What We Don’t Know – Apparently Helps Us
With Antonio Blakeney opening his recruitment, Cards fans are up in arms. True, a 5 star guard would have been a great addition to this class – but let’s not act like Louisville is struggling for talent. Some could argue that Rick has been on his most impressive recruiting tear since stepping on Louisville’s campus. The thing to remember about Hall of Fame coaches is the tireless work ethic. Their success is not accidental (actually “it’s a choice”, right?). Louisville undoubtedly wanted Antonio. The fans did too. In Antonio’s own words he knew he would commit to Louisville for “months”, but for whatever reason – he is gone.
Louisville has so much stock piled talent they will be a Final Four contender next year and the years that follow. Donovan Mitchel, Deng Adel, and Raymond Spalding are complete studs. They are following behind more studs as Rick’s recruiting has been dialed in for some time now. Tattoos are coming.
Here are some reminders of past “heart breaks”, and how they turned out.
- Sebastian Telfair committed to play basketball for Louisville, then turned pro instead. We didn’t get Telfair. We won’t know what could have been. What we do know is Terry Rozier wanted to follow in Telfair’s footsteps to Louisville. He is all Card, and set to be a star guard. That we know.
- A crowd of folks surrounded Fab Melo to watch him select the Louisville hat and be on his way. Been rumored for months. He grabbed the Syracuse hat, and left Louisville scrambling for a big man. While recruiting Justin Coleman, a guard in West Virginia – Rick was blown away by his teammate Gorgui Deing. Not highly rated at the time. We won’t know Fab’s influence at UofL, but we sure as hell know Gorgui’s.
- Marquis Teague’s dad played for Pitino and had visited the Louisville program unofficially many times. The word is he was coming to Louisville the whole time. He came out with a red shirt and picked a blue hat. We won’t know what his influence at UofL would have been – but it sure opened the door for the 2 star guard from Connecticut to step up, Russ Smith. We know what happened there.
- Jaquan Lyle committed to play PG at Louisville. Local hometown hero Quentin Snyder was feeling the backcourt was getting too crowded and decommitted. Eventually things got a hairy with Jaquan, and he decommitted as well. Quentin, a lifelong fan of Louisville, saw an opening back on the team and took it. We won’t know Lyle’s impact, we will wait on Q’s, but make no mistake – I love taking top in state talent, especially when they are Louisville fans since birth.
There are other such stories for Louisville. One leaves, another emerges. Antonio is gone, and Louisville basketball will not miss a beat. The question will be – is another player ready to step in the role of “fan favorite”? Because that is usually how this story ends.
Perhaps Mr. Dozier?
Time will tell.
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