LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Talking basketball without talking about You Know Who going You Know Where (and if you know where, please tell me):
*I’ve told you before – and I’ll tell you one more time. West Coast scout Frank Burlison is my Go-To Guy for evaluating high school basketball players. Frank is a confirmed hoop-aholic, a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Hall of Fame and a guy who is not swayed by his relationships with college coaches when he ranks players.
1. Isaiah Briscoe, 6-foot-3 guard, class of 2015, Newark, N.J. Said last week that Louisville was on the list of schools that he wanted to visit.
2. DeAndre Ayton, 6-9 forward, class of 2017, San Diego. Kentucky is listed prominently with a player many say is the nation’s top sophomore.
3. Daniel Giddens, 6-10 center, class of 2015, Marietta, Ga., committed to Ohio State. Never realized Atlanta was Buckeye country.
4. Moustapha Diagne, 6-8 center, class of 2015, Sparta, N.J., committed to Syracuse.
5. Jayson Tatum, 6-7 forward, class of 2016, St. Louis, lists U of L, UK and Indiana among his millions of suitors.
6. Malachi Richardson, 6-5 guard, class of 2015, Hamilton, N.J., committed to Syracuse.
7. Omari Spellman, 6-8 forward, class of 2016, North Royalton, Ohio, includes IU on his list of interested schools.
8. Jalen Brunson, 6-1 guard, class of 2015, Lincolnshire, Ill., his father, Rick, is a former star at Temple who was reportedly in line to join the Owls’ coaching staff until he had an issue with the police over the weekend in suburban Chicago.
9. Mickey Mitchell, 6-7 forward, class of 2015, Plano, Texas, who has committed to Ohio State.
10. Stephen Zimmerman, 7-0 center, class of 2015, Las Vegas, who has U of L, UK and IU on his list of eight finalists.
*One more Chane Behanan nugget from my interview with former Louisville forward Wednesday. Behanan said that the most difficult stretch during last season came when he watched U of L play in the NCAA Tournament.
“My sense of humor is what kept me going,” Behanan said. “It’s what kept me from breaking down, what kept me from tearing up.
“I teared up a little bit during the tournament. (My sense of humor) just really kept me strong.”
*Frank Kaminsky was not supposed to be Wisconsin’s best player last season. Sam Dekker was supposed to be that guy.
Kaminsky jumped from ninth man to main man. Dekker was good, but not great, averaging 12.4 points and 6.1 rebounds as the Badgers surged into the Final Four.
Now the word comes from Gary Parrish of CBS Sports.com that Dekker looks spectacular in Las Vegas. Parrish said that Dekker measured at 6-9, 229 pounds, larger than his 6-7, 220 numbers from last season.
*Like me, North Carolina point guard Marcus Paige was not impressed by the ESPN.com recent ranking of the Top 50 coaches in college basketball, especially with his coach, Roy Williams, landing at No. 16 on the list.
“Sixteenth … that’s kind of ridiculous really,” Paige told Andrew Carter of the Raleigh News and Observer.
*One more Carolina thing: Paige thinks the Tar Heels deserve to be included in any discussion about the best team in the nation.
“I don’t think there’s any team that I’m looking at that, oh, we can’t beat them,” Paige told Carter.
*Weight loss isn’t only a thing at the University of Louisville. Word from Chapel Hill is that North Carolina big man Kennedy Meeks has shaved 45 pounds off his 6-9 body. That’s not Kenny Johnson-level, but it’s in the discussion.
Meeks has great hands. He’s one of the best players in the nation on the outlet pass. But he needed to reshape his body to become a guy who can play 30 minutes per game.