Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Louisville's future backcourt
By Matt Giles
Even though Russ Smith is only a junior, there is a very strong chance he good leave for the NBA draft following the 2013 season. If he returns for his final season, the Cardinals will easily be mentioned as a contender for the national title, but if he does choose to depart from Louisville, Rick Pitino and his staff have lined up a solid future backcourt.
After a year spent at Hargrave Military Academy, Terry Rozier will trek to Louisville a year later than initially planned, but the extra year of conditioning should help the 6-foot-1 guard immediately contribute in his freshman year. Rozier should provide a counterpoint to Anton Gill, a guard who has been one of the hottest scorers in the postgrad ranks. As Scout's Jody Demling notes, Gill recently scored 50 points in a game, the second time this season Gill has scored 50 or more points in a game.
Since both Gill and Rozier will likely see extensive minutes next season, even if Smith returns to the program, we wonder how hard the Cardinals' coaching staff will pursue guards in the 2014 class. Isaiah Whitehead, the latest star guard to come out of Lincoln HS, recently told Scout's Evan Daniels that while he hasn't settled on any college favorites, he wants to visit Syracuse, Louisville, and Kentucky. Though Whitehead did specify these three schools were not his top three, it's hard not to read into his comments and believe those three are high in his mind. However, with Rozier and Gill potentially still around in 2014-15 (along with Kevin Ware), would a possible Whitehead commitment to Louisville make sense? One would think there are only so many minutes in a backcourt, and with three guards in the fold, there might not be a plethora of playing time afforded to Whitehead if he were to commit to the Cardinals.