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Jeremy Tyler signs with Israeli Premier League

I'm starting to get the feeling that someone made a deal with the Devil in order to gain those two Big East titles, and that this someone is not a very strong barterer.

Is Walt Jocketty a Louisville fan?

Anyway, former Cardinal blue chip commit Jerem Tyler has officially become the first American-born player to leave high school early to play basketball professionally overseas by signing a one-year deal with Maccabi Haifa of the Israeli Premier League.

"I think I made the right decision," Tyler told The Associated Press on Wednesday evening. "I think this team is a good fit for me and it's the right country."

The contract is worth $150,000, a team spokesman told

"I feel good. I feel blessed," he said. "I got past the easy part. Now the hard part is to perform and show the world I got a contract for a reason. Now I can play against grown men."

Tyler's agent, former NBA point guard B.J. Armstrong, said several offers were carefully considered.

"It's a huge step for him and his family and the things he's about to get into," Armstrong said. "The basketball will be the easiest part in this equation. Now he's got to get things adjusted off the court to what a professional does, how he lives. It'll be a challenge. The rest will take care of itself."

Tyler is expected to return to the United States when he becomes eligible for the 2011 NBA draft. Sonny Vaccaro, who has advised Tyler and his family, said it will be up to the player to decide where he wants to play next season.

Vaccaro told ESPN of the deal: "He's saying, 'I want to be a basketball player and do it without a detour.'"

All of the sudden getting hammered and watching the fighting Kragthorpes take on perhaps the worst program in collegiate football doesn't sound all that bad.