Ten country (Hamilton Southeastern HS, Indiana), so it won’t be easy to steal him from the likes of IU, Mich State, or Purdue. But, again, his recruitment should move right to the top of Louisville’s priority list. Imagine a backcourt of Peyton Siva, Wayne Blackshear, and Gary Harris in 2012.

Another name that’s starting to pop up on Louisville’s radar is 6-10 big man Mitch McGary. He says that both Louisville and UK are showing him a lot of love, but it’s still very early in the process. McGary should shoot up the 2012 rankings by the end of the summer once the AAU season is over. A skilled power forward / center hybrid, McGary can shoot with either hand and has an adept passing touch around the rim. He currently holds offers from include Texas, Arizona, Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, Marquette, and Florida.

– Big time 2012 point guard D’Vauntes Simth-Rivera took an official visit to Louisville this weekend and by all accounts, Rick Pitino rolled out the red carpet and took no short-cuts in trying to impress the young man. It’s beginning to look like Smith-Rivera could be the new point guard priority for 2012, which of course means that the staff thinks the chances of landing Rodney Purvis are getting smaller and smaller. The writing appears to be on the wall. You can read the full visit recap here if you’re a premium scout subscriber.

– North Carolina State transfer Ryan Harrow also landed in Louisville yesterday for a visit. This after checking out UK and Texas over the last several days. He sent out several promising tweets while he was here, and apparently the early word is that Louisville might be the team to beat, based on facilities, playing time, and the overall situation.  No question, this could be a huge late addition for Rick Pitino and his staff. Harrow is a former 5-star point guard and averaged nearly 10 ppg last year for the Wolf Pack. Here’s a quick tweet this morning from DC Recruiting:

DC_Recruiting DChoopsrecruit

“Ryan Harrow has enjoyed all 3 of his visits so far but a source tells me the Louisville visit was ‘a bit ahead’ of the others”

So with D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera in the mix, Ryan Harrow, and Kevin Ware (everybody’s favorite recruiting scapegoat), there suddenly seems to be an abundance of point guard possibilities for Louisville. We’ll keep an eye on things as they unfold.

– The new website is still being designed and the finishing touches should be completed very soon. Once the new site goes live, you will only be able to access it through www. We also have a big podcast planned for Wednesday so stay tuned!


– Brent Lepping

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