More drama, a time for a collective holding of the breath for University of Louisville fans. The National Letter of Intent signing period for high school basketball players begins Thursday and concludes May 19th.

This year the dramatics whirl around Marquis Teague, a 6-foot-2 guard from Indianapolis Pike, and Gorgui Dieng, a 6-foot-10 power forward from West Virginia. Depending on who you listen to, one or both — or neither one of them — will wind up in a U of L uniform. Most of the speculation, of course, centers on Teague who reportedly has been on the verge of making a commitment numerous times, only to postpone each time.


Seems like only yesterday that fans were stewing over the Fab Melo saga. Once considered a sure thing for Rick Pitino, Melo last summer wound up committing to Syracuse. Among convincing factors was said to be a visit by Syracuse alum Vice President Joe Biden (yeah, I know) at the Carrier Dome. A new basketball practice gym brazenly named the Melo Center (after Carmelo Anthony) didn’t hurt Syracuse either.

The current drama for U of L fans is compounded by events in Lexington, for some reason Kentucky suddenly becoming a magnet for four- and five-star players. Teague is definitely on UK’s list. They also may chase Dieng, just to pull him away from Louisville, unless there’s a more desirable option.

Players should know at this stage where they want to play basketball. They know the coaches, they’ve visited the facilities, watched their prospective teams, met possible teammates (in most cases) and should be familiar with the traditions of the schools and their fan followings. However, some apparently covet the constant fawning of fans, the chatter on Internet boards, the sports page headlines, the ESPN adulation — all feeding the enormous egos of highly-prized recruits and some family members.


The inescapable conclusion is that there are other factors at work in some instances. History has taught us that the longer these things drag out, the worse they seem to turn out for Louisville. Basketball shoe contracts may have something to do with it, as well as the fact that Rick Pitino seems to shy away from intermediaries. Whether these are good or bad things, U of L has had more than its share of disappointments.

The unnecessary drama of this signing period simply underscores just how complex the process has become for a traditional basketball power and one of the game’s better coaches.

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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.

5 thoughts on “Signing Period Drama For Louisville Basketball”
  1. I don’t think Teague is coming, but I still have hope for Dieng. Honestly, I think if the Cards can get one of the two, I’d rather have Gorgui.

  2. I’ve gotten so I actually dread signing week in basketball with all the crap that goes down at a nearby school. The entire process has been corrupted beyond repair as far as I’m concerned.

  3. Marquis Teague may just the player that breaks the mold when it comes to indecisiveness. I just hope Pitino gave Teague’s dad plenty of playing time when he had him as a player. The fact that the son has not made a decision yet is a reflection of that previous relationship. Has to be.

  4. hope that dieng comes. He kind of reminds me of a caracter on the court. He has great potential.

  5. A bit of anticipation and wondering for the Lady Cards as well to see where highly recruited “do all” guard Shoni Schimmel from Portland, OR. will end up. Ranked as the third bestguard inthe senior class…Schimmel has Louisville at the top of a list that also includes Stanford, Baylor, Rutgers, UCLA, Oregon, and Colorado.

    I also almost dread the late signing period. I hope it turns out well for the Lady Cards.

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