CRAWFORD | Pitino says he's still looking to add one recruit for - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Pitino says he's still looking to add one recruit for next season

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Rick Pitino conducts a team shootaround before the 2015 NCAA Tournament in Seattle. (WDRB photo by Eric Crawford) Rick Pitino conducts a team shootaround before the 2015 NCAA Tournament in Seattle. (WDRB photo by Eric Crawford)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino moved quickly to shore up some holes in next season's roster when he added a pair of fifth-year Division I transfers this spring, but the coach says he'd still like to add one more player for 2015-16.

Speaking with John Ramsey and Mike Rutherford on 93.9 The Ville FM on Tuesday afternoon, Pitino said he has one more scholarship he'd like to award, and sees no reason to leave it open for a season.

The Cardinals are presumed to be waiting to see whether 6-7 sharpshooter Maverick Rowan out of Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale will be able to reclassify from a junior to a senior. He led his team to a 32-1 record and a state title while averaging 28 points per game last season, but has said the attempt to reclassify has been a struggle, and on Tuesday the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published an online story saying he and his family are considering a return home to Pennsylvania for his senior season. 

Rowan's father, Ron, told the paper, “I found a place he can graduate from. He can take the two classes he needs. . . . If he decides he wants to go to college [this fall], then that's a decision that needs to be within the next 10 days, because he will have to start summer school right after school ends [at Cardinal Gibbons]. If he doesn't go to college, then there is a little bit of time to make a decision."

Pitino, who can't discuss Rowan or any other recruiting target by NCAA rule, nonetheless told Ramsey and Rutherford that he'd like to fill his remaining scholarship.

“We're still looking at a lot of different possibilities,” he said. “I would definitely like to use it. I don't want to save it. There's no reason to save it. Because if we're thinking of redshirting Ryan McMahon, now you're down to 11 scholarship athletes, though we do have a couple of walk-ons who have experience. But we're going to try to play little faster than we normally have played, because our shooting will be a lot better. We're going to put in some new, quick-hitting things that I think will be exciting. But I would like to bring in one more person.”

Pitino said proposed NCAA rule changes, primarily the 30-second shot clock and changes to the backcourt violation, only will help his team.

“It's only going to make good defensive teams better,” he said. “Let's take Virginia — if you only have 30 seconds instead of 35 to get a shot against their defense, it's totally going to help their defense. Same way with us. We're a pressing team. Only 8 seconds to get across halfcourt and having less time on the clock to run their offense will only make our defense stronger. Offensively it's never bothered us. We play with a 28-second shot clock in practice. So that's only going to help us. It'll help the game, make it more exciting. Even if it's only three or four more possessions per game, at least perception-wise it'll calm Jay Bilas down and get him to like college basketball again.”

You can listen to the full podcast of Pitino's radio conversation, including details about the team's Puerto Rico trip, by clicking here.

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