Rick Pitino Lands Quite A Nucleus

Quite a haul, this latest University of Louisville basketball recruiting class, with muscle, speed and shooting ability to spare, giving Rick Pitino the nucleus he needs to nurture a contender for Big East and national honors. The descriptions provided by ESPN Insider will have basketball fanatics salivating:

Michael Marra, 6-5 guard, Northfield, Mass.

“Marra is an excellent catch and shoot player, and excels at coming off screens, and knocking in trifectas. He has a quick release, and very deep range. However, in watching him perform at the 17-Under Super Showcase in Orlando, Fla., in late July, Marra struggled to make his shots when pressured by defenders. He appeared to lack lateral quickness. He has been working to improve in this area, which would certainly enhance his playing opportunities at Louisville. This deficiency causes him problems defensively against quicker, more athletic wing guards.”

Rakeem Buckles, 6-8 power forward, Miami

“Buckles plays more like a small forward than a power forward. He scores in transition by sprinting the floor and beating the defense to the rim. He has good not great bounce but what makes him a high major player is his ability to make plays of the dribble. Buckles can get his own shot at will. He has all the dribble moves in his package. Buckles will show the crossover both ways, spin along and between the legs where he does a great job of raising up the defender before he explodes by him to the rim or into a pull up jumper in the lane.”

Peyton Siva, 5 -11, guard, Seattle

“Siva is a true point guard that has excellent speed and quickness with the ball. He pushes the ball in transition on the pass or dribble and his athletic ability makes him a threat to go coast to coast and finish with a dunk. Siva does a great job of running the offense and directing teammates. He is an excellent ball handler that weaves and slashes through the defense with inside out and crossover dribble moves in order to get into the lane for a drop off pass or kick out for an open shot … Siva is a rock solid floor leader.”

Stephan Van Treese, 6-9 center, Indianapolis

“Van Treese will provide Louisville (verbal) with a physical inside presence that has the strength and muscle to compete on the interior in the rough and rugged Big East. To compliment his body and strength, Van Treese has very good athleticism, which should help him immensely in Pitino’s up-tempo system. Van Treese runs the floor very well and should clean up by scoring points in transition, started by his defensive rebounding ability. Van Treese also has relatively quick leaping ability which makes him a very effective offensive rebounder.”

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Charlie Springer

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