AAU Nationals/Showcase: U of L targets

AAU Nationals/Showcase: U of L targets

University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino spent the third evaluation period of July in town at the AAU Nationals and Super Showcase at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Cardinal Authority takes a look at the U of L prospects.

There weren't a large number of University of Louisville targets playing this week in the AAU Nationals and Super Showcase, but several were good enough to keep Rick Pitino around town.

Pitino spent the two days he was evaluating this period at the Kentucky Exposition Center evaluating four prospects.

Cardinal Authority takes a look at the play of those prospects this week:

Antonio Blakeney: The Orlando, Fla., Oak Ridge shooting guard was a standout this week at the AAU Super Showcase. He's a big-time scorer with an elite-level jump shot. Blakeney has been a top target for the U of L staff for more than a year and remains one of the guys they want to bring in first for an official visit. Blakeney has passed much better the past two weeks than I had remembered and he also has a knack to get a bunch of rebounds and loose balls. He's ready to play now at the college level with the only thing that he needs is added strength. If he gets strong, Blakeney has a chance to not only play but star early in college. Look for him to cut his list in a couple of weeks. He's a keeper.

RAY SPALDING: Spalding committed to U of L last weekend and the Trinity High School star has been sensational this week. According to one Division I college head coach, "That kid's a pro." And Spalding has played like it. He can score inside and has hit four three-pointers this weekend, also using his left hand on a variety of attempts - including one left-handed tip in that drew a smile from even Rick Pitino. Spalding is a much better passer than anyone gives him credit for and he's got great timing. He's committed and in the long run is going to be a great player for the Cardinals. He'll be fun to watch.

Eli Wright: The Class of 2016 star from Owensboro Apollo is an elite-level athlete and can score the basketball. He has had 20-plus points in two games this week and was solid even when his team - Hoop Dreams - was eliminated on Friday night. Wright will continue to be evaluated by the U of L staff and has picked up some major offers. But at this point he'll need to improve his shooting - form and accuracy - in order to get any other bigger offers.

Aric Holman: The Owensboro High School big man has been the talk of the month. He started July with offers from Northern Kentucky and Kentucky Wesleyan and now has around 15 offers and a ton of other major looks. U of L coach Rick Pitino and all three assistants have watched Holman multiple times. Holman just doesn't appear to be at U of L's level at this point.

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