Despite dealing with an NCAA scandal involving paid escortsRick Pitino added a talented 2017 top-50 center, Malik Williams, during the first week of August.
The Louisville Cardinals are back in business two weeks later as they added 6’2″ point guard Darius Perry on Tuesday.
“I went down to Louisville and I got to watch them practice and see how Pitino works and see that kind of environment,” Perry said. “I got a good feel for the people I’m going to be around, the town I’m going to be in and how the team is going to be.”
“About Louisville when I got there, it wasn’t even the coaches, as much as it was the players that hit me,” he said. “I love how Pitino coaches and criticizes everything that they did. He makes everyone that comes through a better player. He tries his hardest and even in individuals he’s standing right there critiquing. I loved that the most. That’s how my dad is. I know it’s something that I know I’ll hear from my dad anyways. My dad has had a big influence on me and if I can’t play for him I want someone that is similar to him.”
The Power Springs, GA native spurned his hometown school, Georgia, and other offers from Baylor, Florida State, Memphis, Miami, Rhode Island, Wake Forest, and Xavier, amongst others. He is ranked 48th in ESPN’s top 100 for the class of 2017, is labeled as the 6th best prospect in Georgia, and is the 10th best talent at the point guard position.
Perry can play both the one and the two guard because of his quickness, aggressiveness, and fearless ability to attack the rim off the bounce. He has a lethal first step, which helps him either get all the way to the rim or create separation in the mid-range. The Wheeler High School product also has the range on his jumper that helps him extend the defense beyond the arc.
But the guard doesn’t just impact the game on the offensive end.
He is a tremendous on-ball defender because of his speed, lateral ability and toughness. Obviously, at 6’2″, Perry is capable of guarding both guard positions, but is better when defending ones.
While he needs to put on size, should develop as a passer, and must improve his consistency from long range, Perry is the perfect guard for Pitino’s system. Louisville loves to full court press and they enjoy playing fast (remember when they had Russ Smith and Peyton Siva??).
And that’s exactly what Perry is capable of doing.
Quentin Snider has two years of eligibility left (he will be a senior when Perry gets on campus), so the veteran point guard can help Perry key in on his shot selection and decision making, while also helping him get adjusted to the speed of the college game.
With Perry and Williams now in the fold for 2017, Louisville is showing that they are capable of overcoming a scandal without it greatly impacting their recruiting picture.