Joel Embiid is the latest player to receive a scholarship from Louisville
Charlie Strong wasn’t the only Louisville coach making moves this weekend as Friday marked the beginning of the fall evaluation period for college basketball. The entire Cardinal staff were out visiting various players and hosting recruits here in town. Here’s a full breakdown and timeline of this weekend’s events.
Rick Pitino hosts two of the top players in the 2013 class as both Anthony “Cat” Barber and California power forward Marcus Lee arrive for the first day of their official visits. The pair attended a team meeting and then toured the campus, followed by a dinner with Pitino and the staff. I’m guessing Pitino bid adieu to the recruits after dinner and left them in the capable hands of the current players as I saw Pitino himself make an appearance at Molly Malones for Vinny Tatum’s big 40th birthday party celebration somewhere around 10:30-11:00.
On Saturday both Barber and Lee tailgated with the team and coaching staff before the UofL football game and then sat in the student section for the Cards’ victory over Missouri State. That night they attended the UofL – UK soccer game, as well. I’m told there was no shortage of love for the two players as everyone in ear shot told them how bad they were wanted. I’ve heard multiple people say that Barber told students and fellow tailgaters that he’s down to Louisville and Kansas. Take that one for what it’s worth.
The officials for Barber and Lee wrap up in the late morning and Pitino and Wyking Jones hit the road for Florida and West Virginia, respectively. Pitino’s first stop was Niceville, Florida where he visited with the top junior college player in the nation, point guard Chris Jones. Jones was participating in an open gym workout and several other colleges were in attendance. Pitino was able to get some one-on-one time with Jones after the workout and he’s scheduled to visit Louisville this coming weekend. Pitino then traveled to Montverde, Florida where he checked out rising 7-0 center Joel Embiid. Embiid is yet another African native (hailing from Cameroon) that’s caught the eye of Pitino and he’s emerging as one of the top center prospects in the 2013 class. Before leaving Montverde, Pitino personally extended a scholarship offer to Embiid. He’s also considering Florida, Marquette, Kansas, Texas and a few other big time schools. He’s reportedly planning a trip to Louisville later this month. On the other side of the country, Wyking Jones checked in with Huntington, West Virginia big man Moses Kingsley. Kingsley was scheduled to workout for coaches at an open gym but has been recovering from a bout with Malaria after contracting the virus on a trip back home to Nigeria a few weeks ago. Kingsley has been in the hospital for the last 5 days but was released and attended the workout. Obviously he was in no condition to play, but he still chatted with coaches and will take an official visit to Louisville on September 28th.
Stay tuned to Louisville Sports Live for more info as it breaks.