According to Jeff Goodman, Louisville assistant coach Tim Fuller has accepted a position at Mizzouri with Frank Haith's staff. Apparently Fuller and Haith are very close friends
and is suspected that Haith offered Fuller a much higher ranking position than what he currently holds at Louisville. Tim Fuller, as Cardinal Faithful know, had been viewed very positively as a lead recruiter for Louisville and was responsible for securing the committment of 2012 top guard prospect, Rodney Purvis. Fuller had also been credited for bringing a lot of energy back to Louisville basketball as his connections to the North Carolina area and NBA superstar Chris Paul had put Louisville on the map of every top recruit in the 2012 and 2013 classes.
From the Official UofL release:
"Frank Haith has been like a father to me." said Fuller. "He's been a part of my life since I was a freshman in college and has helped mentor, advise and direct me in every aspect as a person and professionally. I'm so thankful for everything that Coach Pitino has done for me at Louisville. He's helped change my way of thinking and drive me toward perfection. At this time in my life, being with Frank Haith at Missouri is a family decision and it's the best fit for us right now."
Even though there is no ill will between Louisville and Fuller, no matter how you slice it, this is a major blow to Louisville basketball. This makes the return of Richard Pitino even more important as we need assistants with recruiting experience. This quote also debunks any bullcrap rumor that Richard's return had anything to do with Fuller taking the position.
My main question is will we be able to hold the commitment of Rodney Purvis, the obvious gem of our 2012 class? Pitino and others on the staff have made a strong connection with Purvis' mother and by no means is UofL out of the mix. However, we certainly have a LOT of ground to make back up.
(In other news, Mark Lieberman will be promoted from assistant coach to Director of Basketball Operations. So there is yet another vacancy in the assistant ranks. I hope TJ and Rick go for broke in finding the best and brightest to bring aboard the team.)