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June 15, 2012

Louisville staff make contact with top big men

College basketball coaches could start contacting recruits last night at midnight, and the Louisville coaches sent out a number of messages, including new targets.

According to Jason Jordan at ESPN, Louisville coach Rick Pitino was the first coach to contact Jahlil Okafor at 12:01. One of the top five overall players in the class of 2014, Okafor is an elite prospect.

Okafor, from Chicago's Whitney Young High, is a 6-foot-10, 280-pound monster big man who is rated No. 3 overall in the class. He has offers from Michigan State, Louisville, North Carolina, Illinois and many others.

Louisville assistant coach Kevin Keatts was the first to contact Chris Walker. The No. 2 power forward in the class of 2013, Walker has some elite programs on his list of schools.

The 6-foot-9, 220-pound Walker is an extremely impressive physical prospect. His list of offers looks like a who's who of college basketball with Kentucky being one of the few holdouts.

Walker recently told his list to Rivals.com.

"Kansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisville, Syracuse and Baylor are the schools standing out to me right now," said Walker. "Ohio State is another school that is also standing out to me. I'm definitely going to take all five official visits in the fall. I'm going make the best decision for me, so I think taking all five visits will help me make the best decision.

"The schools I plan to officially visit are Kansas, Ohio State, Kentucky and I'll probably visit Baylor," he added. "I'm already in Florida, so I'll probably visit Syracuse for my fifth visit. I don't have any dates planned and I don't know when I'll start taking my visits, but I would like to take all five."

According to Rivals.com's Steve Jones, the Cardinals have also been in contact with 2014 stud Noah Vonleh. The 6-8, 215-pound power forward who plays at New Hampton Prep in New Hampshire had an active phone after midnight last night.

Vonleh said Boston College, Ohio State, Louisville, Arizona and Connecticut were in contact. The No. 2 overall prospect in the 2014 class, Vonleh is an elite talent.

Louisville's first commitment in the 2013 class, Anton Gill, was among the most active scorers in the camp on the first two days, Rivals.com's Eric Bossi noted.

"Playing in the same rotation for the 76ers, shooting guards Anton Gill and Aaron Harrison were, how shall we put it, aggressive offensively," Bossi wrote. "The Louisville-bound Gill was thinking score each time he got the ball and Harrison was doing the exact same. Gill is more of an explosive straight-line driver whereas Harrison has a lot more wiggle off the dribble and can play some point."

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