There has been a lot of talk lately about this team lacking talent and needing more elite level 5 star type athletes. So, let's look at our recruiting. I checked Scout's 2013 recruit list. They have given 25 athletes their highest rating of 5 stars. Of those 6 are already committed, so 19 are still uncommitted and available. Here is the list of schools these 19 elite athletes have expressed an interest in, by count for each school:
11 - Kentucky
9 - Arizona
7 - Georgetown and Kansas (plus another one already committed making 8 total for Kansas)
5 - Baylor, UConn, Texas, and North Carolina (plus UNC has 2 other 5 stars already committed in addition to these 5)
4 - Maryland, Memphis, Tennessee, Villanova, Virginia Tech. Plus Ohio State and Florida who both have one each additional 5 star recruit already committed making a total of 5 each).
3 - Miami, NC State, Syracuse, Virginia, Washington, Xavier.
2 - Arkansas, Clemson, Colorado, Florida State, Georgia, LOUISVILLE, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Rutgers, South Carolina, and Duke. (Duke also has an additional one already committed making a total of three).
1 - There are 32 different schools that have one mention each.
A more in depth look at the top half of this group shows the following. Of the top 14 players, 2 have already committed (one to Florida and one to North Carolina). Of the remaining 12 players, the breakdown in as follows:
10 players list Kentucky
5 players list Kansas, Arizona, Texas, Baylor, and UConn
4 players list Georgetown, Memphis, and Ohio State. Plus UNC and Florida each have 3 mentions plus their one each already committed player.
3 players list Tennessee and Villanova
2 players list Syracuse, Maryland, Arkansas, Washington, Duke, Georgia,
1 players lists 23 different schools including such powerhouses as Colorado, Miami, Oregon, Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Xavier, Virginia Tech...............you get the idea.
LOUISVILLE has NONE. Not a single one of the top 14 recruits even list Louisville as an option.
So these are the facts. Without being a Pitino basher, but a passionate Cardinal fan I offer this question to the faithful - Why?
As much as we like to think of ourselves as a top 10 program, with a Hall of Fame Coach, best facilities in the country, and tons of tradition, the top level athletes simply are not even considering playing here. The question is WHY? If I were Tom Jurich, I would pay a market research firm to interview each one of these kids and find out the answer to that question, because the answer to that question is the key to our future. And what we are doing right now, isn't selling. I posted last year that Rick's Louisville First concept sounded great to me as a fan, but I was not sure how well it would sell to the elite level recruits. The preliminary results do not look promising.
So, tell me Cardinal faithful, why do so few elite level athletes consider coming to Louisville and how do we fix it?