Yes, this is the second time in the last two weeks that a top 50 player has switched his allegiance from the University of Louisville basketball program, but it's not all bad right now. Remember that this is a team that is coming off of its third National Championship.
Even looking ahead to this upcoming season there are plenty of positives to draw on. The Cardinals boast what many to believe the best back court in the country. This group is of course led by the enigmatic star, Russ Smith. Who for all intents and purposes was probably the best player in college basketball a year ago.
Not to mention down low you have a man in Montrezl Harrel who is making NBA scouts salivate every time he sets foot on the court. Those two factors, along with many others will lead this team to a top five preseason ranking more than likely.
If you are really worried about the recruiting front for the 2014 class though, let's delve a little deeper into it. Currently still on board are a pair of top 100 forwards in Shaqquan Aaron and Jaylen Johnson. These are widely considered to be two of the guys with the highest upside in the entire class. Basically these two seem to fit into the mold of a prototypical Rick Pitino player. By that I mean two plus years of service while making drastic improvements each year on campus.
Even with the current crop things are looking just fine, but with a good deal of roster attrition in the next year or two. What else can we expect from Pitino and the rest of his staff? The first call after these new developments was more than likely to New York standout, Isaiah Whitehead.
Pitino has made a living off of New York based players, and Whitehead would be no slouch of a "second option" here. In fact there were some rumblings that Lyle started to sour on the program due to continued involvement in Whitehead's recruitment. Outside of him, keep an eye on Chinanu Onuaku. Louisville have been players in this one for a while now, and alongside Whitehead will probably be the two they try the hardest to secure as the 2014 class comes to a close.
While yes, this is a pretty big blow. Don't feel too sorry for the Cardinals just yet. There is still plenty of reason to be optimistic with the program going forward.
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