Rick Pitino eyed prized 2009 Fayetteville, Georgia small forward Noel Johnson Thursday afternoon at…
Noel Johnson impressed with Louisville visit
After making an impressive run in the King of the Bluegrass Tournament last week, 6'7 junior forward Noel Johnson made an unofficial visit to Louisville. Johnson, a high-scoring forward from Fayette County, Georgia, led the King of the Bluegrass in scoring with 116 points – 12th all-time in the tournament's storied history. After his team finished their run in the tournament, Johnson and his teammates headed to the UofL campus for a look around. Noel Johnson "Noel went on an unofficial visit Sunday," his father, Lynbert ‘Cheese' Johnson, told InsideTheVille.com. "It was a good unofficial visit. He saw the dorms and the practice facility and he sat down with Coach Pitino. His whole team went with him. So that was a good experience for them to see the campus and facilities. He was amazed with the practice gym and the dorm. He was impressed." One of Rick Pitino's top recruiting targets in the Class of 2009, Johnson had a chance to sit down and talke with the UofL coach during his visit. "I wasn't there – it was just Noel and his high school coach," Johnson said. "But they just spoke about the educational (opportunities) and the basketball part also." While Johnson told reporters last week that Louisville was his current leader over USC, Georgia Tech, Memphis and Ohio State, his father isn't ready to talk favorites just yet. "He's really open right now," Johnson said. "If he had to make a Top 5 list Louisville is definitely one of them. His recruitment is more or less open. We're trying to look at the best situation for him as a student-athlete. He's not close to making a decision. He's just trying to focus on academics this year and keep his GPA up above 3.1. His (recruitment) will take a little time to come around." Still, Louisville has strong connections to be a major player in Johnson's recruitment. As a highly-rated player in New York in the late 1970's, Cheese Johnson is an old friend of former Louisville player and assistant Scooter McCray. Johnson's high school coach, Andre Flynn, also roomed with Pitino's agent in college. "I think he'd fit in pretty good with Louisville – I watched the (UL-Cincinnati) game today," Johnson said. "I've known Coach Pitino since I was in high school. So we go a long way back. I'm from New York; Scooter is from Mount Vernon and Coach Pitino is from New York. We go back to New York every year and that's where Noel plays in the summertime. His godfather is Xavier McDaniel." Johnson said his son isn't planning to take any more unofficial visits during the season, but added, "We'll go to a couple of ACC games when Georgia Tech plays."
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