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Will Dennis Evans become Kenny Payne’s first 5-star recruit at Louisville?

The big man is visiting U of L this weekend.

Virginia Tech v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Just days after the end of his disastrous first season as the Louisville men’s basketball head coach, could Kenny Payne land his first 5-star recruit?

Evans, the No. 18 overall player in the class of 2023 according to 247 Sports, will visit U of L this weekend. The visit comes just a couple of weeks after he decommitted from Minnesota, the program he pledged his allegiance to last September.

While Louisville is the presumed leader for the 7-1 center, both TCU and Missouri are still in pursuit. Jamie Dixon’s staff paid Evans an in-house visit on Sunday, and Dennis Gates could ramp up his pitch if Evans leaves Louisville without committing this weekend.

Ultimately, though, Travis Graf of Rivals says he expects Evans will soon announce that he’s going to be a Cardinal.

FUTURECAST: Evans to Louisville

I placed a FutureCast for Evans to Louisville on Tuesday, and I like where the Cardinals stand heading into their official visit this weekend. Payne and his staff have done a good job of recruiting the top 15 prospect since he re-opened his recruitment. Immediate playing time and need – plus Payne’s player development history – have made them the front-runner down the stretch.

Evans has a massive 7-6 wingspan and would immediately provide Louisville with the type of rim protector that they were noticably lacking this season. His offensive game is a bit behind his defensive prowess, and he still needs to add some weight to his frame; Two characteristics which are pretty common with teenage 7-footers.

Kenny Payne desperately needs something good to happen right now. Landing a player the caliber of Evans less than a week into the offseason would certainly do the trick.