Samardo Samuels, one of the top players in the class of 2008, is off the board. The five-star big man is headed to the Big East.
The 6-foot-8, 235-pound big man from St. Benedict's High School in New Jersey is headed to Louisville.
"It is a great opportunity to go in and show off my talent right away," Samuels said. "There will be a spot open right away and they have good guards around me. All of the guards are coming back and everything is in place for me to not have to worry about fighting for spot. I'll be able to go there and work on my skills from day one."
Samuels, the No. 6 ranked player in the country, visited Louisville last week and said he saw enough of the Cardinal program to call it home for the next couple of years. The Jamaican native said he felt a connection with head coach Rick Pitino.
"I've asked all of their players about Coach Pitino and everyone at the school had nothing but good things to say about him. They all said he tries to win everything he coaches and that he sticks to his word. He's been through it all at every level and know what it takes to get to where I'm trying to get to and who is better person to trust than somebody that has been there?"
Louisville scored a major prospect in Samuels, who also considered North Carolina, UConn, St. John's, Rutgers, Florida, Georgetown and Seton Hall. Samuels is one of the elite level players in the class of 2008. He hopes to anchor one of the elite college programs in college basketball.
"I told Rick Pitino that I want to win a championship and I'll do whatever it takes in my first year there to do that. If we don't then I'll be back and give it another shot," he said. "I like winning and I have that competitiveness. I want to win a national championship. I mean, that's my business. That's what I'm trying to do."
The summer schedule sends Samuels to the NBA Players Association camp at the end of the month in Virginia and to the Nike based Amare Stoudamire big man camp.