Rick Pitino is on a roll, picking up a verbal commitment from Jeremy Tyler, a 6-foot-9 superstar from San Diego, whom many analysts consider to be among the very top prospects in the recruiting class of 2010. He’s the real deal, according to everybody who has seen him play.

Put him with Samardo Samuels in the University of Louisville’s front court in the new downtown basketball arena and let your imagination run wild.

Here’s what ESPN Insider says about Mr. Tyler:

Tyler is the most promising “big” to come out of California since Tyson Chandler (New Orleans Hornets). He is one of the most impressive prospects that we’ve witnessed in recent memory. His wingspan is enormous and he will probably add a few more inches to an already impressive frame. What stands out the most about his game is the skills he possesses for someone so young. He has great feet, excellent pivot moves – including a more than adequate drop-step. In addition, he can face-up and nail the outside shot – using glass – ala Tim Duncan.

His range on his shot – more like a set shot – extends out to the stripe and it always has a soft landing. He competes at both ends equally well and is a solid rebounder and shot blocker. He isn’t super explosive but he has excellent timing around the basket, terrific hands, and is very quick off his feet … Overall, Tyler is a monster prospect and with continued development he should be one of the best to come out of the state of California in quite a while.”

And if that doesn’t excite you, take in this beastly video:

Scout.com sums him up this way:

“When you watch Tyler, it’s your first question: How can such a young kid, who is still 15-years-old, have such advanced skills? Many times when you see a young post player they have the physical and athletic attributes but it’s rare when they have skills. It’s reminiscent a bit of Kevin Love, the current #2-ranked player in the nation from Lake Oswego (Ore.) High — the footwork, touch around the basket and general feel for the game was highly advanced when Love first started playing AAU ball as a high school freshman.

“Jeremy’s been coached a lot, and worked individually with NBA-level trainers,” Manning said. But then he added with a smile, “There’s also the God-given ability.”

What a weekend.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

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