Ali feeling the love from Louisville staff

Prince Ali

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. - Weston, Fla., Sagemont Upper School guard Prince Ali talks about his recent offer and the increased interest from the University of Louisville basketball staff. Ali is one of the top targets for U of L.

One week after picking up a scholarship offer from the University of Louisville, Weston, Fla., Sagemont Upper School guard Prince Ali finds himself as a top target for the Cardinals.

U of L has two commitments and is looking to possibly add a couple of guard prospects.

U of L head coach Rick Pitino and his three assistant coaches tracked Ali all last week at the Nike Peach Jam and the No. 47 prospect in the country took notice of the Cardinals.

"He said he likes watching me play; he likes my game," Ali said, noting the Cardinals had been recruiting him for a while before they offered a scholarship last week. He had previously been committed to Connecticut.

Ali, a four-star prospect who ranks as the No. 11 shooting guard in the country, is also being recruited hard by Indiana, Michigan, Maryland, UCLA, Arizona and others.

"Coach Pitino loved New York guys," said Ali, who is a native of the Bronx. "I've never met any of (the former Pitino guards from New York) but I just loved watching them play.

"I like his style and the way they played."

Ali said since he received the offer from U of L that he had chatted with Pitino and the U of L staff several times. He said he felt like the Cardinals' were making him a "priority."

"Coach Pitino text me and told me to keep playing hard," he said. "He said he likes how I have been playing and he likes my composure on the floor. He said he likes my game."

And Ali certainly likes Pitino. He noted the U of L up-tempo style and the way Pitino uses his guards were "a huge draw," to him.

"I really like their style and what he does with the guards," Ali said.

Ali had a tough Peach Jam with the Southern Stampede. He came in with a tender ankle, injured the other one and one day had cramps in his leg. But he kept trying to play through it.

"I caught a cramp, hurt my ankle," he said. "I had a lot of stuff going on. I just tried to play through it. I tried to do the best for the team. I wanted to play for them."

After already making a decision once that backfired on him, Ali said he's likely to take his time the second time around.

"When I make my decision that's it," he said. "I am going to cut the list down and see what happens, but this time I have to make sure it's the best decision for me."

Scout.com national analyst Rob Harrington watched Ali at the Peach Jam and had this to say about his performance:"He boasts one of the best first steps of any senior wing, and his strong body enables him to finish through contact. To wit, he attacked to the right baseline and exploded off one foot for a slam through the body of a defender. Many one-footed leapers are gliders, but Ali is a power one-footed guy — definitely an uncommon attribute. He's also a pretty good medium-range shooter, but he needs to get more loft on his flat, hard threes."

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