Friar Basketball

Louisville Becoming a Nuisance on Recruiting Trail

Kyle Filipowski 247 Sports

The last time Providence saw Chris Mack was in the semifinals of the 2018 Big East Tournament — an overtime thriller in which the Friars raced back from 17 down to pull out the win.

That season — in which Xavier went 29-6 overall, 15-3 in the Big East, and earned a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament — would be Mack’s last at his alma mater. Mack moved on to Louisville that spring, and two years later he is getting a measure of payback on the recruiting trail.

For the second time this month, Louisville landed a commitment from a prime Friar target. Two weeks ago, North Carolina point guard Bobby Pettiford Jr. pledged to the Cards after seeing serious attention from the Providence staff. On Tuesday, it was center Gabe Wiznitzer announcing he would reclassify to the class of 2020 and enroll at Louisville. Wiznitzer is a skilled, 6’10 big from Hargrave Academy who, like Pettiford, was recruited heavily by PC.

Wiznitzer will redshirt this upcoming season.

Additionally, Mack and his staff offered the terrific 2022 prospect Kyle Filipowski of Wilbraham and Monson Academy (MA). Filipowski is a big man who can pass, post, and shoot from beyond the arc. The New York native led Wilbraham and Monson to the NEPSAC AA championship this past spring and has seen his recruitment explode.

Filipowski had only received interest from low major schools as recently as this spring, but has seen UCLA, UConn, Xavier, Marquette, Maryland, Boston College, Virginia Tech, and Vanderbilt offer scholarships.

There is some precedent when it comes to Providence beating out Louisville for a recruit. Rick Pitino wanted Kris Dunn during the summer of 2011, and AJ Reeves listed the Cards in his final five schools before committing to the Friars. Regardless, the Cardinals continue to be a force on the recruiting circuit, despite facing potential punishment from the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions. The Athletic’s Dana O’Neil wrote that a source told her it would be a surprise if Louisville isn’t hit with a multi-year ban from postseason play.

For now, Louisville has put a dent in Providence’s recruiting plans for the 2021 season, and hopped in on a recruit (Filipowski) that PC was in on before any other high majors.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login