Shaqquan Aaron

It’s raining recruits for Rick Pitino in Seattle

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Sometimes it must be pretty rough being Lorenzo Romar. He gets the lip service from top recruits in the Pacific Northwest, but recently he’s been publicly spurned by recruits like Kyle Wiltjer, Terrence Jones and Enes Kanter, all of whom chose to leave home to play for John Calipari at Kentucky.

And it doesn’t end there. Our most recent national title-winning commonwealth-based coach and Hall of Famer, Rick Pitino, has practically made a second home in Romar’s backyard, and he’s not shy about saying so.

“We have a Seattle pipeline that’s been very good to us,” Pitino told the Seattle Times’ Percy Allen last week. “It’s a fertile area with some of the best basketball at the high-school level in the country.”

Pitino snagged versatile point-forward Terrence Williams from the Seattle area back in 2005, and more recently rode Peyton Siva’s ballhandling skills to a national championship. So who’s next?

Shaqquan Aaron is the next Seattle-to-Louisville standout. The Rainier Beach High senior forward is considered a four-star prospect by the major recruiting services. Rivals ranks him 27th nationally and ESPN 53rd.

Pitino said Siva and Williams have helped bolster Louisville’s reputation in Seattle.

“The more success those guys have, the more the younger ones – the next generation – sees that and affiliates that to Louisville,” Pitino said. “They’re our greatest ambassadors. They sell the program better than I ever could.”

Romar’s roster is hardly bare of local products, but there’s no doubt his team could have been a serious national title contender in the past few seasons had he kept some of his players from upping and moving south.

Louisville’s Rick Pitino on allegations: ‘We will get through this’

Rick Pitino
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”

The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.

Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”

Georgia Tech lands Class of 2016 guard

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Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.

The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.