CRAWFORD | Pitino breaks down his newcomers in summer news confe - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Pitino breaks down his newcomers in summer news conference

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 LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino updated the status of his newcomers for the first time in a news conference on campus Wednesday.

Two players in his six-man freshman class have yet to arrive on campus. Pitino said Jaylen Johnson, a 6-9 forward from Ypsilanti, Mich., "has an academic issue, but he's fine." He said his high school has been consolidating and has been slower to get information into the NCAA's clearinghouse than others. He said Johnson, "will be behind everybody else" when he arrives. He said Matz Stockman, a 7-2 center from Norway, is awaiting a travel visa but should be on campus soon.

A look at the others:

QUENTIN SNYDER (6-1, 170, Louisville, Ky.): "He is the most ready physically. He's got to get in better shape, but offensively he's ready to play. Defensively he's not, that's what we're working on right now.

"Q reminds me of Edgar Sosa, very much ready to play offensively, not defensively. but he doesn't have to be ready, he's going to play as a freshman. He's going to struggle a little bit because he'll be guarding Terry Rozier and Chris Jones (in practice). . . . Q is emotionally very stable. He's ready right now. He's ready emotionally, his coaches at Ballard told us he would struggle with defense, so we knew that going in."

CHINANU ONUAKU (6-10, 230, Lanham, Md.): "He likes to be referred to as "Nanu.' He's physically ready, and he'll be a good guy coming in off the bench. He's getting into good shape. He probably has the most room to grow because he's never been in good shape in his life and he's getting into good shape right now. Every, single time we work him out he looks better. . . . He's just 17, he won't turn 18 'til November."

SHAQQUAN AARON (6-7, 175, Rainier Beach, Wash.): "We've had one day with Shaqquan, and he -- a lot of times players come in and remind you of certain players -- and Shaqquan reminds you of Francisco Garcia. He was supposed to come in at 185, and he came in at 168. He reminds us a lot of Francisco Garcia, in terms of his body and in terms of his game. The bad news is he has Francisco's body, the good news is he has Francisco's game. So he's a very talented young man."

ANAS OSAMA MAHMOUD (7-2, 185, Egypt): "Anas is very, very gifted for a 7-footer. Good hands, good shot, good footwork. But he's probably going to need a redshirt season because he's very thin. He's 186 pounds. So he's probably going to need a redshirt season, but he's going to be terrific down the road."

Pitino spoke for about 45 minutes with local media, and was upbeat about the coming season, particularly the improvement of senior Wayne Blackshear, and sophomores Mangok Mathiang and Akoy Agau.

His big concern is getting the group up to speed quickly with some major challenges looming early in the schedule, and with getting the freshmen (and a few returnees) into better shape to play. He said strength coach Ray Ganong has a challenge.

"We have one of the best strength coaches in the nation but he's being challenged more now than any time he has in his life with these six guys," Pitino said. "He's got Shaqquan at 168 and got Anas at 185 and Matz will probably get in here at 225 and he needs to be 250. And then he has to keep the weight off of Chris Jones and Wayne."

Check for more of Pitino's comments throughout the afternoon.

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