Analyzed Sports | S.K. Patrick
Rarely is an unranked basketball program at the forefront of the sport. In today’s era of recruiting it’s already hard enough to gain a teenagers trust but at UofL, it seems like times will never be the same. Recruiting has never been more difficult for Louisville. The school has an interim head coach, an interim athletic director, interim president and it seems like never ending NCAA investigations. One could understand why recruits would second guess to play for the Cardinals.
David Padgett is in no position to make promises to players. He is a first-year coach with no guarantee of a second season. His recruiting pitch is vague and contingent on the inexact timetables. Even though Padgett may not be the teams’ coach next year, that hasn’t stopped him from trying to piece together a roster. Despite the circumstances, the staff has been working the recruiting trail. At this point, it’s hard to determine who the top targets are for Louisville and the 2018 class.
“From a recruiting standpoint, there are so many things that could or could not impact a recruit,” Padgett said to the Courier-Journal. “The situations are so different, but the biggest thing is who’s going to be the head coach. We can’t answer that. Everyone understands the situation when we talk to recruits and so on and so forth. They get it. It’s just about us selling the brand, trying to lay the groundwork for Louisville basketball and what it will be moving forward.”
Padgett fell forward into one of the biggest jobs in college basketball when an FBI probe alleging recruiting impropriety rocked Louisville to its core which led to the firing of hall of fame coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich. With the dark cloud casting a shadow over the program, Padgett still has to go out and find players for a program who could struggle over the next couple of years. On top of the NCAA investigation, the university has since filed a lawsuit against former head basketball coach Rick Pitino after the school was sanctioned by the NCAA in June.
The Cards current roster includes two seniors (Quentin Snider and Anas Mahmoud), two juniors who could go to the NBA after this season (Ray Spalding and Deng Adel) and VJ King who has NBA ability. After this year the roster could be as thin as it’s ever been. If the Cards want someone who’s currently coaching at another college program, they’ll likely have to wait until after March Madness. But by that point, some of the top prospects in the 2019 class will have made college decisions and many others will have already cut their recruiting lists. Recruiting might not be the biggest of worries for the school, but these loses will be noticeable on the court by next season, and finding talent capable of competing in the ACC won’t be easy any time soon.