"I can't speak for ‘Reke but I think it's wide-open," Reggie Evans told InsideTheVille.com. "I think that Louisville is probably the favorite out of the five. I think (Louisville) is probably the favorite right now because of Coach (Rick) Pitino; secondly because of the visit that he had (there); third because Samardo Samuels is his best friend down there; and fourth because Louisville has no pro team in that area and it's all about the University of Louisville and the fans go crazy for them."
Pitino and assistant Steve Masiello paid a visit to Evans Monday and the Louisville coaches apparently knocked the in-home visit with their star recruit out of the ballpark.
favorite for Tyreke Evans.
What was Tyreke's impression of Rick Pitino's pitch?
"He's loves Coach," Evans said. "Coach is like his guy. He's been around ‘Reke since he was 13 and he's been recruiting him. He came to all of our AAU games and a couple of his high school games. I think he put more pressure on recruiting ‘Reke than anybody. Pitino told us that he's never recruited any high school guy this hard. Supposedly, Tyreke's his missing piece to the puzzle. So (Tyreke) really has love for Coach."
Given that Pitino has made Evans his top recruiting priority, how much does that factor into Tyreke's decision-making process?
"All of the coaches say that – Calipari and Pitino are both saying that they want him bad, but I think in the back of ‘Reke's mind Louisville has always been a top tier university that he was considering because of Coach putting more emphasis in recruiting him than anybody," Evans said.
Evans will make an unofficial visit to Connecticut this weekend and he plans to make official visits to Texas in Oct. and Memphis in November. While he isn't planning another visit to Louisville this fall – Evans made his only visit during the recruiting process to Louisville last fall – Evans hasn't ruled out the possibility of taking an official visit to Louisville.
"We had the unofficial visit and we saw all that we had to see," Evans said. "If ‘Reke wants to go back there after visiting other schools and make sure he gave Louisville the right look with an official visit then we'll do that last."
Evans and his brother will drive up to UConn Friday.
"UConn is coming up this weekend and that's going to be the only school that he's seen thus far besides Louisville," Evans said. "Then we're going to Texas in October and Memphis in November. ‘Nova's down the street so that's not a problem. So after seeing all those schools, I told him ‘if you want to we'll go back to Louisville.' But once he sees everybody and if he feels like he needs to see Louisville again we will do that."
"If UConn wows him away on his visit coming up and he thinks Texas and Memphis might have that same type of thing in store for (him) then he'll give Louisville another (visit) because if these schools are coming with their A game then we'll let him go see Louisville on an official," Evans added. "That's only right because we went there unofficially and it's been a while and I don't want him to get out of his mind what Louisville had to offer."
How about the Samardo Samuels factor?
"'Reke wants to play with a dominant force inside," Evans said. "'Reke never played with a good point guard (either) and Edgar Sosa sticking around there would be great for ‘Reke, too. He always told me he wanted to play with a good big man and a good point guard and that he wanted to be the middle piece between the two. (Samardo) is a factor in there because Samardo is probably the best dominant big guy in the Class of 2008. So that's a big plus."
The fact that Louisville plays in a great conference like the Big East and appears on national television all the time – the Cardinals will make 16 national TV appearances this season - also appears to be a factor in the Cardinals favor.
"That's a big factor," Evans said. "You definitely want to be marketed and showing your stuff off for the GM's who watch the game on TV. That's a plus. We know that they sell the most merchandise and make the most revenue and that's got to do with those fans. Louisville's definitely got a good radar with everybody watching them and that's a factor."
Evans said his brother plans to make his decision before the start of his high school season Thanksgiving weekend.
"We want to try to do it before his high school season starts," Evans said. "So sometime in November."